Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World April 12, 2011

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? 

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