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I Get it Wrong Sometimes

May 6, 2012

Excerpt from “There is no Going Back”

…Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(Collected Poems)

This poem has haunted me this week. It hasn’t haunted me in a bad way. It’s haunted me in a good way. In the kind of way that calls deep into my soul and incites me to make changes. The kind of way that makes my toes tingle in anticipation of movement, of forward motion, of the need to keep striving. It’s haunted me in an other-worldly way.

I’ve struggled to find time the past few weeks. Time to accomplish papers and studying and powerpoint reviews and committee work. I’ve struggled to find time for email and thank you cards and paperwork for a maternity leave.

I’ve been struggling with all the wrong things.

My struggles have been about giving time to paperwork. They’ve been about giving time to mundane tasks. I’ve been giving my time away to forms and numbers and pieces of paper that don’t talk back.

Every day you have less reason not to give yourself away.

To whom am I giving myself away?

Have I given myself freely to my dear friend who is getting married in a few months?

Have I given myself away to the teenagers with whom I work?

Have I given myself away to a phone conversation with my dear friend in Israel?

Have I given myself away to a late afternoon walk with a person who speaks wisdom and truth into my life?

No, no I haven’t given myself away to any of those things. I’ve given myself away to things that do not require me to be present, that do not give back nor spur me onward. I’ve given myself away to all the wrong things.

Every day you have less reason not to give yourself away.

I want to give myself away.

Will you come with me?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. pastordt permalink
    May 6, 2012 7:13 pm

    I’m in. Yeah, I’m in.

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