Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, December 10, 2010

Imagine! The poet Emily Dickinson was born on this date 180 years ago! My own feeling is that she is not so renown for her technical poetic skill, but rather for her brilliance of thought. She is a great treasure for America. I hope you have – indeed make – some time today to read a little bit about her (thank the deities for Google) and read and ponder a poem or two of hers.

Here’s one:

The Props assist the House 

Until the House is built 

And then the Props withdraw

And adequate, erect,

The House support itself 

And cease to recollect 

The Augur and the Carpenter – 

Just such a retrospect 

Hath the perfected Life – 

A Past of Plank and Nail 

And slowness – then the scaffolds drop 

Affirming it a Soul –

I think the process that Emily describes is one that goes on daily for us. From before our birth in this Earthly life until the time we pass from it. In many ways, we are always like an infant, tottering and falling and having to learn and relearn. If we are fortunate, as our Life is built, we are attended by “the Augur and the Carpenter”, shoring us up and shaping us. As I think of it, “The Augur and the Carpenter” might be a good metaphor for the Mystery we call God.

The “good times” for us are, certainly, the times of loving support. But perhaps better, the times when “the scaffolds drop”. Then we forge ahead on our own, from the moment of careening across the floor on our first steps unassisted, to the moment we face into our Passing with grace and peace and a smile.

I do hope that you have had as good teaching as I have had for this wonderful Journey. The Augurs and the Carpenters have been good, and the drops of the scaffold have been thrilling! I’ve had a wonderful Life, and I wish it for you.


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