Monday, August 24, 2009

One Year Ago

On Friday, 35 of us gathered at Trinity Cemetery on the first anniversary of the death of our sister, Ellen Porter, OSB. Her sister, niece and great-niece from Oregon came, as did two of our infirmary aides who worked with and then cared for Ellen during her last weeks. The rest of the group were "just us," her daily community: sisters, co-workers and friends, those who still think of her, miss her and wanted to join together in this remembrance.

Ellen, a fine, fine poet, leaves us with a treasury of her reflections. Here's one I like.


Faith requires new vision
though vision
long held or nascent
guarantees nothing.
Still, walking into
newly fashioned chapel space—
wood and glass
trees and water—
freshly seen,
we stir toward the sacred.

We sing first alleluias
choirs tossing tones to each other
face to face
and up to clerestory sky.

Then our voices quiet,
their praises received,
and we eye each other
tentatively in silence.
The building walls
singing, echoing,
fling our alleluias in return
up through vibrant air.

Our clerestory.
Photo by Charlotte Ann Zalot, OSB

For more of her beautiful insights, see the link at right.