Monday, April 8, 2013

I Was Born To Love a Man Wrapped in Sunshine

Sunshine Days and Foggy Nights - - James Kavanaugh
I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.
I was born to find goblins in their caves
And chase moonlight
To see shadows and seek hidden rivers
To hear the rain fall on dry leaves
And chat a bit with death across foggy nights.
I was born to rub my hands in dirt
And walk green hills
To plant corn and make bread
To build a house strong against the wind
And to live free across sunshine days.
I was born to watch owls in dark forests
And hear coyotes cry
To feel trees tremble and the grass sleep
To taste cold air and smell the damp earth
And watch ghostly shapes disappear across foggy nights.
I was born to love a man wrapped in sunshine
And dressed in fog
To make a pact on a high hill
Ratified centuries ago by the sun
To walk together through sunshine days and foggy nights.

James Kavanaugh was a fascinating man. He served as a parish priest up until 1967, when he published a book called "A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church", in which Kavanaugh called for church reform on issues such as birth control, premarital sex, and marriage. Originally he intended to stay in his position in the Catholic Church after his book was published, but he quickly realized that he had been naive and left the priesthood. 

His title of his first book of poetry published after he left the church seems to say everything about his feelings toward the church: "There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves".

Throughout his life Kavanaugh called on people within the church (and outside it) to question authority and trust themselves. It was remarkable in the church environment, where unfaltering obedience was the unwritten law.

Kavanaugh continued to question everything and search for solutions that were not easy, but right. His words on self-help have stuck with me as some of the truest I've ever read:
"I burn all self-help books or tapes in which hyped heroes tell me how easy it is to put one's life together. I need those who are still wading through pain, who must struggle at times just to hang on. I don't believe in quick fixes and I'm outraged when anyone promises one."

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