July 29, 2019
Friend of mine defined conscience as the capacity to feel everything we feel … at the same time. I’m pretty sure we all suspect that’s our high calling. If that’s not a terrifying thought it should be. Is it any wonder we fill our years instead with reactivity and/or numbing agents? I’ve been working on that, knowing that many blind spots remain. Still, I’ve made some progress. At 65, a strange feeling is emerging. What do I make of this curious blend of serenity and urgency?
All I know is I’m still needed, thank the good Lord, and I’ve said yes to work, work enough to fill my days and then some. A lot of it has to do with history. Church history, family history, Big Thicket history … Each new day I try to refine my art and keep my aim clear. For one thing, I have to discipline my poet into a good-enough curator of accurate details! For another, I have to be careful not to deify the good old days. At the same time I have to let the past wash over me and touch me and sing whatever songs I’m ready to hear. The old fiddle tunes, the back-stories on 18thcentury hymns, the lament of the psalmist – they do have a way of breaking my heart, not least because my own days ahead are fewer than the ones behind, and I’m so late in loving the songs.
My conclusion: whatever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy strength!