Response to the Adolescent Young Man

I heard what you had to say about my age, my wife as well as the comments about my life and its lack of excitement.

Here is my response:

If your little High School romance is still going in thirty years come and see me, then we can talk.

Until then keep thinking that your make out sessions, the ones that you think prove you are in love and that your little hallway meetings are the pinnacle of what God intended love to be.

Then there is all the brooding you do when she refuses to kiss you means that you have proven that you love her, no, come and talk to me whren you have actually weathered some storms and then, when the skies clear ansd you are still together, then we can talk.

(until then keep your peach fuzzed face quiet because we are not on the same level.)

After all the prom photos,

after all the homecoming parties,

the graduation euphoria,

because after all of this is when the reality of now sets in,

then age comes and goes, then what you see in the mirror changes, then and only then will you come ot understand how wrong you are now, so gain, I say,

“Until then young man.”

“Until when?” Said he with the bravado of an adolescent smirk.

Until you can say that you are still together when you have nothing else,

when you are dead broke and still together,

when you pass by her and she is not happy to see you and you dont run away ready to quit,

when everything you have ever wanted is unnatainable, the answer is no and there seems to be no chance that you will overcome,

when she comes to be over 50 and her looks have changed and you no longer spend your days making out and holding hands,

when you have responsibilities that you cannot now fathom and there is no time for anything else,

when the starry eyed loveliness becomes clouded because the world gets in the way,

when you realize that love is not a feeling and that it cannot be measured by how much sex you have,

when you realize that a person you claim to love so much can and will act in an unlovable way time and time again,

until you realize that the one you made fun of is the one you will become soon enough,

until you have seen each other at your worst and stay anyway.

And…

maybe you can come to the conclusion that lasting is a choiceand further that it is not a choice that you know how to make nor is it one that you have ever made, in your ripped jeans and lomng hair about her with her smooth skin and her untouched eyes so bright and young, unchanged by stress or worry.

Until, you have lived a life beyond these High School walls.

T. S. Deary

10/31 – 11/11/22

The Press of Bone and Lead

Tired of the unrelenting anxiety and this feeling of faliure summed up in the way they look back at me.

(all the blank stares and faces looking back at me.)

Tired of thse endless Monday monrnings and that Sunday night dread.

Waiting and waiting, unable to tell him how much I understand now and how sad it is that he is not here for me to tell him.

What do I ask for?

What do I want?

(mostly to do the will of God and as for the rest I remaoin indifferent…As much as I would like to live a long life…)

I don’t sleep well and I feel desperate to be heard, sometimes I feel that God ignores me.

(“Karras looked up and felt instant dismay, felt the soft crushing weight, press of lead, press of bone…”)

That press of bone and then of lead on flesh and the overwhelming burdens of being sought out for God’s glory with the unednding weight of the cross, coming closer to eternity by saying yes.

(even unto death)

This press of bomne and lead, the felling that there is nothing left to give and hten still managing to open up the door and invite the person in, even giving them a pieve of you to them, to take with them as they leave.

I am irrelevant,

(still I strive to be a servant.)

I am a useful fool,

(a spoke in a spinning wheel.)

No one is standing guard,

no one is questioning reality,

no one is reading the writing on the wall.

The press of bone on lead, pushing down on a tired heart, nothing lost is nothing gained.

I heard the Deacon’s words and I have to say that I did not disagree with him at all,

the press of his words reminded me of how bloody the salvation won for us was and that we are not God’s buddies, best freinds or pals,

his mercy is that we are still alive, he did not gather sinners to him as an affirmation fo their identity but rather to make known the need to change,

I spent the night running through my dreams being held down by the press of bone and lead wondering where the psychic landscape would lead?

Still I knew all he said was true and since he died and rose again there is no need for me ot keep running away.

T.S. Deary

10/31/22 – 11/10/22

Note: The quoted section, as well as the title of the poem were inspired by “The Excorcist” written by Willaim Peter Blatty.

A Promise to Return (for Meaghan and David)

Been going, in my mind, to a different, easier time, to the end of summer days and the breeze coming off the pond, to slightly changing leaves and coming shorter days,

(the slight breeze of a late summer morning and the tired moments of reflection and with the adolescent certainty that everything and anything I had lost would one day be regained.)

I looked forward to the coming days through the ever present lens of time and then of age, now, here, thirty five years past that late summer morning and the breeze off the pond.

(aware of the coming end of summer and the arriving sense of fall and winter.)

I made my way out to the ocean early on Saturday morning,

purposefully watching the rolling and rhythmic waves and the way the birds dove down and themn continued to rise and fly.

(I stayed until the sun was overhead and I promised myself I woulda return before the winter sets in.)

To mourn and to reflect.

To make sense of new realities.

To remember blessings and to discern curses.

To unload my burdens to God, the author of creation, the time keeper and my ultimate destination.

When the night falls I will stand under the moon and read my diary out loud and despite the way the waves crashing drown out my words, at least I will get them off my chest.

Then I will trace and diagram the constellations and imagine how close the heavens are to them, then I would mentally touch them, memorizing their lines and elements of the cosmic hand that placed them there.

(All this struggle and she still ignores me.)

The barn cats were lounging near the door catching the rays of sun and the breeze that came through the open door, there would be plenty of time to chase and to climb later on.

These late afternoons are for lounging and for now the only thing to catch was the breeze.

(the mice can wait.)

The horses were reluctant to get into the trailer and they pushed and pulled with all their might, they were run in circles, eventually complying as the evening put its arms around the barn.

Then came the drive to Ocala, straight west on 40, through the forest, towards the setting sun and her weekend with the horses.

The building blocks of revelation come in moments disreagarded by some.

(I rememebr him from all those summers spent together, he was not destinmed to live forever.)

I thought even more so, when I saw, the stars hanging in the sky and how they blazed so far away.

Then there was the silence between me and Meaghan and how she refused to speak to me, all along those miles of country roads, she spent the time working on her saddle as the day began to fade and the road seemed to go on forever and ever.

(I remembered David and how we once spent long summer days and long hot evenings, fishing and dreaming about adventures and what was to come.)

Meaghan never looked up from her saddle and never asked any quesitons as I began to feel the calming presence of an opportunity to let it be, remaining in the space that I was in, thinking and remembering.

(mourning never really ends, not after the death of an old freind or the rejection of someone you love so much.)

I began to think and my mind settled, I remembered how much I had to believe in right here and now and how even after all these hard times, I still believe that better times will come.

How there is no honor or title,

no gem filled crown,

no office,

no amount of money,

no kingly robe or throne upon which a king sits,

no alchamaic formula turning lead to gold,

nothing in this world or under the sea,

that means more to me than her.

Sometimes loving a personm means you have to love them from some distant horizon, where space brings peace and an end to arguing, leaving space to grow.

I never forgot my promsie to return, I have never given up on remebering you and all those nights we sat up talking, listening and remebering.

(I still remember now.)

I still remember her when she was young and her smiling face was unburdened by the weight of her past.

(unkown and unbothered)

Stars in the sky, so far and sometimes near enough to touch celestial bodies and constant reminders of the glory of God and how he blessed me with a great freind and a beautiful daughter.

I realize the best I can do is buy time and that eventually it will run out, sooner than later for some, I realize that I have pushed the ways of this world onto her and demanded things the wrong way, the same way the world stole him from me.

I rode home alone, with only my thoughts, my constant and unrelenting mental companions, along with a constant and ongoing need to pray and to connect and to become closer and to hear and to understand.

When I got home the house was dark and only the dog greeted me, happy to see me and in the quioet of the ongoing night I prayed saying… “forgive me Lord, I am just a stupid man.”

T. S. Deary

7/31/22 – 8/31/22

The Annunciation (Theotokos)

This all started on a quiet, still night, during a time when expectations were pregnant with hope and the Almighty was ready to act and to make the fullness of time complete.

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel came to a virgin in the town of Nazareth and the darkness was pierced by blionding rays of light, rays of ligth that shone into the young girl’s eyes and the spoken words of an angel.

A descending dove with rays of light, breaking the silence of that night focusing intense energy on her mind and heart.

She has been chosen and is destined for a life of reverence.

“Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God, you among all women, he has chosen you to cpocieve and bear a son who will save God’s people from their sins…”

She, in a state of wonder, said..,

“How can this be? Since I have never known a man?”

The Angel answered her…

“All things are possible with God! The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will concieve.”

God will become flesh,

dwelling in you,

concieved in human form,

made to dwell in your womb,

Now, time amd space and eternity combine ot make all things new.

Flesh and blood, born of a woman, to take hte throne of David and to crush the serpent’s skull,

you are the new Ark, the fullfillment of God’s law, carrier of the bread of life.

You are the new Eve, woman, who will renew creation,

this birth will be God’s salvation and your life will be honored for all generations.

Nothing with God is impossible, even now, your cousin is with child.

She, Elizabeth, who was once thought barren is carrying a child, one who will cry out in the desert, to all with ears to hear, to all who are lost, to all who long to hear God’s voice, he will fulfill the word of the prophet and baptize with water.

God will be with him and will never leave him, through him the blind will see, the lame will walk, the mighty wil be made low and the lowly will be made migthy.

Holy Mary, Mother of God.

Holy Mary, Queen Mother.

Holy Mary, Carrier of the Bread of Life.

Holy Mary, personified Ark of the Covenant.

Holy Mary, Theotokos.

When he had finished speaking the angel left her.

T.S. Deary

10/1/22 – 11/5/22