Feast of St Mary Magdalene
Today the church kept the feast of St Mary Magdalene. I was happy to be preaching today; I've been fascinated for many years by the person and the experience of this woman who became the Apostle to the Apostles. The following is a poem I wrote about her in 2009 - I'd thought it was far more recently - and was the thought behind what I said in church. I did not, however, include the sentiment contained in the last line.
Talking with the gardener.
Is he real? and can I trust
the joy which sears across my soul
with such delicious pain?
The light is white, a curtain sparkling
so that I can barely look, can
hardly see the face I love.
Am I remembering? But the voice
which said my name – my given name –
it is the same, the cadences
which bring my heart to song each time.
My tears still well, the picture flows
and changes as the light refracts
– why do I weep? He asked me that
and yet I cannot bear to say
that what is joy for all the rest
is not enough without the touch
which now I know I cannot have.
I would not have run, that night
of horror when the others fled –
not while he still breathed and stood
and spoke and suffered with that kiss
which I could never give.
So what is real? Is this enough
to share with joy and tell the world
that death can have no final word?
I cannot say. I need to hold,
to smile, to talk, to love, to be –
the shadow moves. The joy recedes
becomes more patient, calmer now
and I, alone among the trees,
must share my moment with the rest
and know it is no longer mine.
But I was here. I loved. I lost.
C.M. Easter 09