I know this is a poem about being in love. That's not what I can't explain. It's the thing inside all that I can't explain. It doesn't happen in every relationship. At least it doesn't for me. Certain ones are powerful in a magical way and that power comes not from her or me or you and me or even from us both, whatever that means, and whoever we are. Still it comes from somewhere. That somewhere makes no demands either. It's not like some God Who demands sacrifice or worship or commitment even - but let me tell you, I usually find myself in much better spiritual shape when I have a relationship like the one in the poem.
Change In Status
I can't explain it,
what that felt like, your surprise
confidence. You took
me in your arms, as
if we were lovers beyond
the borderline, then
told me a story
as if I was wise, or brave,
charged a defending
knight. Now the world's changed,
smells cleaner, and I stand here
a little straighter.
April 26, 2010 8:28 AM
"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."
- Donald Miller
Donald Miller is a Christian minister and author based in Portland, Oregon who also serves as the Founding Director of The Burnside Writers Collective, a group of primarily Christian spiritual writers who contribute to an online magazine. You can Google both "Donald Miller" and "The Burnside Writers Collective" and learn more.
I will add my own observation: True love doesn't resolve any more than jazz music or God does. When and if it does resolve, then the power I write of here fades away. Sometime later one is forced to admit the love has somehow died as well.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.