Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Breathing Underwater

I built my house by the sea. Not on the sands, mind you; not on the shifting sand. And I built it of rock. A strong house by a strong sea. And we got well acquainted, the sea and I. Good neighbors.

Not that we spoke much.

We met in silences. Respectful, keeping our distance, but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.

Always, the fence of sand our barrier, always, the sand between. And then one day, and I still don’t know how it happened - the sea came. Without warning. Without welcome, even. Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine, less like the flow of water than the flow of blood. Slow, but coming. Slow, but flowing like an open wound. And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death. And while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door. And I knew, then, there was neither flight, nor death, nor drowning. That when the sea comes calling, you stop being neighbors, Well acquainted, friendly-at-a-distance neighbors, And you give your house for a coral castle, And you learn to breathe underwater.

-Sr. Carol Bieleck, RSCJ from an unpublished work

1 comment :

  1. The poem featured in this video, "Breathing Underwater," comes from an unpublished collection of poems from Carol Bialock. Fernwood Press is bringing out the new book on Carol's 90th birthday this next June. Email me ericmuhr at gmail dot com for a pdf of the manuscript. I'd love to have you read it and write about it / share it with others if you like what you find there. Her poems are powerful!