Saint Francis and the Sow

I am reading (rather, listening to, via Audiobooks because I get motion sickness if I read on the train) a book called Tattoos on the Heart. I've listened to it many times now and certainly listen to it again and again when I'm going through a rough time. It's written and read by a priest that transformed a church into a profitable business, hiring ex-gang members from rival gangs to work together. It's an emotional book at times, but also an inspiring one. How someone can transform themselves with a little push and a little encouragement, and then, how they can go onto do miraculous things, accomplish amazing feats, and then taking care of themselves afterwards. Sometimes they just need someone to beleive in them, someone to think that they are amazing, even when they don't feel that way. There was a passage from the book taken from this poem that I adore.... 

BY GALWAY KINNELL


The bud 
stands for all things, 
even for those things that don’t flower, 
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   
though sometimes it is necessary 
to reteach a thing its loveliness, 
to put a hand on its brow 
of the flower 
and retell it in words and in touch 
it is lovely 
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;   
as Saint Francis 
put his hand on the creased forehead 
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch   
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow   
began remembering all down her thick length,   
from the earthen snout all the way 
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,   
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine   
down through the great broken heart 
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering   
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them: 
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
Galway Kinnell, “Saint Francis and the Sow” from Three Books. Copyright © 2002 by Galway Kinnell. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved, www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com.

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