Escape Velocity

In order to achieve escape velocity
I reduced my speed to zero.

It didn’t take long;
No time at all
Plus 20 years of dithering about

When suddenly, when I slowed down
And all the buildings, cars and pseudo-opportunities sped up
I stood still in the searing silent blur
And all of it was gone.

Miraculously fallen into sheer irrelevance
And all the sky above was laughing wild
And the hills un-concreted
Tore off their urban clothes
And glowed with glory at the rising moon.

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage
It seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter
On our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said
‘What marvels the Lord works for them!’
What marvels the Lord worked for us
Indeed we were glad.

If the Lord does not build the house
In vain do its builders labour.
If the Lord guards not the city
In vain do the watchmen stare.

Oh you who toil for the bread you eat
In vain is your endless labour
When the Lord pours gifts on those he loves
As they go to their beds and slumber.

The day I achieved escape velocity
I stood on your Holy Hill
And lifting my eyes to the Hill of the Moon
I heard Your Holy Will.

Sarah de Nordwall September 12th 2007

Written at Holy Hill Hermitage, County Sligo, Ireland, just beside the Hill of the Moon, under Ox Mountain.

‘Escape velocity’ is the speed needed to “break free” from a gravitational field without further propulsion. In practice the escape velocity sets the bar for any rocket aiming to bring a satellite beyond the orbit of the earth. (Wikipedia)

The verses from ‘When the Lord delivered Zion’, to ‘as they go to their beds and slumber’ are a very slightly re-worked version of Psalm 127.