Sunday, November 6, 2011

Possibility responsibility?

Nov. 4, 2011

Good afternoon, friends,

The quasi-commercial paradigm of want and need is severely limited in defining the dimensions of good relationships. In the face of its cultural popularity we are sometimes slow to acknowledge this fact. Nevertheless, relationships that are boundaried solely by the insistence of demand and the brevity of lasting satisfaction cast thin shadows. They leave behind shards of impossible dreams and broken fragments of short-lasting grace.

I’ve been thinking this week of another more deeply rooted dimension of relationship that the culture regards with a derisive contempt. Benjamin Myers captures something of this dimension in “The Calvinist Writes a Love Poem.”

The Calvinist Writes a Love Poem

If, as you stood
outlined in the evening
glow of the Bradford pear,
I believed again
for just a moment in human
possibility, it was only
what I saw in
you.

In response to the "me, me, me" of the cultural chorus, we sometimes say "It's not about me." It is true that relationship, by definition, is not just about me. However, in another paradoxical sense, relationship is profoundly about me. I am wondering these days about the glimpse of human possibility that others in relationship with me see outlined in my life. How does the relationship with me shape their possibility for love? For integrity?

What life-affirming possibility do those in relationship with you glimpse as you share your human journey?

I will be out of town next week, so will see you November 18.

Gay

You can find “The Calvinist Writes a Love Poem” in Benjamin Myers Elegy for Trains (Cheyenne, Oklahoma: Village Books Press, 2010), p. 67.

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