St. Thomas Episcopal Church | Medina


Thoughts and Happenings

Sharing Our Stories: Friday Edition (10/09)

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Sharing Our Stories: Friday Edition (10/09)

This was an email originally sent out to the parish on Friday, October 9, 2020.

Hi friends:

Here are the latest group of stories we have collected. This is a wonderful way for us to stay connected with one another and to accompany one another on this journey. We would love to have YOUR story. Check out the broad guidelines HERE.  And if you have already submitted a story, please let us have another one!

Poem by Shirley E. Deffenbaugh

Sitting with Solitude: Reflections

Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice . . .
we dwell in the shadow of the Infinite.
— C.S. Lewis


In a Genesis moment, the virus becomes,
hidden and unknown, a subterranean trickle.
Its first showing, a bubbling rill in the far
away, too far away to threaten, lulls us until
the stream morphs into a river, then many rivers,
until, like River Okeanos, it encircles the earth.
Novel coronavirus surges over every shore, swirls
under every door.


A dark veil shuttered the globe, as if
Christo had unfurled bolts of black
silk, a diaphanous pall encasing us
in fear and angst. A herculean silence befell,
and stillness rippled throughout the planet
as the pandemic engulfed earth.


Afloat in a sea of uncertainty, I am
a leaf adrift on an ocean, captive
of a cosmic force beyond myself, beyond
control, beyond choice, beyond human
power, swept into a biblical immensity like
the creation, the exile, the famine, the ten
plagues of Egypt. Mysterium tremendum
wholly other, wholly terror.

Quarantined, I conjure frights . . . the descent
into the Maelstrom, no exit, the plague, waiting
for Godot, an untethered astronaut floating
in outer space . . . my spine ices.

Coronavirus: a chilling reality, a deadly new
presence with its own order, the killer
we confront daily.

Each day given a singularity. I choose
the contemplative’s path, but I
must traverse the way. Meandering,
I discover other seekers’ cairns,
stones speaking to those who pause –
Jung’s call to awaken . . . Jane
Hirshfield’s “yes” to the unwanted . . .
Václav Havel’s faith that good
inheres . . . Tocqueville’s transformative
stillness . . . Thomas Merton’s prayers . . . 
Thoreau’s pond . . . a flicker’s
fleeting orange . . .

In the shadow of the Infinite,
I sit with solitude,
like a student who seeks lessons
from a Zen master.

— Shirley E. Deffenbaugh