Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flipping Pages

I'm a huge Kate DeCamillo fan, and I recently discovered yet another of her charming children's books: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. One of reviews calls it an "achingly beautiful story," and I must agree. Like Despereaux, it is beautiful in the way that it makes you want to cry.

Next on my reading list: Perfecting Ourselves to Death by Richard Winters. Recommended to me by Laura, as one of her RUF reading list books. They read so many good books during that internship! One thing I miss about college is reading good books and discussing them with people.

No work for me today, so I'm torn between a number of projects for my free time. Start my new book? Hit up the coffee shop to write some poetry? Work on my bag? (I'm sewing a bag, and fighting through figuring out the I-know-how-to-sew code that is the instructions.) Bake cookies? Perhaps all of the above. Perhaps none. I think at least some poetry.

In talking to my dear friend Lindsay the other day, a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins came to mind; it is one of his "terrible sonnets," and the one that comes to my mind most often. Perhaps because I struggle with its subject most often. I am too easily led to despair, to discouragement; I too easily choose not to believe the truth about myself in Christ. I'd rather feed on that Carrion Comfort. But --

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
Cheer whom though? The hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

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