The Town Bell

Today’s fast one is about the verb
not the kind that makes things go
but the kind that holds us together
in its circle of sound

Today a client shared something she learned
back when she was living in France
It was about the town bell
the one that rang at what seemed like odd times

These times once marked when to enter the field
when to take a lunch break
and when to leave the day’s work
head home for an evening around a fire perhaps

Now the bell’s sounds were quaint, misplaced
but once, the community was defined
by who could hear its call, whether it was heeded or not
By who could hear its call

If you could hear the bell
you were in the fold
if you could hear the bell
you belonged, even if you were a stranger, an outsider

For what are we all but strangers, outsiders
inside or beyond the verb of the bell
the reverberation, the jangling
the clanging, the vibrations that hold us together

And we are find ourselves, in the fields
or in the office, in the kitchen or the playroom or the boardroom
or the hospital room, in the light or the dark
listening for the bell to tell us what time it is

Then she went on with the story
and told me what she learned in a book
How the townspeople all brought their scrap metal
and the metal was smelted together

And I found myself thinking: melted, smelted
But what really struck me
was that everyone contributed to the bell-making,
to the work, to the rest, to the soup, to the circle

And I thought, yes, yes, this is what we need
we need smelted metal
we need scraps
we need a big fire that blends all that we discard

And the blend becomes the music that calls us out
and calls us home
and the ringing itself becomes the verb that catches us
no matter how close to the edge we may be

Posted in: Uncategorized

8 thoughts on “The Town Bell

  1. Meg Casey says:

    What a gorgeous image…a beautiful sound. The bell–calling us all into community through its creation…Through its ringing…

    Like

  2. bella says:

    What did I do before you were part of my tribe?
    THank-you for being the one ringing the bell right now.
    I needed to hear it.
    love you.

    Like

  3. Holly says:

    this is so beautiful. and i thank you for it.
    and now i’m going to try and get that fantastically bad 80s song “Bang a Gong” out of my head.

    Like

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