Book of Mercy
strengthening themselves to kindle the lights of repentance.
Y OU WHO QUESTION SOULS , and you to whom souls must answer, do not cut off the soul of my son on my account. Let the strength of his childhood lead him to you, and the joy of his body stand him upright in your eyes. May he discern my prayer for him, and to whom it is uttered, and in what shame. I received the living waters and I held them in a stagnant pool. I was taught but I did not teach. I was loved but I did not love. I weakened the name that spoke me, and I chased the light with my own understanding. Whisper in his ear. Direct him to a place of learning. Illuminate his child’s belief in mightiness. Rescue him from those who want him with no soul, whohave their channels in the bedrooms of the rich and poor, to draw the children into death. Let him see me coming back. Allow us to bring forth our souls together to make a place for your name. If I am too late, redeem my yearning in his heart, bless him with a soul that remembers you, that he may uncover it with careful husbandry. They who wish to devour him have grown powerful on my idleness. They have a number for him, and a chain. Let him see them withered in the light of your name. Let him see their dead kingdom from the mountain of your word. Stand him up upon his soul, bless him with the truth of manhood.
Y OU ARE WITH ME STILL. Even though I have been removed, and my place does not recognize me. Even though I have filled my heart with stones. And my beloved says,
I will wait a little while behind this curtain – no, I have waited too long.
You are with me still. Though I scorched away the tears of return in the forced light of victory, your rebuke stillcomforts me, you signify yourself among the dangers. Saying,
Use this fear to know me, fix this exile toward my return.
Though I am unwept, it is your judgement parches me. Though my praises for you are under ban, it is the balance of your mercy. And you are with me still. Saying,
Search this out, it is you who have hidden yourself.
Clear me in your troubled heart.
I will come to you.
I am here.
Though I add membrane to membrane against your light, and heap up cities on the husk of your rebuke, when the sun and the moon are shining in the other pan, and you advance me through the solitude by such a kind degree, and you create the world before my eyes, and the one who hides in self-disgrace cannot say Amen, O slow to anger, you are with me, you are with me still.
I TURNED YOU TO STONE. You stepped outside the stone. I turned you to desire. You saw me touch myself. I turned you into a tradition. The tradition devoured its children. I turned you to loneliness, and it corrupted into a vehicle of power. I turned you into a silence which became a roar of accusation. If it be your will, accept the longing truth beneath this wild activity. Open me, O heart of truth, hollow out the stone, let your Bride fulfil this loneliness. I have no other hope, no other moves. This is my offering of incense. This is what I wish to burn, my darkness with no blemish, my ignorance with no flaw. Bind me to your will, bind me with these threads of sorrow, and gather me out of the afternoon where I have torn my soul on twenty monstrous altars, offering all things but myself.
T HOUGH I DON’T BELIEVE , I come to you now, and I lift my doubt to your mercy. Under the scorn of my own pride I open my mouth to ask you again: Make an end to these harsh preparations. I made a crown for myself with your blessings, and you locked me down to self-mockery. You said, ‘Study the world that is without me, this wild degree of solitude.’ I covered up the path of desire and I overthrew the bridge of tears, and I prepared the wildernesson which the Accuser walks. The Accuser has no song, and he has no tears. Speak to me again. Speak to my words. Give this ghost the form of tears, that he move from nothing to sorrow, into Creation, even winter, even loss, that he have weight, that he be placed. Discover him in tears and make a place for his longing. Behold him in your court, one who upholds the throne of praises. Where have I been? I gave the world to the Accuser. Where do I go? I go to ask for pardon from the Most High.
I T IS ALL AROUND ME, THE darkness. You are my only shield. Your name is my only light. What love I have, your law is the source, this dead love that remembers only its name, yet the name is enough to open itself like a
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