This was written more than a year ago, and I wanted to revisit this post and thought you too might appreciate the sentiment for family and poetry that resonates with the divine. God bless you my friends!
photo © Dorothy Alexander
Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, on June 27, 1936. Her first book of poems, Good Times, was rated one of the best books of the year by the New York Times in 1969.
Clifton remained employed in state and federal government positions until 1971, when she became a writer in residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland, where she completed two collections: Good News About the Earth (1972) and An Ordinary Woman (1974).
blessing the boats
by Lucille Clifton
(at St. Mary’s)
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back
may you open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
This was my third Jones Lewis Family reunion celebrated with my husband’s side of the family in Baltimore, Maryland; Dougie and Janice did an exemplary job as our host family from the start of the weekend through Sunday farewell gathering afternoon spent in their backyard.
Truly it was a memorable occassion and quite a whirlwind weekend filled with cutural and family appreciation. New connections were made, conversations had with favorite family members, laughter and lamenting opportunities had while we meander through the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.
Why I never thought about Art History and eventually becoming a curator is beyond me? I love visiting museums, truly it’s a great meeting place, and yes there’s history, culture and art under one roof.
This was my second visit to this fine museum, but this moment provided me with an opportunity to journey through the exhibit A People’s Geography. As my husband entertained and chased little Courtney around the museum, I eventually caught up with them in the gallery that featured A People’s Geography: The Spaces of American Life and there was Lucille Clifton’s blessing the boats poem painted on the wall.
There I stood transfixed rereading her blessing. I felt the words were as powerful as the beautiful quilts, the artistic impressions and the historical video.
I thanked God for how eloquent and appropriate Ms. Clifton’s words were for this family sojourn. These were words were stenciled not only on this wall, but in my heart. These are words that captivated my soul-words meant for our time, our ancestors and the generations yet to be born; words that were a blessings for any visitor, any traveler to behold.
Here we were in the midst of this celebration of family and culture, why it couldn’t have occurred in a more appropriate setting! Thank you and may God continue to keep you Sister Lucille!
Every Word of God is pure;
he is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
Joyfully Resubmitted by :
Linda Mose Meadows, Author & Columnist
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises
All rights reserved, no use without prior written permission of Linda M. Meadows