I wonder what were the justifications in Pharaoh's mind
that he wouldn't let the Israelites go?
what did he tell himself in the quiet of the night
pondering his options?
I have some sympathy for his plight.
that we have learned our lessons about owning people.
but let us look, shall we, to our own house?
wrapping expectation and obligation
like vines around trees
slowly strangling the life out of the people we love
until they cannot catch the sunlight
choking off their oxygen supply
until like animals cornered they lash out.
Children, lovers, friends, colleagues
brothers, sisters, parents, neighbors
we pin them in neat little boxes
and tape them shut
expecting them not to claw their way out
surprised when they cut us in the process.
I sat last night thinking about this
and the Lord said
You are still exalting yourself against my people,
and will not let them go
but I am weary of the plagues and calamities
so let me open my hands.
blessings on your journey.
"I know by now that the love of ghosts in not expectant, and I am coming to that. This Virgie of mine, this newfound"Virge," is the last care of my life, and I know the ignorance I must cherish him in. I must care of him as I care for a wildflower or a singing bird, no terms, no expectations, as finally I care for Port William and the ones who have been her with me. I want to leave her openhanded, with only the ancient blessing, 'Good-bye. My love to you all.'"
~Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter