"Another morning and I wake with thirst for the goodness I do not have. I walk out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord, I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your mercy, a little more time. Love for the earth and love for you are having such a long conversation in my heart. Who knows what will finally happen or where I will be sent, yet already I have given a great many things away, expecting to be told to pack nothing, except the prayers which, with this thirst, I am slowly learning."

{Thirst by Mary Oliver, emphasis added}


And the wind shall say: "Here were decent godless people: their only monument the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls."

I've been reading a lot of the poets lately. Maybe its the stirring of the orange leaves tossed upon the roads, or perhaps its because I recently bought a whole new stack of delicious books of poetry and prose, some famous and some not, from Amazon and they all happened to arrive last week. Perhaps.

Here's a few captivating portions from T.S. Eliot's work, 'The Rock', excerpts from part I & III; published in 1934. The italics signify my favorite lines.

. . .

The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

A Cry from the North, from the West and from the south
Whence thousands travel daily to the timekept City;
Where My Word is unspoken,
In the land of lobelias and tennis flannels
The rabbit shall burrow and the thorn revisit,
The nettle shall flourish on the gravel court,
And the wind shall say: 'Here were decent godless people:
Their only monument the asphalt road
And a thousand lost golf balls.'

..A thousand policemen directing the traffic
Cannot tell you why you come or go...

When the stranger says: 'What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?'
What will you answer? 'We all dwell together
To make money from each other?' or 'This is a community?'
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.

. . .


To eat, to breathe
to beget
Is this all there is
Chance configuration of atom against atom
........... of god against god
I cannot believe it.
Come, Christian Triune God who lives,
Here am I
Shake the world again.

{Francis Schaeffer}


I've noticed something about myself: my friendliness can be quite fair weathered.

I can be friendly and benevolent when I want to and when I feel like it, but usually when I don't- I am not. I do it all rather unconsciously, perhaps that's why I've just started noticing this pattern.

One day my heart is bursting with benevolence for mankind and life is beautiful. And then... there are the days that I saunter through the store, ignoring the well meaning, ill dressed cashier, deliberately rolling my eyes at that noisy, screaming child and it's helpless mother. When I catch myself in the middle of such pretentious absorption- I'm a little mortified and ashamed. How on earth did I go from being Wendy Darling one day to Medusa the next?

I don't want to make a deliberate, forced, un-genuine point of practicing friendliness, but I know real love won't just flourish entirely on its own. So, recently I'm trying to keep self-preoccupied, ugly Medusa at bay. She wastes my time and misrepresents the love I want to show the world and she distorts who I really am. What I've begun to do is to simply just smile; to smile when I don't want to. Yes, its elementary. But, truly, it is a gem of an idea. And more than being a nice idea, it works. There is just something mystical about showing kindness to people, to strangers, to the world. It haunts you with satisfaction, especially if the love you show is reciprocated, then life becomes even more welcome and sacred.

Every time you smile at someone,
it is an action of love, a gift to
that person, a beautiful thing.

{Mother Teresa