Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

I’m tired. Shaky. Weepy, even. The last two days have been really difficult. Watching my stat counter blow up has not really made up for the difficult discussions raging in my combox. They’re tame discussions, actually, by normal blogging standards, but I don’t blog about things like this very often. I’m not used to this.

Then there’s the added pressure of new followers and higher readers than I’ve ever had before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m about as grateful as a person can be to Darwin for posting my story all over the internet, but it does take a toll on a blogger, having new and unfamiliar readers. They came to me at the top of my game. Will I let them down with my posts hereafter? I hope not.

In any case, the exchanges in my combox have made me hyper-aware of just how little human beings love each other. Me included. I was angry when I wrote my last post. I was angry that someone could believe that a baby, a child just as precious to God as my Sienna, could be “terminated” after careful consideration. I was angry that someone would believe that killing her own child would have no effect on a mother. I was angry that someone would accuse me of oppressing women, or wanting all women to be barefoot and pregnant.

In my anger, did I miss a chance to love someone? Did I miss a chance to show them the face of Christ? I’ve always considered abortion to be the one issue about which we’re free to overturn tables in our anger and indignation. But then again, we’re dealing with people here. Real people, with real souls, real feelings, and real value to God. Perhaps being angry will just push them further from the light, when we should be drawing them in. I don’t know.

I do know that I’m feeling weary of debates and contention. Like the Anchoress, I feel like we need something to draw us together. As is my wont, when this sort of soul-weariness strikes, I turn to my favorite poet, Richard Wilbur. I love this poem for so many reasons, but today I love it the most for the fifth stanza. Indeed, we are all made of different hunks and colors. But we’re all in this world together.

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

      The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
          Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

     Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;

    Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
                      The soul shrinks

     From all that is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessed day,
And cries,
         “Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”

      Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,

    “Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
            keeping their difficult balance.”

What about you? What balm soothes your soul when you grow weary of the contention among us? 

  • Janet

    After reading the rest of the comments since yesterday on your post, I ate an entire dark chocolate bar…and sought out Wuthering Heights. By the way, I love that poem, and it makes me think of Dr. Dupree.

  • Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble

    What soothes my soul is remembering the words of a saintly hero, John Paul II, who said that we cannot hope to correct all the error in the world. All we can do is speak the truth, in love, and trust God with the rest. Humility, remembering it's about God (and the babies) and not us, and being grateful for God's infinite mercy. I have read too many astounding conversion stories not to realize that Jesus is still softening hearts and making scales fall. Oh, and Godiva dark chocolate.

  • Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble

    Oh, and one more thing… You may not reach the person you are trying to reach, but you have no idea how many people are reading, watching and weighing the evidence, watching for the more loving, human side. People want truth. Our souls crave it. You have no idea this side of Heaven how many souls you are affecting (unless they comment or email you, ha ha).

  • Rebecca @ The Road Home

    I agree with Leila (her comment at 4:07, as I type it's right above me) – you never know who you might touch. As I've read Choice's comments, I've reflected on the journey from being pro-choice to pro-life that I've recently been on. If it weren't for posts like this and comments back and forth (and frankly getting mad as I came to the realization that I was wrong) I don't think I'd be where I am today – and I certainly would never have spent Saturday morning praying in front of a Planned Parenthood.Thank-you for sharing your perspective and for allowing the dialogue to take place.

  • Sarah

    #1. I love this poem. It's one of my favorites! I remember actually gasping the first time I read it for a lit class in college. #2. I often, often feel the way that you do. Especially since becoming a mom. I do not know how to overcome it. Other than to pray, and I try to remember this quote from John Paul II:"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song."#3. I often do not write about these kinds of things because I do not want to "get into it", yet abortion/sexual ethics is probably the most important thing we're battling in our culture. How much of a coward am I? A lot. But you have inspired me by sharing your story.

  • MJDMom

    Your blog is great, but if it is really causing you too much stress don't be afraid to let it go or at least put it aside temporarily. I understand the desire to "save the world" through comment boxes and blogs, but sometimes we aren't called to that and instead to live the quiet, hidden life of little things dedicated to God and our family. For me, it is often more of a temptation than an apostolate. Your writing is great, but not writing can be great too! Do what is best for you and your relationship with God and your family!

  • Julie

    Great posts this week Calah. When you have a few minutes I think you might enjoy this talk Archbishop Chaput gave here at ND last week. This quote reminded me of the work you have done this week. "If you speak up for the unborn child in this life, someone will speak up for you in the next, when we meet God face to face."Keep up the good work.

  • Claire

    I just wanted to say that I'm a new reader of your blog, although I didn't come specifically by way of your recent posts. I was, however, very moved by your story and I just have to post and thank you for sharing. I agree, you never know who you will touch.

  • Faith

    I love, love, love your blog and I have no idea how I stumbled across it. You are beautiful breath of fresh air to me! I haven't commented before, just lurked. I also have been putting links to your posts in my little recommended box on my blog.It is so easy to get angry. Everyone struggles with this. Surrender it all to Christ who truly loves you. Anger will pass and you will grow.My most comforting thing is my husband. He can make me laugh through my tears and he is so tender with me. A gift from God!

  • The Ranter

    Sprite & Citron.