"Reading and writing proceed from the same region of pleasure. That's what is mysterious. There is always the feeling that something has been found again, a fragment of human nature; or else that something has been saved. What fills me with joy is that this writing that was found again or saved with the instrument of writing is a life factor and not a death factor."
--Helene Cixous "Rootprints" page 98
I've gotten into the habit lately
of copying, editing, and printing out
everything you write to me.
Because I must keep you,
your spirit, your words, alive in the flesh with me.
Tangibly. Us together object/lively--even if you are not "here."
It's the only thing I can think to do
in the harsh cruelty of our geographic separation.
These printed devotionals are often emails,
but sometimes text messages.
I'm lucky when they come
in hand written cards.
You wrote me a poem once;
that one got formatted and printed
to fit on my altar.
It hit me this morning: this is what the disciples did
when Jesus died. It's the textual rendering of resurrection.
Such rendering can, as we know,
lead to reading legacies that spark
social movements for justice,
personal devotion, and worship.
They can also lead to faulty outsourcing of one's wisdom,
fundamentalism and dumb-ass obedience
to something no longer even slightly relevant.
You know what my prayer is, Marjorie?
As I look about these remnants of paper,
these scraps of testimony
documenting the years
we've ventured together...
you know what my prayer is?
That someone, preferrably young,
fed up and confused
but strong, delicate and on-the-verge
of becoming a womyn
like Walker or Soelle or Rivera-Rivera
finds our correspondence
and thinks to herself--
wow, look how the love between them
took on a life of its own which deepened
only to deepen some more.
Look at how it made them curious,
trusting and awe-struck,
and how it saved them when
life crumbled into chaotic little piles.
Look at how their love gave them life.
And then I hope she puts those texts down
and gets busy finding and doing love
in her own ways with her own kind of lovers
inspired by, but not obsessed with, us
only to pick our pages up again
when she forgets and needs reminding
that love has no script, no preordained form to mimic
only traces of its power in those who have gone before
and invitations in the desire we feel right now
to take our impossible place
on her delightful and terrifying stage
for the sake of her eternal reign.