There is always more to the story than meets the eye ~

  • The Winter Woods  by Parker  Palmer

    The winter woods beside a solemn
    river are twice seen—
    once as they pierce the brittle air,
    once as they dance in grace beneath the stream.

    In air these trees stand rough and raw,
    branch angular in stark design—
    in water shimmer constantly,
    disconnect as in a dream,
    shadowy but more alive
    than what stands stiff and cold before our eyes.

    Our eyes at peace are solemn streams
    and twice the world itself is seen—
    once as it is outside our heads,
    hard frozen now and winter-dead,
    once as it undulates and shines
    beneath the silent waters of our minds.

    When rivers churn or cloud with ice
    the world is not seen twice—
    yet still is there beneath
    the blinded surface of the stream,
    livelier and lovelier than we can comprehend
    and waiting, always waiting, to be seen.

    As our nation more deeply entrenches itself in a patterned reaction to the other side, my heart,  maybe yours too has grown heavy and weary of  this.  Just as in a midwest January it is hard to hope for spring.  Will spring ever come?   Will we as a nation, ever mend?  Or at least get to a place where our leaders think beyond  the next election to the common  good.

    As I was  reading Palmer’s  new book: ON THE BRINK OF EVERYTHING: GRACE, GRAVITY AND GETTING  OLD, his poem Winter  Woods appeared and my heart  took wing.   It is the first thing that has comforted me since the impeachment trial began.  It  reminded me of something important I had forgotten.  “There is always more to the story than meets the eye”.

    I have felt so deeply sad at the distance between us as fellow citizens of this country.  To my eye, it grows ever darker.  Maybe some of you too, are  experiencing the depth of winter in your own experience.  I just loved his reminder that the stark frozen cold of my pastoral Wisconsin landscape was not the entire story.   There is something below the surface.  And  so to the frozen cold between Dems and GOP is only half the story.  There is yet movement, we can only glimpse or guess at but ephemeral as it is, it is also real.  Spring will come.

    When rivers churn or cloud with ice
    the world is not seen twice—

    The news and constant railing at the other side, is Palmer’s river churning,  we cannot see then (and now) what is below the surface.   But the poet tells us
    yet still is there beneath
    the blinded surface of the stream,
    livelier and lovelier than we can comprehend
    and waiting, always waiting, to be seen.

    We will grow  weary of  our walls.   This is not  sustainable. Until the conversation changes, it is important that each of us find and become Sanctuary to each other.  Not for agreement with your point  of view  whatever it is but rather seek in each other the sanctuary of  our common humanity.  Let’s commit to remind each other that  “meanwhile”  there are things of great beauty happening daily, there are acts of kindness given and received every where around the globe.  We are not just our partisanship.   We are not  just divided and walled off.  There  are  things we can agree to do together, even if our leaders cannot.  We can start by focusing on the fact that the other side doesn’t like being apart from us  any more than we like being apart from them.  That’s a beginning.  The rivers will run again, if  we don’t let our hearts freeze up.

     

     


    February 4th, 2020 | admin | Comments Off on There is always more to the story than meets the eye ~ | Tags: , , , , ,

About Nancy

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Nancy C. Wonders is an interior designer. The “interiors” she designs are psychological, not physical, space -- a client’s personal interior landscape, or the emotional barometer of a team, or an entire organization. Nancy’s office includes a “design bar” where clients have a chance to re-invent how they see themselves and/or their organizations. These re-structurings result in discovering what is fresh, new and alive. This discovery prompts profound, immediate change, on both the inside and in interactions with others. Read more»

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