Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Think You Are An Angel

This is a personal poem and I shall not myself reveal who I wrote this about.

I will take this opportunity to say that someone has recently said she thought I was an angel. I looked at that seriously in my twenties. How arrogant is that!? If I am an angel then I have been stripped and flensed and blocked. I have no sense of it. I do have a sense of otherworldliness that somehow has a very different relationship with God. Where we take it for granted that you can't argue with God, in my inner space there is a kind of memory of a place where you certainly can argue with God and I did so. I claim there is a sense at least temporarily that I won. What I won was the right to proove it, whatever it was I was arguing about. That's what this life seems to be for me.

I am here to proove a point. I do not understand the argument and think I actually can't without seeing with very different eyes, but I know I am rightly placed for it, this point of contention. I also think I am here out of turn because of it, would not have been in this life if this argument had not occurred. My life is both easier in some ways and also more difficult in others because of that. My inner resources are different, but my sense of belonging is woeful. First I had to learn to survive somehow the transition to adulthood. That took til about 26. Then I had to smash a kind of arrogance. That took til about 35. Finally, I had to leave the crutch of alcoholism behind. For me that was easy but only because the discipline that it takes is easy. That took til 54, but really is still in progress in the way that I still constantly bring it up. It is far more normal for a guy like me to be a gutter drunk or dead.

The long history of angels as they appear in our cultures, they are the manifestations of the adoration of God. It would seem that while it makes sense to speak of our self centered and self willed freedom to choose and to act, it does not make sense to speak of angels this way. They are God centered in a complete (perfect?) way. Thus I am left with an observation. If I am an angel, I am a fallen one. Whoa. Does this mean something? Perhaps. If it does, then perhaps Lucifer is not such a bad guy. I am no Lucifer, but then maybe our understanding of Lucifer is twisted too. I believe I have God's support. So I think does Lucifer. Think about that. How can it not be so? We are told Lucifer is in rebellion but how can that be true without God's permission? That, for example, is one facet of the story of Job, that there is a running relationship between God and Lucifer, and in the end we are instructed that it is beyond human understanding. Hmmm.

I don't know about you, but I really hate being told things are beyond me. Yet there it is. There are things square in the middle of my life that are beyond me. Lack of power of all kinds, including the power of understanding is my dilemma. I cannot avoid it, must admit it. Even all the way back to that moment when I was reminded of who I am, the sacred moment that made it possible for me to survive my path into adulthood, I have to admit I do not understand what the fuck happened. So I am radically dependent. I am dependent on you and the others in my life, I am dependent upon God. All else is pretense. If I am to accept the truth of free will it has to keep this dependency in place or else I will lose purchase on any sort of wisdom. Horns of the dilemma. Free will is self evident both from inclination within and experience in the world. I am a radically dependent man correctly intent on holding up my end of the bargain. That is the proper use of the will. I cannot drop either end of this deal without also losing any authenticity that can be mine.

This may all be complete crap. Probably. I don't care that this is not factually true, whatever that means. Frances, my last lover is certain that this is a cute story I tell myself and it really doesn't affect anything I do in my life. She smiles at me indulgently. It is self indulgence. Maybe. I know it doesn't matter to you that I keep this story, tend it, get better at telling it. Something happened to me that changed everything. That much is certain.

I Think You Are An Angel

I think you are an angel
not one so holy and distant
but here in my heart now
with words and words
that don't belong to me
these words you let out into the world.
Let out like the Northern Lights
across the sky
they reach me here
where I was feeling so silent.
I step into the glow.
And somehow now I
see differently.

February 16, 2009 9:14 PM


  1. I think you uphold your end of the bagain probably better than most.

  2. This just explained something about will that I have been grappling with for ever.
    Thank you for that 'aha'.....

    As for angels Christopher, I do honestly believe that we are all angels for someone, somewhen. Just now, reading this, you clarified a confusion for me, is that not angelic? A small miracle for me?

    Must it all be sweetness and purity?

    Nope, sometimes the angel is that guy who comes along and smacks you down so you learn never to allow yourself to be smacked again.

    It's all relative.

    You are one of my angels, in as such that you change my life sometimes......and you don't even know me.

    See .......



  3. I love this poem. May I put it in my side bar linked to you?


    I want to read it every day.


  4. You had me laughing in your preamble, such depth and weight and then you forgive yourself that it might just all be crap. That is how it is. We can painstakingly weave very careful constructions that can be terribly convincing, but if that first stich is wrong, or if our yarn is faulty, what then?

    This I know. There is something at work. It is in you. It is in the trees, the rivers, the blueberry cheesecake I just ate (ummmm), in colour, in words and in silence. It is in every gerdurned thing around us, and all that is absent. And to get our tiny little egotistical brains around it is damned near impossible. And yet we try.

    Something is at work. I think perhaps our language is faulty yarn. Maybe we should be more content to watch the trees, listen to the river and eat the cheesecake. (But it sure drives us to try to understand.)


  5. Karen, you are right, bargain, grrr! Yet there again, if you don't accept all of it you have the faulty yarn that Erin writes of here. There are aspects to this life that are bargains no matter how distasteful.

    Michelle, my beauty, your usage of angel is what people in my circle call "God with skin on". And of course I completely agree with you that it isn't all sweetness and purity, cannot be like that here. What I say about that is if you want genuine selves, real entities distinct from God, a self aware universe of the nature we have, then the possibility of mistake, error, sin or other falling short is simply required. The gap has to be there. It is built in to the core of things, began at the first flash or before it, was the cause of it. It is an arrogance to think that Original Sin is found only in the hearts of men and women. Michelle, don't you think perhaps by now I do know you a little, love? Yes of course you can link the poem.

    Erin, your windage adjustment is very good in your comment. There is a problem. The solution requires reaching beyond our limits. Under certain circumstances, under certain disciplines this is possible to do, but not to maintain for any length of time it seems. The few who accomplish this are generally not accepted as such. How could they be? I call it seeing with God's eyes. Things change when it gets like that. But you can't translate back. What you describe in your comment is a style of life possible when you make peace with the situation, knowing the other sacred space is there, nearby but not really exactly here in the ways we yearn for.

    I heard it described one time this way. All things work toward good in God's World. In God's World, all is as it should be. You are right where you are supposed to be in God's World. But this is not God's World...this is the world that God permits.

    The man who said that, Michelle, was one of my angels. We live here by permission.

  6. Michelle says it best, I think. All the names we have for things like "angel", "religion", and even "God" are fluid and subjective; the problem of language is that no one word can accurately sum up all the feelings and meanings in those words to different people.

  7. Joseph, what I wrestle with is that there is something about the experience that lasts beyond our presence, yours, mine, anyone's. I hesitate to use the word objective, but real nonetheless, independent of all our experiences. At least that is how it seems to me. If a tree falls in the forest and I am not there, nonetheless it still falls.

    If angels (and I don't normally pay much attention to them at least not in the popular way) do exist, they somehow really exist, however silly our expectations of them.

    And Ghost adds they are more than the adoration of God, they are the messengers, the announcers. Yes, they are, the Heavenly Host, all the multitudinous forms of Hermes but with the God himself removed to a distance.

  8. Yes, of course I do. That's what it's all about, isn't it?


  9. {{{Christopher}}}

    You are an angel... I am not sure what last winter would have been like without you for me...

    I remember this poem... Maybe well enough that I might have written it myself :)

  10. There is the literal interpretation of angels and then there is the other....the person in the flesh who has something we lack, we need, a ministering spirit with skin on.

    My hip is permanently displaced from the grappling God and I do. I feel as though I will never be out from under the fight. But there can be no fight without passion. I suppose it is better than apathy. Luke warm...spit out....not good.

  11. W&W, I understand your hip displasia and raise you one sciatica.

    It is intriguing. The serenity the Buddhists invoke seems to be essential to the path beyond a certain point. It seems that passion must be sacrificed at a certain point.

    However, I suspect that absence of passion is not the same as the lukewarm condition that invokes regurgitation.

  12. And to clear the record, the poem I posted here is not mine at all. I was confused and gently corrected by Liz, and we wrote back and forth about it for a little while. Michelle did indeed post it on a sidebar on her blog. I at her permission did not go back and fix ownership since she was happy to have her poem here just like this. Liz preferred anonymity. I miss her.

  13. Lovely post. :-) I stumbled on this poem on another blog and had to use google to find this.

    1. You used to have it posted on your sidebar. I wonder what blog.

  14. Ah, wrong Michelle. I found it on a side bar of another Michelle's blog. Kind of surreal? ;-)

  15. Okay... I see now what I did not see. Funny how that goes too. You were on Michelle's blog. That Michelle lives in the southeast area of Australia. You are a writer and she a graphic artist, mostly a painter, but she writes poetry too.

  16. It gets funnier, I'm from Zimbabwe and studied graphic art. Now live in Scotland and the writing is... iffy really. Nothing grand.

    The poem really hit for me. It fitted perfectly for someone in my life. I owe the Universe a thank you for sending me sideways via other Michelles. ;-)

    1. And funniest of all, I did not think when I posted. Somehow this poem about me from Liz got mixed in with the poetry I was writing. So when I posted it, Liz in the gentlest of ways reminded me who wrote it. I offered to make a full explanation here but she said no. Leave it alone. So I have. So you found a sidebar poem by Liz that referenced my blog because Michelle honestly thought it was mine but was not. Liz as far as I know does not blog much anymore. Blogging was her device to get through a very bad time which has long ago passed.

      I don't understand to this day how I missed it that the poem wasn't mine since it is not in my form at all, except for short enough.

  17. I enjoyed your story behind the poem almost as much as the poem. And, for the record, your own poems are more than equally enjoyable.

    I popped an angel poem up, sort of a thank you. I wrote this about 2011, I think. I know it was winter, that's about it.

    I'm down there as Michelle Y frost only because I have an American friend who is a poet called... Michelle C Frost! Yes, truth is stranger than fiction! ;-) I met her when a fan of her poems contacted me by accident.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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