I’ve searched for you among the solemn echoes, the whisperings of yesterday, tomorrow’s hope; looked to find my own more glorious self among the pages of unwritten hours, reflected back in rhythms and designs, in the patterns and the myths of ancient folk.
I sought my true beloved in the city, where I rose up from my mother’s house. I sought my own beloved in the dampened ground, where the dreams of my dear father hopeful rest. I sought my sweet beloved in a heart torn open wide where walls were once, to hold him captive, built.
The sun soon sets among these ruined temples, as I wander with the watchers, holy ones who hold the Morning Star between the palms of folded hands and wring out their prayers over the patient stones. Wandering among these pools of grace I seek the face of my own soul’s true love. I bathe my eyes beneath the solemn stream, open them to see your winking smile.
I gather myself to you in the empty space beneath the mantle of this gentling sky, gaze upon these heavens, swiftly turning, listen for the promised cry. Beneath the surface of the skin something near-unbearable that sweetly tears awakes.
Alone, and not alone, I sorely rake this last light across remembered skin, shed so that at last I leave behind my falsehoods, this un-self that once denied. I stand here captivated as the shadows grow, considered by the passage of the skies who regard me, fleetingly and unimpressed, and yet are patient with me nonetheless.
What peace is greater than the sum of joys unencumbered by these dreadful burdens, or remembered when I’m bare enough to stand, and to behold this new in-breaking thing in the hour when the world is met in truth, and not just merely as it seems to be, and the turning count of suns recounts the tale —the truth of our affliction, and our transient woe?
Become that which may—still and silent—be laid bare, a vessel for a radiant word; here, where darkness can’t abide for long and where your ghosts can sweetly play freed among these tents from sorrow’s hold. Freed from fears which hammer, fears that pound, that pierce, fears that split, that strike.
Here where love burns quietly, stills the madness of this earthly life; while our walls that, crumbling, tumble to release us from our prisons duly made. The stars bear down to look us in the eyes and assert their place, their parentage, their cause. Be that which laughter is and golden joy, a bended knee against the sword’s last edge; here, where victory is won by peace alone, and angels dancing ‘round their tongues of fire.
Br. Karekin Yarian, BSG lives in San Francisco, providing a ministry of spiritual direction to local clergy and laity across a variety of denominations. He is an author, poet, and social activist in addition to his involvement in Sacred Space SF, an outreach ministry in the Castro’s LGBT* community. He also works for San Francisco Night Ministry, and is the Brother Protector for a religious community in formation — The Companions of Dorothy the Worker — an ecumenical order founded to serve the queer community, and named for Dorothy Day. His book In Love and Service Bound chronicles the first forty years of the Brotherhood. His parish is Saint John the Evangelist, where he is an occasional preacher. He lives with his husband, Anthony, and their two dogs, and is the subject of the award-winning documentary film Changing Habits directed by Sarah Needham. He is known on social media as PunkMonk, San Francisco.