She was totally right, but that's beside the point.
When I wrote the poem, "Radiance," which is now available in Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality (Fall 2014) from Johns Hopkins University Press, I didn't realize at first that I was asking myself some of these same questions so many years later as an adult. As I wrote, I was recalling a strange incident wherein I was watching a meteor shower with some friends along the Delta in central California, and for a moment I closed my eyes and focused, instead, on the sounds of my loved ones' voices filled with starry joy. I felt sad that I'd missed what my friends later claimed was "a hella big meteor, probably the biggest" and they rubbed it in my face that I didn't get to see it But I remember this feeling of gratitude and light, a quiet serenity that came over me when I took pleasure in others' pleasure instead of my own. I wrote a few lines in my notebook and came back to the feeling later, and this poem was born from that reflection.
What is it about sacrifice that so many people equate with the Sacred?
It's hard to say anything about the subject for certain, but there's definitely a kind of illumination that happens when I personally think about this question-- it's a question which actually kind of flies in the face of my own cosmology, if you'd like to know. But poetry is weird like that. Sometimes you write things and then you say to yourself, "I don't believe that. Or do I?" HERE'S "Radiance" archived from SPIRITUS at Project Muse.