"It's been a stunning time for us adults. It always is. Nothing is new, but it's fresh for every new crop of people. What is eternally fresh is our grief. What is eternally fresh is our astonishment. What is eternally fresh is our question: What the Sam Hill is going on here?
Is anyone running this show? Is some Fate carefully placing earthquakes on our one planet? Does an intelligence fix the height, speed, and angle of waves? Does Omnipotence hurl hurricanes, point tornadoes, plant plagues? We could not find anyone to make a credible case for any of these brain-snarling positions.
After all, we in the West hold the individual precious. Do we not? Or does an individual's value weaken with the square distance, like the force of gravity?
We eat at restaurants while people weaken and starve everywhere, sons or daughters all. We vote as equal persons. Some monks train themselves out of bias for family members. Monks don't have children. You and I, then, are just two of seven-plus billion people of supreme significance. "Head-Spinning Numbers Cause Minds to Go Slack" read one newspaper headline. Surely we agree that our minds must not go slack.
A British journalist, observing the Sisters of Charity in Calcutta, reasoned: 'Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other.' For 'sacred' substitute 'of great value' or whatever you want, and look for flaws in his logic. He meant, of course, human life."
- Annie Dillard, The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
TRIPPING OVER JOY
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
at Ephiphany: "The past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays. " C. S. Lewis
BY GEORGE HERBERT
When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,
Contract into a span.”
So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure.
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.
“For if I should,” said he,
“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;
So both should losers be.
“Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.”
MORE POEMS BY GEORGE HERB
"the time of the singing of birds is come."
A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.