Beyond the shore of space: The Annunciation #dmingml

Maggi Dawn gave our DMin GML students the background to her stunning new book (an exploration of the Christianity embedded in so much of art and culture that most people are unaware of), before taking us through an exploration of the Annunciation.

What would have been a series of strange paintings, and poems that I might have appreciated for their beauty and colour, and use of language, came alive, as I was able to read/de-code/re-code and enter into the art.

By the time we got to the poem below by Edwin Muir, I was moved to tears.  The possibility of an Angel who may have come to Mary after many others had said no, with all of creation and heaven hushed and listening for Mary's answer was palpable for me.  And when Mary said yes, the creator of the universe, by the Spirit forming Christ in Mary, a cosmic and eternal event, in the space of the womb of an unknown peasant girl....moved me to worship, and felt myself translated for a moment into a story of the fabric of creation .

There are two pieces of art in this post. One makes me feel the immediacy and intimacy of Gabriel in with Mary, the other furnishes my imagination my love of science, of what the Annunciation might have looked like from a galactic perspective.

The angel and the girl are met, Edwin Muir (1887-1959)

                                 Earth was the only meeting place. 
                                   For the embodied never yet
                               Travelled beyond the shore of space. 
                                 The eternal spirits in freedom go. 

                                See, they have come together, see, 
                                While the destroying minutes flow, 
                                   Each reflects the other's face
                                 Till heaven in hers and earth in his
                                Shine steady there. He's come to her
                                 From far beyond the farthest star, 
                                Feathered through time. Immediacy
                                Of strangest strangeness is the bliss
                              That from their limbs all movement takes. 
                                 Yet the increasing rapture brings
                                 So great a wonder that it makess
                                 Each feather tremble on his wings

                                 Outside the window footsteps fall
                                      Into the ordinary day
                                  And with the sun along the wall
                                   Pursue their unreturning way
                                  Sound's perpetual roundabout
                                  Rolls its numbered octaves out
                                And hoarsely grinds its battered tune

                                 But through the endless afternoon
                              These neither speak nor movement make. 
                                But stare into their deepening trance
                                As if their grace would never break