Action vs Reaction?

Here is a marvelous poem by a contemporary theologian who understands “working out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” describing it as creating “a clearing in the dense forest of our life…” This is such a powerful image as most of our lives are often such a “dense forest” and creating any space in that wilderness is challenging.

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is yours alone to sing
falls into your open cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world so worthy of rescue.
(Martha Postlethwaite)

And the notion of “waiting for our song” brought to mind the wisdom of William Butler Yeats:

O God, guard me from those thoughts
Men think in the mind alone.
He who sings a lasting song
Must think in the marrow bone.

(note:  Postlethwaite poem was cited by Blue Eyed Ennis blog recently.)


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