I love meeting “mind” and will share a Robert Frost poem on the matter. And by “mind” I don’t mean the routine, mechanized palaver, the “well-worn words and ready phrases that build comfortable walls against the wilderness” (Conrad Aiken) but a “discerning” mind, one that is quickened by what I like to call the “Spirit of God”, one that is wry and witty, one that can “rock ‘n roll”, is even sarcastic on occasion and certainly ironic, one that can trot out an occasional “word fitly spoken”, and to sum it up, one that is “present”. And every time I stumble upon one of these “minds” I am given pause and say to myself, “Hey, let’s check this fellow (or fellow-ess) out! Somebody is home!” And this occasionally happens even with a five year old student. And even with my beloved dachshunds, Ludwig and Elsa, I often get the distinct impression that “Somebody is present here”. (But these doggies are going to have to hurry up and develop more fore brain capacity before they can offer me subtlety!)
Emily Dickinson described “a mind too near itself to see itself distinctly.” She was describing a mind that lacks these qualities, a mind too self-absorbed for the person to see beyond the end of his/her nose….or should I say “knows”? This self-absorbed mind lacks self-reflection without which there is no awareness.
And I have met many of these aforementioned “mindful” people and try to make sure I circulate in a circle where they are apt to be found. And I read literature by writers who are gifted with this quality. Movies and even television-shows can offer this god-given perspective if one is discriminating about his/her choices.
And in the past two years I have discovered that the blog-o-sphere is full of men and women who have this “Presence” and share from it daily. To you, my dear friends, I today doff my hat and thank you for all you have added to my life and continued to do so daily. You know who you are. You are a gift to me but also to your family, friends, and community. What I like to call “The Spirit of God” vibrates in your heart and therefore “winds of thought blow magniloquent meanings betwixt me and thee.” (Archibald MacLeish)
A CONSIDERABLE SPECK
By Robert Frost
A speck that would have been beneath my sight
On any but a paper sheet so white
Set off across what I had written there.
And I had idly poised my pen in air
To stop it with a period of ink,
When something strange about it made me think.
This was no dust spike by my breathing blown,
But unmistakenly a living mite
With inclinations it could call its own.
It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
And then came racing wildly on again
To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
Then paused again and either drank or smelt—
With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
Yet must have had a set of them complete
To express how much it didn’t want to die.
It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
Then in the middle of the open sheet
Cower down in desperation to accept
Whatever I accorded it of fate.
I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
Collectivistic, regimenting love
With which the modern world is being swept.
But this poor microscopic item now!
Since it was nothing I knew evil of
I let it lie there till I hope it slept.
I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise.
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.