Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Peace of Wild Things

My friend, colleague and poet, Thom Dawkins, asked on Facebook a few weeks ago if poetry still mattered.  I believe his question was directed at his fellow poet community, but I answered, of course it matters, poetry speaks truth through simplicity and grace and communicates things about the human heart that the heart can only identify. 
As I have mentioned here before I work with a school in my building, where my daughter attends.  So in the days following the incident in Newtown, I have waded though my own family's grief and processing, as well the community of teachers and staff here at the church.  And I know that poetry still matters because what has brought me comfort has been the words of author, poet and theologian Wendell Berry.  It is a poem I memorized years ago and committed to heart and so I leave it here with you:


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the week drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come in the peace of wild things
who do not tax thier lives with forthought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with thier light.  For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Currently Reading

I am a bit of a book evangelist.  If I am currently reading something that I am totally into I tell everyone I see about it!  I guess I just get caught up in the power of books to illumenate new ideas or tell a story or articulate the complexities and simplicity of the human soul.  Anyhow, this holiday season I have been reading Tinsel by Hank Stuever and I LOVE it.  It provides an honest, provocative and yet tender look at what Christmas has come to mean in the subburbs--not just any subburb but in our neighboring subburb--by following three families through thier Christmas festivities for three years.