Foot Washing by Rebecca Brewin

Benvenuto Tisi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

But it is something else to find forgiveness
how it comes by a route that circles outwards folding over itself
before it returns layer by layer through the ground
I heard this from you who had been there
as water coiled from the jug and over
your feet into the bowl

As next you entwined around mine the towel
and dried my soles I found all the lines that run through me
as they strain to iron out the story
yet then in the way a thigh becomes a knee becomes an ankle
we were bending down in turn
into something that felt – how

I lay on that land for a long time wanting to get the story straight
but it took another long time to learn
that the surface on which I lay
breathed under the landscape of me
as it touched and rose and the tales that find
their way through ground are not straight

Nor are the lines of my body
my legs and arms or breasts and feet
nor are the lines of your body come to think of it not one is straight
I remember your right foot turns outwards when you are walking
while one ear lives higher than the
other in its curves and hollows

Like a path that takes shape under our whispers and prayers
that shoulders our feet as we listen and where
the horizon loosens like when water seeps
under a painter’s brush
and forgiven we tread a landscape without borders
often found in silence and sleep

Rebecca Brewin is a movement practitioner, artist and poet. She is a yoga teacher in the approach of Vanda Scaravelli, which she combines with her writing and contemplative practice. She is a long time meditator with the WCCM and was part of a team of volunteers in the early stages of the community at Bonnevaux. She lives in Frome in Somerset, in a wooden wagon which she recently built with a friend.

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