a non-existent country, with laws alien to earth and man

The Return of the Exile George Seferis (translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard) ‘My old friend, what are you looking for?After years abroad you’ve come backwith images you’ve nourishedunder foreign skiesfar from you own country.’ ‘I’m looking for my old garden;the trees come to my waistand the hills resemble terracesyet as a childI usedContinue reading “a non-existent country, with laws alien to earth and man”

the future is eating us alive

That’s the most interesting question in the world. How big is big enough? The Amish pretty much have solved it. Industrialism doesn’t propose a limit. David Kline, my friend, went to a Mennonite meeting. They were asking what community meant. And he said, “When my son and I are plowing in the spring, we restContinue reading “the future is eating us alive”

teaching long of rest and waiting

These are thoughts that I put down as I sat with my Grandma and other family members near the end of my Grandma’s life. She was in her own bedroom and surrounded by loved ones: My body holds me closer hourly It will have me know it fully before I’m fully known Jacob wrestled theContinue reading “teaching long of rest and waiting”

God alone can understand foolishness

“Neither do I understand you; I can read neither your heart nor your face. When my wife and I do not understand our children, it is because there is not enough of them to be understood. God alone can understand foolishness.” “…Then,” I said, feeling naked and very worthless, “will you be so good asContinue reading “God alone can understand foolishness”

what is there to secure me against my own brain

“If I know nothing of my own garret,” I thought, “what is there to secure me against my own brain? Can I tell what it is even now generating?—what thought it may present me the next moment, the next month, or a year away? What is at the heart of my brain? What is behindContinue reading “what is there to secure me against my own brain”

public life is not larger than private life, but smaller

From G.K. Chesterton’s “Turning Inside Out” in Fancies vs. Fads, 1923: The passage from private life to public life … is always of necessity a passage from a greater work to a smaller one, and from a harder work to an easier one. And that is why most of the moderns do wish to passContinue reading “public life is not larger than private life, but smaller”

Brewed from decades of agony

Poem by by Emily Dickinson. THE RETURN. Though I get home how late, how late! So I get home, ‘t will compensate. Better will be the ecstasy That they have done expecting me, When, night descending, dumb and dark, They hear my unexpected knock. Transporting must the moment be, Brewed from decades of agony! ToContinue reading “Brewed from decades of agony”

all turned into foreign country

This passage from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome expresses the same insight as the passage below from G.K. Chesterton (about the joy of rediscovering our own homes): Only three days before Roger, being a sailing ship, had tacked up the field against the wind to find his mother at the gate by Holly HoweContinue reading “all turned into foreign country”