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Faith, Hope, Charity

By Margaret Gibson Essay

AMMA IS COMING to live in Richmond,” Mom announced one night at the dinner table. Elizabeth and I looked at each other quickly. Which of us would have to give up her bedroom? Immediately I began constructing an argument in my mind, listing the reasons why Elizabeth’s room would be more suitable for Amma—it was farther…

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Feature: Fully Human

By Multiple Authors Essay

Art and the Religious Sense To say that someone is “only human” is to say two things at once. We mean that person is flawed—and that this condition is no more than we should expect. Yet for all our awareness of human frailty and venality, we are haunted by visions of human flourishing, fullness rather…

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Taking the Byzantine Path to Monastiri Aghiou Ioannou

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

You let your feet decide how to walk it, andante or andantino— only allow your breathing to become what wind is in the eucalyptus, now a susurrus, now a slow erasure of distractions. Cries from the soccer field and the street noise in Skala dissolve in the attention the stones require you give each footfall.…

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Lessons

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

To cure the hard habit of anger, eat an orange so slowly the juice spills from your fingers and waters the wild gladioli that purple the stones on high Kastelli. To learn patience, go with Ritsa to the little stoa of a shop in Skala, where old Pandalis weighs the small bags of chickpeas and…

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What Is Offered

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

Early light brightens the blue shutters, overspilling the foot of the bed we sleep in. It is quiet yet…deep and tidal when I hear the light say, You will not be given to do everything you want. I remain quiet, as nearly poised as the edge of salt in the air that fills the room.…

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Broken Cup

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

I’ve forgotten how it broke, the great cause or the petty cause that cracked the handle into three pieces and left me without a cup for morning coffee. In the cabinet, there were others of white porcelain, with steeply elegant lines, cups that matched their saucers. But my cup was Mexican, squat, and as round…

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Blessing

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

I know a woman who, when she hears wise words uttered, turns her palms upward. She’s as likely to place her hands on my shoulders, to comfort. None of it for show. Palms upward, she’s a basin. Palms downward, a wellspring, rain. May we be basin and well to each other. May we be rainlight…

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A Good Death

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

May you die as did that good man William Blake who, shortly before, broke into singing; before that, called his wife an angel and drew her, not just her face, but her whole and spiritual body. Closer to it, he said he would forever be near to care for her. After that, and after the…

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How Long the Long Winter

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

Awake in the middle of the night, the river cracked with language, the ice of it a heave of squares and oblongs. Only the waterfall, its cold spray frosting nearby juts of stone with lace, continued to tumble as if it would never cease to move and be. Once it was, we lay down together,…

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Middle Distance, Morning

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

One by one leaves spindle in the wind, the clock runs down, the cricket’s chirr continues. Each year I try to catch the moment the chirring ceases and silence takes on its winter timbre. Each year I miss. Doing nothing, poised for a flash from the Absolute, awaiting rest from unrest, I’m blessed by uncertainty,…

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