From the Minister
I recently reread Jo Harjo’s marvelous poem Remember. It starts out linking us to Universe beyond Earth:
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time….
Like many indigenous prayers and invocations,
Remember then proceeds through a diverse series of things that need to be remembered: one’s birth, ancestors, varieties of soil and all living things (not just their species but the “tribes” they belong to as social beings). “Talk to them, listen to them,” she advises. “They are alive poems.”
Then the list resumes with climate – wind – and shifts to repetition of the ways we are part of all of this and this is part of us before concluding:
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
It’s no surprise I relate to this poem. Much of what you expect of CVUUS is to remind you of what you already believe you know through experience, the received wisdom of others, or faith. Remember, I preach. Remember, the chalice says. Remember this as we sing together, or make a financial offering to share with others, or snack and greet each other in the Fellowship Hall. Now, we can think about the implications for how we will be together in the spirit of Life-giving Love.
But this time when I read Remember, one other thought came to me. There is a more messy type of remembering, best thought of as re-membering. Literally, pulling pieces of a body that have been severed back together again, rearranging what is part of the body, embracing new pieces (or guiding principles?) to make the body a more integrated whole. It’s part of living with and for integrity. For so many reasons, I think it’s a big part of what we are working on this year at CVUUS after three years of pandemic and with some big transitions ahead of us.
May the sweeping, deeply spiritual vision of unity with all creation in Harjo’s poem guide us through the re-membering. Blessed be, Rev. B