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All I Can Capture 2010

Janet Kuypers
(poetry converted to prose)

    I’ve read the New Testament, tried to plough through the Old, I would read my sister’s prayer book at night, in bed, just before sleep: because if you do it then, just before you’re drifting to sleep maybe that’s when He’ll sneak in to catch you.
    so this is what I was supposed to believe so I read.
    and I waited for God’s Hand to come down and take me. I waited for the metaphysical lightening bolt, but night after night I would still turn off the light and sleep with only me to guide me.
    I decided to separate myself from the world placing a camera between us, to look through my viewfinder and capture everything, create nice glossy prints.
    I’d look for God in the refracted light coming down from the broken stained glass windows, delineated with lines of lead from the desanctified church... but I should know better to look for God in a desanctified church (like he would go there).
    pulling the camera to my eye I would photograph the giant mural of Jesus stand before the looming church organ, tap a few keys listen for the reverberation before walking away.
    then look for diving majesty in the mountains, try to climb one of the Alps through the snow in my sandals. photograph the Tetons from my driver’s seat in my car... but all I was doing was looking for God in plate tectonic shifts.
    but I look anyway and couldn’t find Him. as I look into the chasms of the Grand Canyon, even in Bryce and the Arches, take pictures... hope for something more divine than nature’s beauty to come to me from deep down below
    I’ll even walk down the Canyon if He won’t come up to me. I’ll go to Him if He’s hiding.
    you want me to meet you half way? fine. I’ll even look up to the sky, photograph the clouds, the moon, but even the moon is slipping away as its orbit from Earth pulls it away from me an inch and a half every year
    even the heavens are getting farther and farther away from me.
    so I’ve gone toward the Arctic Circle, photographed the dancing, prancing majestic beauty of the Aurora Borealis. stood bundled, shivering from the frigid Alaska air.
    but I know better geomagnetic aberrations are beautiful but not Godly.
    I’ve even photographed Michael Jordan playing basketball, or George Michael singing on stage, but whenever I’ve seen pop stars and sports icons thank God for their successes I never catch Him on film. all I can capture is human talent and ability.
    I’ve looked to the majesty of nature. I’ve looked to the majesty of man.
    I’ve taken my camera, pointed, shot.
    tried to catch Him. tried to get a glimpse of God.
    a shadow. even an illusion.
    but I couldn’t even find that.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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