The Feast of Epiphany – when wise ones followed a star, seeing in it the shape of things to come.
Poet Mary Karr stitches crucifixion and resurrection to a star (not her words) in a poem called Descending Theology: The Resurrection. I wonder if it is that same star, and I wonder whether the wise ones saw the shape of things to come in the star they followed.
I have stitched Mary Karr’s poem to a particular image of the star of Bethlehem. It is particularly three dimensional, with a reach not just from east to west, but in all directions – to all the nations. (In fact, it has 26 points – that makes a full alphabet for me.)
From the star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in – the black ice and squid ink –
till the hung flesh was empty.
Lonely even in that void even for pain,
he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse’s core, the stone fist
of his heart began to bang
on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled
back into that battered shape. Now
it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water
shatters at birth, rivering every way.
If you liked this poem you might also like Descending Theology: The Nativity, also by Mary Karr. There’s an interview with Mary Karr by Krista Tippett here. Here’s how to get instructions to make a Moravian star (as pictured).