Explosions in the Temple: a Winter Meditation

Explosions in the Temple: a Winter Meditation

January 4th, 2014 (1 Comment)

“I hate winter!” a frustrated friend told me yesterday as she cleaned her car — after leaving a can of Pepsi there overnight. DSC06053 She reported that the frozen shards of sugary syrup had “exploded” everywhere !


Bone-chilling winter freezes us into place.

Mainly it is the young who experiment with wild excitement this season.

The horror of sticking tongues on metal-railings, hell-raising adventures,

Tempting fate with out-of-bounds skiing or being buried alive in snow-caves of their own making.


Have you elders noticed that the wild part of us comes alive in winter dreams

As we hibernate with our books under the soft down of luxury?

I wonder what is frozen, what is trying to get out at three o’clock in the morning?

What lost vistas attempt an escape from the confines of comfort?

I have discovered that winter fires flame these nether regions of my mind.

Unleashing wildness, smashing open each cold, unfeeling bar of aging compression.


Are you aware that winter’s restriction invites the unleashing of your heart?

That gated, guarded edifice that has often been glued stuck with pain’s nails and sorrows timbers.

Are you turning your back on that conscious bubble of fear?

The one that lurks around the opaque inner places, close-in on death?

How much easier it is to continue to climb the cultural ladder of success,

To grind upwards along on squeaky gears of consumption,

To ascend upwards and scan the horizon to inspect our neighbor’s spire.

To tremble with agitation as we watch her work and influence growing at furious pace.

But we elders, have learned how comparison kills,

How it steels our fractured self that grows wickedly strong in winter’s aloneness

Until it snaps in brokenness.

So we dig ourselves deeper into our private nests of warm comfort.


I wonder what religious ghost waits behind this picture of life?

I think of Jesus walking in the holy temple in cultural winter

Seeing the cold cash of mammon lying heaped in bountiful piles on the altar

While the wretched poor lie dying at the beautiful gates.

What mythical beast raised its head and roared that day?

Can you hear the echo in this winter’s silence?

Smashing down the iron gates of rational thought

And bursting across the imaginary line of reality into ten thousand words.


Sticky words that forcefully glue on the ceiling of your mind

And worry you to certain death?

Sharp jagged teeth of insight that pierce the dark membrane of awareness

and excite old nerves of passion.

Acupuncture needles of pointed blessing, perfectly placed

That rest in the contour of your body and awaken the dead.

Forget it – you will never be able to gently wipe away those fragments of buried feelings

That have balled themselves into an abscess of lost hope.


I believe that Jesus roars back to life Wild Woman God buried in me.

Outrageous, apostate freedom to be fully alive.

I sense the many-hued rainbow of writer’s words shattering the black and white boundary of faith.

Connecting the separateness of animal and tamed Spirit.

I welcome this sticky shrapnel of truth that divides the bone and marrow.

No longer sugary syrup, no longer toxic poison,

But barbed arrows, seeds,

Hope and love flying everywhere in the frosty night.


Will you hope with me that winter’s coldest, darkest moments will burst the shells of our human frailty and release all the winged seeds of our desire?

It is nature’s way.

Milk-weed pods must be dried, cracked, and opened.

Amaryllis and clivia blooms must be forced to rest with no water.

Desert-loving cactus will rot in a sunless, damp room.


Let’s welcome the exploding containers, those wild-eyed coyotes that roam our urban streets,

All those rampaging Jesus beasts that push beyond the fringe of simplistic thought and action.

Pray with me that this new wildness will burst into countless impossible reasons for faith,

That this winter will expose our fragility, freeze us solid and stiff,

Until our soul bones explode in their cry to live again.DSC06077



Carol Kortsch

January 2014


One Response

  1. Deb says:

    “I believe that Jesus roars back to life Wild Woman God buried in me.
    Outrageous, apostate freedom to be fully alive. . .”
    Me too.

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