Consider how often we hold ourselves and each other back from embracing the unknown. We bargain with uncertainty, convinced that we should only embark if we know that it is safe from whatever we fear. While we may wish for calm weather and smooth waters, it is important to recognize that, ultimately, we may not be able to control the external. Worse yet, we may not truly live if we expect the elements not to be working on our side.
So, what does it look like when we trust that the wind will love our back?
In blessing the boats,, Lucille Clifton offers an embodiment of prayer. The reader encounters a sending-off, of sorts. Boats disembark into the distance, and the speaker must watch them go. The piece holds the unknown in its awareness; elements that could be forceful-like water and wind-are wished to be gentle. As the speaker waves goodbye to her well-wishee, we are reminded of an important lesson:
that the freest way to let go is to do so with grace, trust, and humility.
(To hear Bill Murray read this accompanied by The Carnival of the Animals, click here.)
(at St. Mary's) may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear may you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back may you open your eyes to water water waving forever and may you in your innocence sail through this to that
Lucille Clifton blessing the boats