In crooked lines

Deus escreve certo em linhas tortas. God writes straight in crooked lines. I heard the Portuguese saying long before I came to Portugal, and long before I even had a smattering of the language.

Caring for the other one, my beloved, that taught me compassion. I prayed constantly to Jesus, pleading to know what it meant to have a compassionate heart. He showed me all right. It is the finding of a soft, sweet voice and a firm kind touch, when all around swirls blood and guts and gore, rank with the smell of excrement. Pure love, so it is. Not earthly love. Pure love. Simple.

I have to recall this, for a spiritual reckoning is necessary as I embark on my next copyediting job, a book about the message of Our Lady of Fátima. You see, in the three years since my beloved died, I have not deciphered much in the crooked handwriting of God.

It seems He has taken up His pen again. Via a long and winding path by word of mouth half-way around the globe and back again, news of this work reached my ears.

So, thanks, Jesus, for the lesson on compassion. And the lesson on grief. (And the many blessings you shower on me daily – lest you think me ungrateful.) Can we move on to the power of discernment and finding le mot juste now?

©2020 Allison Wright
[229 words – more than a few stray minutes]

Mangoes

I remember holding his hand as he led our family in prayer when his father died.

The strength of his faith coursed through his firm grip, but I saw he had tears in his eyes and his voice plummeted to gravel now and then. One or two adults among us shifted awkwardly, for their faith was not as strong, but they persisted in the ritual. For all were joined by sadness and family ties as we held our similar-looking hands together.

The catapult of years is swift and now he, my uncle who loved his Lord — for that’s what he said years later — is dead.

All I can think of, apart from the warmth of spirit in his hands, was that he told us kids that there was an insect inside a mango pip, and we should try to get it out. I don’t know if that’s true. In the forty-six years since, I have never been able to open a mango pip.

©2019 Allison Wright
[161 words – 12 minutes total]

Care work

It’s four and half years now I find myself watching the slow and steady decline of my mother. My days are structured by her ingestion and digestion, and the proper preparation of her medication. In between I find some time to work, to read books to enter a universe not ruled by approaching death. Which according to Camus is not feasible as we are all condemned to death. Sure, he’s right and what I’m doing makes no sense at all, still I’m doing it – la femme révoltée.