Sunday, February 1, 2009

Open Skies and Wonder

One reader writes:

The eloquent little cartoon
in the corner of this message
brought to my mind something
that William Blake wrote in a poem
called "The Marriage of Heaven & Hell":

". . . man has closed himself up,
till he sees all things through
narrow chinks of his cavern."

Sadly, being closed up is pretty
much the human condition
in a commercial era like the one
that we inhabit, so it should come
as no surprise when we yield
to the force of gravity and find
ourselves missing a sense
of closeness to God.

How, then, can we open back up?
How can we restore ourselves
to our birthright, which is to
experience the joy of living in
an endlessly fascinating universe?

In order to do that, we have to notice
that life is going on everywhere
around us, and that most of it
is sweet and even astonishing
in its richness and spontaneity.

When we widen our vision,
we see open skies and wonder,
and we understand that the dread
and loneliness that we sometimes
feel is only a mood that
overtakes us when we lose
the power of spiritual vision.

Fortunately, the psyche tends
to be a self-correcting system,
and sooner or later we begin
to remember that our blessings
far outweigh our troubles.

If I had to reduce this bit
of encouragement to several sentences
that would fit on a note card,
I'd guess I'd come up
with something like this:

And maybe if we rallied our forces
and shook ourselves awake,
we'd quit staring at our knees
and start to focus on something
that's far more interesting
than our smaller selves
and their earthly cares.

Such things abound--you know?

Of course you know!

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