I have many, many blessings to be grateful for even though I lost my husband a few weeks ago. He is with me still and I depend on him. He was also with me in 1998 when I began writing the songs that my pediatric patients sang. Even though he never fully understood the suffering that led to my transformation, he stood by me.
Happy Thanksgiving to my readers and subscribers. I depend on you too. Julia Burns
“Many O God are the wonders you have made.” Psalm 40 Spiritual Catharsis
Standing at the edge of the end of that year, the year of the angel’s garden visitation , the year of a thousand poems. Standing at the end of that year of emptying, I longed for a graduation, yearned for a celebration commemorating the death of a doctor, the birth of an artist and the life that was yet to come. The year one thousand poems erupted, I wanted to empty myself even more, wanted to make myself small, insignificant or maybe wanted to be swallowed by something larger than me and my one thousand prayers.
So I planned a trip to the grandest canyon, 1/7 wonder of the world. We journeyed west and I faced the abyss. Let the movement of the river cut me like it had that rock, six thousand feet deep ad into my soul. Swallow me and make me whole. Red clay, black rock river, canyon separate my spirit like the water did you. Allow my entry, then send me downriver and back home but not to my death.
Explorers run the river to see where it goes, to chart it’s path and to make history. I wrote one thousand poems to see where I was, to where I was going, to chart my path and maybe to make history. Navigating my raft through that muddy red river, letting the current pull me down, watching the white water sweep up and over my beloveds, dipping and swaying to the tug of the rapids dance, feeling the sun and wind burn my face, seer my heart and swell my soul, I knew that I am like that river, that I continue to create because like that rock I give way to the acid’s burning and cutting, give way to the sculpting and shaping of my soul.
I journeyed to the red, rock canyon to stand at the abyss, so I could stretch out over the ten mile expanse, climb to the falls and bath red dust off my breasts. Cleanse and release then repel back down the rocks and away. Standing at the edge, singing with the many in the garden, each alone, as the sun rose over the distant red walls, I walked with him and felt free; felt not diminished but part of something far greater than I could fathom. Held my daughter’s hand in mine as we sang to that huge crater, Christ the Lord is Risen today, hallelujah.
Stand at the edge of the abyss. Feel the wind, the water and the acid cut your soul and set you free. Celebrate the end of the year and your new beginning.