Needing inspiration for a retreat, I am revisiting Mags Blackie’s Rooted In Love. I have been spending time with her chapter ten, When Things Are Tough, which addresses old wounds, haunting feelings, painful relationships, — and redemption.

The poem I read yesterday speaks for itself. It comes from another book of hers, Through the Unknown Remembered Gate. I share it here, with her permission. May it speak to you as it does to me

Knowledge is dangerous.
I am beginning to understand
the extent of the paralysis
caused by events of the past.
I think I have finally identified the ghosts.
I recognise the web of sin
that has trapped my body and soul.
I know that in such recognition
lies my redemption.
But memories stir
and a gamut of emotion is evoked.
I know my mind has distorted
the original events, and they
are now frozen in a place beyond truth,
the twisted facts layered over by
years of crippled response.
Who said what to whom
and who did what when
is no longer the key to
disarm the tangled mess.
In the midst of it all
salvation comes in an unlikely guise.
A man, a god, holding it all together,
holding us all together –
in the tortuous silence of unnamed grief.
He was there all along, and none of us knew.
The tangled web of grief and hurt,
of silence and deceit,
bind him more strongly to us
than the nails in the crucifix –
the pain no less agonising.
But there is hope,
there will be redemption.
I am still ensnared
but that consciousness releases power.
The scars will remain
but the paralysis is receding.
n the meantime while movement returns
and the blood flow is restored
the tissue cries out in agony.
Redemption comes
at great cost.

Margaret Blackie, Through the Unknown Remembered Gate. New Voice Publishing: Cape Town. 2008. p. 121


Illustration: Banksy, of course. Girl with balloons.