A Constant Sharpening of Swords
The demons are quiet tonight.
For a week or more, they have been at bay,
the days and nights bright with color,
the song of birds uninterrupted with war.
It is a good place, peace, strange and uncertain,
a place both wonderful, and you have learned,
There is no rest in it.
It is in peace you prepare yourself.
That is the lesson you have learned.
You fill your mind with truths.
You gird yourself with Paul’s armor.
You sharpen your sword, burnish your shield,
You cannot afford the weakness of normalcy.
For you know the demons well.
You know they have not surrendered.
They too are resting, licking their wounds
and sharpening their swords,
sure you will let down your guard
and once again, fall,
become their prisoner, their victim,
another notch in their belt of lies.
another story of a journey gone awry.
But yours is the saga of Odyessus,
failed, detoured, damaged and worn,
but always fighting for the right to simply live and love.
And if peace is not your lot, so be it.
Neither is death.
About this poem.
It’s been a good week. I am grateful, and wary. That’s what depression does to you.
If you are not familiar with Paul’s armor, it comes from his letter to the Ephesians. Chapter six: “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
There’s wisdom there, no matter what God you worship. Fighting battles alone and unarmed is sure death, whatever the battle.
The picture is of a Greek model made for a larger statue of a River God. It’s only a foot or so tall, but I love the ferociousness of it. Day to day it lives at the Hyde Museum in Glens Falls, NY.