Over the past year or so, C., at Distinctly Praise the Years, has been writing what I only know to call a hymnography of embodiment, sublime, intimate, joyful and aching. Her latest posts are beyond my meager powers of description. I simply bow in her direction, in respect, and as a way of pointing you towards her.

Plans changed as my surgeons revised their procedure and recovery outlook.  My mother would come, then my youngest sister, my other sisters following in succession as needed.

Two of the three teams would be working along the nerve that controls my vocal chords.  The biggest risk, beyond the obvious worst, was the loss of my voice.  I made a point of recording a recitation the week prior.  And on the way to the hospital–by foot, by dawn–my mom and I sang every song of my childhood: Bob Dylan, Stevie Nix, our old hymns, and the songs she wrote as a then-twenty-something in braids.

My love and his mother, who had driven up the night prior, met us at the stairs.  A slow square dance of long embraces until the security guard checked her watch, said, “Hon, if you’re the 6.30 pre-op you better git.  They been pagin’ for you.”…

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Luther on Death and Resurrection

That which baptism signifies, operates as long as we live, i.e., every day we die, and every day we rise again.  We die, I say, not merely mentally and spiritually, in that we renounce the sins and vanities of the world; but, rather, we begin in fact to leave this mortal body and to lay hold on the future life . . . You must understand baptism to mean something by which evermore you die and live; and, therefore, whether you use the confessional, or any other means of grace, you must still return to the very power that baptism exercises, and begin again to do what you were baptized for, and what your baptism signified . . .  Although you only receive the sacrament of baptism once, you are continually baptized anew by faith, always dying and yet ever living . . .  All our experience of life should…

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