A Certain Slant of Light

August 16, 2018

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There’s a certain Slant of light,

Winter afternoons —

That oppresses, like the Heft

Of Cathedral Tunes —

—Emily Dickinson



Cathedral Tunes, oppressing. Wait, what?   I thought church was supposed to afford an escape from the weighty cares of the world?  True, the work of the church is to comfort the afflicted.  But the work of the church is also to afflict the comfortable, to take our too-blithe notions and apply pressure. Thus we grow, and we deepen, into greater usefulness to others.  The Heft of Cathedral Tunes.  An example springs to mind:



“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,  earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago.”



This heart-piercer is a Christmas song??  It continues, applying pressure.   A young mother worships the Beloved with a kiss, and how could life ever hurt this innocent baby?   Yet we know it will.  It seems Joy has a Heft to it, which must be carried.



Morning finds me in the house where I’ve lived for thirty-four years.  Not for the first time, I try to capture the stately dance of color on the dining room wall. Color, flooding my heart. Gratitude!  Revealed instead, the solemn hush of an empty chair. At the sight, absence presses down. I ponder awhile.  My heart grows deeper. It takes a certain slant of light.



Two more angles on Mystery, brought to you via my sister.  May they bring a smile!



“Oh, I am a pretty thing, inclined upon a flower!”




“Hi there!”

 —Kate Hambright, Beech Creek, August 2018

Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

3 thoughts on “A Certain Slant of Light”

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