water poem mia wright feature
UU Church Today, Spirituality & Theology, Practice & Voice

What we can learn from water

Mia Wright was our Artist in Residence in May 2019. In collaboration with our ministers, worship team, programs and staff, Mia is engaging our community through her poetry and helping us find our power in words. On Sunday, May 19, she joined Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar and Carlton D. Pearson in services to share her poem, What We Can Learn from Water.

What We Can Learn from Water

a poem by Mia Wright

do not be afraid of rigid
moments in this life
for we all harden.
there is not enough warmth
to sustain us, but water
teaches leaves and rivers
each winter
to get still and let go:
of undulating in riverbeds
of painting the trees in brilliant green
of life as we know it.
encased in the silence
of icy immobility
is a promise of something new.
just wait.
you will thaw
and live, lush again.

gravity places her demands
on all of us —
it’s OK to go as you are pulled.
water shows us that
flow is consent,
not a passive submission.
it is the ultimate humility
to feel what’s real,
what’s right and necessary
in any moment and just
be present there.
you know, it’s no mistake
that “current” means
right now.

learn to mete yourself out
as your cloud of intuition advises.
decide what pieces of you
belong where and for how long.
let your droplets
kiss petals,
light up the earth
in mists or heavy downpour
according to what this
parched world needs.
but especially according
to what you can
freely give.

water says you are
an intricate system of force —
you are feather-light
and ton after ton
of pressure
aligned perfectly with
the moon.
so when it is right
and you are ready
go hard as the tides do.
your impact will be repaid
with possibility.

water gives us all
permission to leave.
whenever it is time.
never mourn a goodbye,
it says.
the beads of condensation
on your glass
have other places to be,
other purposes to serve,
and so do you.

the world sometimes is too much
and we are too much with it.
seasons will come in your life
when excess
is the only measurement.
you will well up with sorrow
or love or fear
until something inside you breaks.
not because you are weak
but because enough
is enough.
just flood.
weep or scream or speak
until you’re emptied,
allow your overflow to be
its own reckoning.
you will cleanse
what is contaminated.
you will kill
what must die so newness
can be born.
it’s all right.
breathe and open your eyes.
you just changed the world,
didn’t you?
the water says,
“you’re welcome.”

Connect with Mia at All Souls

Sunday, May 26
+ 10 a.m. Sunday Circle
+ 11:30 a.m. Children’s Chapel

Wednesday, May 29
+ Creating Women’s HERstory with the Women of All Souls
6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Artist in Residence Mia Wright will help us explore creative writing and poetry. Bring a dish that feeds your soul to share with others.

Tulsa native Mia Wright is a poet and educator. Her poems have appeared in The Girl God, Word RiotThis Land, Watershed, Living Arts Kubos-Tesseract Chapbook, and J’Parle‘. In addition to earning her MFA in Poetry from Boise State University, Mia won the Louder Than a Bomb’s Coach of the Year for her work with the Street School Slam Team in 2014. She is the mother of one amazing daughter, and a proud member of the All Souls family. Learn more about Mia and read her poetry on her blog at https://19poems.blog.

Previously, Mia shared her improvisational poetry on Sunday, January 22, 2017 as part of Rev. Marlin Lavanhar’s Creation in Action sermon in the Traditional service. Read her improv poetry and learn more about Mia here.

Read Mia’s contribution to The F Word series, Feminist? It’s Complicated.

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