Kyrie for the Christmas Island Refugees

Last night, far away, there was a shipwreck on Christmas Island, a boatfull of refugees capsizing and breaking up and the people looking down, some weeping while they saw everyone drown.

How dangerous then to want freedom, to put out with trimmed sails, hope in your eyes, climbing the mast to discern circling birds, sign of land– how dangerous to be a mother stepping into a boat with an infant, a frail boat that is tossed like a wet feather– a pulling under, a letting go: do the fish then dance on their bright tails?

I would celebrate with tiny lights and music were it not for the manifold sorrows of my sisters and brothers on this day where safely on land I type away into the morning sipping dark coffee.

Viriginia Woolf walked into the sea, her pockets laden with stones; she gave herself to the sea when she could look at war-torn England no longer  The sea is our mother devourer even as we come into the world on a tide.  Weeping is a tide that comes when we look directly at someone drowning, their arms reaching for a ladder.

I lack a ladder but would press my heart against the scrim of this day in Advent, giving myself to belief; that a star hanging in the East at dusk shines for me.

But for whom do the stars shine.  The mariners?  The lost?  The hungry children with the steady and huge eyes?  Am I spared, or is there a sea and a night waiting where I will drown?  Can we not go down into the depthless current together?

Whose hands spread a blanket over sorrow and whose cradle the dying,  whose voice whisper reassurances.  Where is that One we imagine who comes in gilded mystery unto us in the depths of the midnight.

We swim out to sea, each of us, battling high tide to take our place in the briny water, singing until the last.  We sing until the last and as we are taken and the water seals itself over our heads, in our underwater delirium a faint kyrie from our mouths.

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