This Much is Clear - S. Renée Mitchell

Resonance Ensemble's Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell performed this original work at the second concert of our ninth season. The concert took place at First Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst. 300+ people were moved deeply by these words.

this much is clear god is in this place offering forgiveness
— S. Renée Mitchell

This Much Is Clear
(c) 2018 S. Renee Mitchell

this much is clear
god is in this place
laughing
singing
lurking
within the stanzas
recited from
rumi
tukaram
hafiz

would you accuse
me dear one
of sprinkling cayenne
on my tongue
for acknowledging
a form of god within me
playing paddycake
with open palms
and unguarded hearts
trying to bake love
as fast as we can
this much is clear
god is in this place
offering forgiveness
for the blasphemous thought
that we are eternally incomplete
when divine grace and power
is ours for the asking

is god not big enough
to be spoken
with every dialect & tongue
is not this being of light
rejoicing over the beauty
of each name assigned
Lord
Yehweh
Jehovah
Allah
Abba father
King of kings

are our arms not wide enough
to embrace our differences
and acknowledge light
unfolding from darker limbs
reaching for common understanding
must that question of commitment
require a conscious choice

this much is clear
god is in this place
eternal and immortal
willing to hold each of us
in all of our complexities
within a full embrace
withholding nothing
excluding nothing
encircling every pain
and heartbreak
singed into the fiber of our beings
in order to transform it
in the light of gods affection

is not the purpose of our souls
to awaken our hearts
to what is already inside of us
how can we ever find peace
if we are not first peaceful within
how can we ever truly speak of love
with tongue tied rebellions
false truths
and heavily breathing bigotry
that favors walls instead of bridges

where else will we find god
if not amongst the renaissance
that emerges from our ruins
we are humans after all
presbyterian, christian, baptist
muslim, jew, native, immigrant
white, black, brown, nonbinary
undocumented, unchurched
imperfect each one of us
how could our souls not need god

fortunately for us
this much is clear
god is in this place
look
look
please look
no
not around

look deeply within

ABOUT S. RENEE MITCHELL

S. Renee Mitchell, POET IN RESIDENCE, is a published author, curriculum designer, community activist and multi-media artist. She also is a sur\thriver who has found her life purpose since disentangling from bullying, sexual assault and domestic violence. After 25 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist - where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize - Renee reinvented herself as a Creative Revolutionist; co-founded a culturally specific, drop-in DV resource center; and began gifting her talents to community as a poet, playwright, performer, speaker, teaching artist and self-taught graphic designer in order to create and contribute to empowering projects and programs, community healing ceremonies, plays, songs and books about healing from trauma. Motivated by intention and heart, Renee’s deepest desire is to help others use their creativity to let go, gather up and move on in order to find themselves, their voice, and their place in the world. You can find out more about Renee’s work at ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com.

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