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The Anointment

“Who anointed you?”
psychology books say. “Who
bestowed on you power to do

what you do?” Was it father,
mother, brother, aunt, friend?
Who planted the idea in your head

for you to be you rather than not?
Whoever said it, you are fulfilling
his or her dream. Perhaps anointing

came late -- a scout leader, teacher,
another student who took vows with you
to become, someday, a painter or poet.

Maybe a bum you met at a crossroads,
who said something significant.
A builder of houses who chuckled,

“You nail those nails very well!”
You grew into a house constructor.
Or your mom said your cookies seemed

tasty. You beamed, took up cooking
full-time. Now it’s today, closer
to the end of life. Have you ever

once chosen the one you yourself would
choose for your anointment? Which model
would you follow past middle age? Please

remember. Develop a moving screen
of your history, your life. Survey
the whole scene of persons you have

known. Perhaps by sixty, you could
create a new ceremony. Maybe Christ
could do it. Buddha, Mohammed. Imagine

it: the anointer might be yourself. You
could pour the oil into your hands. Then
lift it to your head, allow sticky liquid to run

down your face until the decision blinds
your eyes awhile. You could say to yourself,
“I cherish you, whatever

it is you have chosen. The way you
have decided or had, by necessity,
to choose. Now, here, whatever

it is you happen to be or do,
I call you out.
I bless you.”

- The Mississippi Review / Blue, Candled in January Sun

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