Power of Choice

I spilled coffee all over Emily this morning. Drat. What a mess. She’s all right. Probably didn’t even notice. She’s on such a hellcat rebellious streak these days.

#508, c. 1862

I’m ceded — I’ve stopped being Theirs —
The name They dropped upon my face
With water, the country church
Is finished using, now,
And They can put it with my Dolls,
My childhood, and the shining of spools,
I’ve finished threading — too —

Baptized, before, without the choice,
But this time, consciously, of Grace —
Unto supremest name —
Called to my full — the Crescent dropped —
Existence’s whole Arc, filled up,
With one small Diadem.

My second Rank — too small the first —
Crowned — Crowing on my Father’s breast —
A half unconscious Queen —
But this time — Adequate — Erect,
With Will to choose, or to reject,
And I choose, just a Crown —

The power of choice seems like such a simple thing. To name yourself. To retrieve ownership of yourself from your parents, church, all sorts of expectations. This is the true liberation theology. The sort of choice that some never make. Most of us progress through our entire lives without ever seeing how much our actions are determined by people who came before us, many of them either dead or unknown to us. Yet, we live in that influence without questioning.

Others effortlessly define themselves. Practically from the first moment of birth, such blessed children make powerful choices and cut their own path. See the world and use it according to their own will.

Then there are others, the smaller group who sense the weight of the shackles. They intuit the power of choice. But they have to get there by staging their own liberation drama. It might be as easy as standing up and walking out the door. What if it was that easy, but you didn’t know it? You’d have to bring your awareness fully into the contrast between restraint and freedom. That tension creates the opening for poems to emerge.

Restraint is the whetstone that sharpens the soul. Emily’s soul became like a scalpel cutting through the ties that held her. All to arrive at simple choice, a place of stable contemplation, of knowing her own mind and making decisions based on that inner clarity. This embrace of the invisible Grace, in order to be genuine, must have an inner motive untainted by influence. That includes abandoning other people. The power of choice is lonely.

Emily choses a crown and anoints herself queen of her own life. What moxie that girl has.

Status report: The “Bless You Boys” threw a net over the Falcons yesterday. But it was not a comfortable win. Still 13 and 0 is nothing to sneeze at. We are getting so spoiled now. How many more miracles can we take before the bill comes due? Is there a debt owed here? I can’t stand it.

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