June 6, 2010
Am spending some time in the mountains with friends this week resting, thinking, talking.
Plan to take Stafford's poem with me along with N.T. Wright's book on the resurrection, Surprised by Hope. You might rightfully think that I am planning time to do nothing. And yet-
When I write next week, how will who I am carry the impact of these days of being with others? And--sobering question-- how will the being of others be altered by my being who I am and becoming in their company?
In the ending couplet of the poem, Stafford alludes to both the hidden current of the river and the stillness of the river held in ice. He then concludes abruptly:
"What the river says, that is what I say."
A student once said irritably, "What Stafford said and the river said was the same, all right--nothing." While I understood this particular student's frustration , I didn't agree. Do you? Is there nothing to say when we are asked about the significance of who we are in the context of what we have done? Rephrase Stafford's last line in the sturdy everyday language we might use while drinking tea on the porch.
In case you wonder, I do think there are other things worth thinking about in addition to Stafford's poem. I plan to go to some of those other places soon.