"Poetic knowledge is not necessarily a knowledge of poetry but rather a poetic (sensory-emotional) experience of reality. ..... Poetic experience indicates an encounter with reality that is non analytical, something that is perceived as beautiful, awful (aweful), spontaneous, mysterious..... a spontaneous act of the external and internal senses with the intellect, integrated and whole, rather than an act associated with the powers of analytic reasoning. It is, according to a tradition from Homer to Robert Frost, from Socrates to Maritain, a natural human act, synthetic and penetrating, that gets us inside the thing experienced. It is, we might say, knowledge from the inside out, radically different in this regard from a knowledge about things. "
Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education, James S. Taylor
There are moments when we are offered the chance to grow, to learn. I admit, I don't often react well to those situations. Iron sharpens iron, and I am definitely iron. I need hard situations to teach me. I am not a naturally flexible person. I struggle to learn how to "go with the flow." This summer's family reunion vacation offered the opportunity to learn to let go and leave it all in God's hands. And it also provided many moments for thanksgiving.
273. Four generations of family gathering to give thanks for 2 parents, their 13 children, 35 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren
274. my children getting the chance to get to know not just their grandparents, but to have a relationship with 3 great-grandparents
275. four excited children racing bikes through a state park
276. bike helmets - though perhaps we should move to hockey masks in the future!
277. late dinner of pizza in the ER in a strange town a days drive from home
278. my strong little girl, so brave for hours in the ER with cuts, bruises, a split chin and (as we learned the next day) a broken jaw
279. vacation plans that go with the flow
280. the persistence of my husband, unwilling to accept anything less than the right care for his little girl
281. the loving concern of a godfather, surgeon himself but too far away to be of help, calling constantly to keep up with his little "queen"
282. the kindness of strangers
283. steady hands of a surgeon guided by God, who carefully closed up a cut so deep that 23 stitches going three layers deep were required
284. a surgeon's wife who held my little girls hand through it all
285. the prayers of so many family members
286. above all, I say thank you to the Lord. For helping us find a man in a strange city who opened up his home at 10:30 at night to sew up my baby when no one else was ready to help.
Do you ever reach those moments when suddenly everything that needs to be done begins to weigh down upon you all at once, and you just sort of freeze? A panic seems to seize me, and I begin to realize there is no way I can complete all of the responsibilities awaiting my attention. Seems these moments come more and more often the closer I approach 40, with hormones out of whack, energy levels slowing down and emotions far more raw and exposed than in my twenties. This morning one of those moments hit, right in the middle of liturgy. As we gathered to pray for Fr. Peter at his 40 days memorial, I found my mind playing through all of the things I needed to do, and I felt an overwhelming sense of panic. School plans, meal plans, materials for the atrium, birthday parties, house cleaning, bill paying, laundry, all of it went flashing through my head. Then tonight, it hit me again at the Paraklesis; no moment of stillness within my heart, nothing but the racing of mind and the panicked need for more time. I couldn't focus at all on the beautiful hymns to the Theotokos which I love so much. Instead I wanted to sit down and cry. No, that's not the truth, I really wanted to run outside and scream. I'm sure that would have caused a few raised eyebrows. Then the words of the Gospel were read, that familiar passage, Luke 10:40-42, whose words are the footer for this blog. And while they didn't completely calm my mind, at least they quieted the inner scream to a whisper. When the busyness seems to overwhelm, perhaps I need to listen to the words of an old friend from the past, "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." (Martin Luther)
Father asked a question at the Paraklesis service. When you get the call saying your mother is dying, what do you do? Does anything else matter? Do you concern yourself with daily life and routines? Do you explain, I am just so busy, I'll try to get there when I can, but you know how it is, so many other commitments, it's such a busy time of year? No, you drop everything to be at her side. You rearrange your schedule, you lay aside all earthly cares, do whatever it takes to be with her, to show her you love her. Every August first we get that call. Our Mother is dying. Do we notice? Have we changed our own lives and pace to be with her? Will we come running to her side? Or will we allow the world to pull us in a thousand directions? The church gives us two whole weeks to come, to mourn, to offer our prayers, to be with her, to sing those beautiful hymns.
Our Mother is dying, let us run to her.
(sorry for the repost, but seems like hearts, minds and souls are elsewhere right now, and not online!)
"Behold, the Lord will pass by, and before the Lord, a great and powerful wind will be rending the mountains and shattering the rocks; but the Lord will not be in the wind. After the wind, an earthquake, but the Lord will not be in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there will be a fire, but the Lord will not be in the fire. After the fire, there will be a sound of a gentle breeze, and the Lord will be there."
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she may help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:40-42