Monthly Archives: June 2012

wiman . two

rosie face . nmdr
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A continuation from yesterday’s first post of Christian Wiman.
 

PORTION TWO

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“Christ is contingency,” I tell M. as we cross the railroad tracks and walk down the dusty main street of this
little town that is not the town where I was raised but both reassuringly and disconcertingly reminiscent of it:
the ramshackle resiliency of the buildings around the square; Spanish rivering right next to rocklike English,
the two fusing for a moment into a single dialect then splitting again; cowboys with creekbed faces stepping
determinedly out of the convenience store with sky in their eyes and twelve-packs in their arms. I have spent
the past four weeks in solitude, working on these little prose fragments that seem to be the only thing I can
sustain, trying day and night to “figure out” just what it is I believe, a mission made more urgent by the fact
that I have recently been diagnosed with an incurable but unpredictable cancer. How strange it is to be back
in this place, where visible distance is so much a part of things that things acquire a kind of space, an otherness,
a nowhere-ness, as if even the single scrub cedar outside the window where I’m working holds—in its precise
little limbs, its assertive seasonless green—the fact of its absence.
 
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to be continued…
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♦♦♦
 
There is an interview of Christian Wiman  from 2007 at the blog Kaurab Online.
 

wiman . one

 june rose . nmdr
 
 
Today i would like to start a series of  posts on a man named Christian Wiman.
I suppose some of you may be well aware of him already, but, i had not known of him until now.
As i was looking for information about an image, i ran across this article by Christian Wyman, that
was published on the web page of the harvard divinity school, that i want to share here.  
And that’s where i am going to start.  
The article is a bit long so i’m posting it in several bite-size portions.
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PORTION ONE

Winter/Spring 2012 (Vol. 40, Nos. 1 & 2)
Harvard Divinity Bulletin
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By Love We Are Led to God

Faith is found in the mutable and messy process of our lives.

by Christian Wiman

 

AT NEARLY SIXTY years old, M. finds that her faith has fallen away. She tells me that it was love that first 
led her to God. Thirty-five years earlier, love for the man who would be her husband for most of her life seemed
to crack open the world and her heart at the same time, seemed to fuse those latent, living energies into a
single flame, the name of which, she knew, was God. There were careers and children. There were homes laid
claim to and relinquished. There was something perhaps too usual for a love that had torn her so wholly open,
but time takes the edge off of any experience, life means mostly waiting for life, or remembering it—right? She
tells me all this, right up to the depressingly undramatic divorce, at a table outside in far west Texas, the
country of my own heart.
 
She asks me: How can a love that seemed so fated fail so utterly? How can a love that prompted me toward
God become the very thing that kills my faith? Once, it seemed love lit the world from within and made it take
on a sacred radiance, but somehow that fire burned through everything and now I walk lost in this land of ash.
If God by means of love became belief in my heart, became the faith by which I lived and loved in return, then
what should I believe now that my love is dead? Or no, not dead; that would be easier. Actual death cuts life off
at the quick of your soul, but there is yet the quick to tell you what life was, assure you that life was. You grieve
the reality of your loss, not the loss of your reality. That former grief is awful, and may seem unendurable, but
at least it is more productive, for it is grief that has lost but not renounced life, grief that still feels to the root
the living reality of love because it feels so utterly that absence. All I feel is that the life I felt, the love that once
scalded me toward God, was a lie.
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to be continued …

♦♦♦

 
 
 
Bill Moyers talks with acclaimed poet and Poetry Magazine editor Christian Wiman
about how finding true love and being diagnosed with a rare and incurable blood cancer
reignited his religious passion as well as his creative expression.
 

14

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i have bound myself
with a chain of thought
a dream
of such things
as you
and though a thought
may get me through
today
and 
hold me
it won’t
hold back
what’s
bound to come
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Words . by davis rosback
Painting by Irene Belknap,“The House of Belonging”; the title and words in the painting come from a poem by David Whyte.

little

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Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

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It’s easier to let a small thing go, and to add a small thing, than a large one. That is how some kinds of change happens.
For the better, for the worse, if a person continues to let go of and add a small thing the effect will become evident over time.  
Not an instant recognition of the effect, but a gradual awareness, as dawn to one sleeping.  Small things and time…

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