Think of the atoms inside.

EVERY RIVEN THING

God goes, belonging to every riven thing he’s made
sing his being simply by being
the thing it is:
stone and tree and sky,
man who sees and sings and wonders why

God goes. Belonging, to every riven thing he’s made,
means a storm of peace.
Think of the atoms inside the stone.
Think of the man who sits alone
trying to will himself into a stillness where

God goes belonging. To every riven thing he’s made
there is given one shade
shaped exactly to the thing itself:
under the tree a darker tree;
under the man the only man to see

God goes belonging to every riven thing. He’s made
the things that bring him near,
made the mind that makes him go.
A part of what man knows,
apart from what man knows,

God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made.

Christian Wiman

Yesterday evening I was rear-ended a few blocks from my house, while my car and I were waiting for a light to turn. I was startled and confused and heard myself cry out — all that probably took a few seconds. My car lost a little paint, and complaints emanated from my spine, but when I got home I took a short walk to loosen up, and talked to insurance companies, and seemed to have a fairly normal evening. This morning I talked to a doctor who warned me that in addition to slight soft-tissue damage I probably have “emotional bruising” and should be mindful of that. I do feel a bit shaky, which surprises me.

I am grateful for the advice, and am trying to rest, and to seek God’s comfort. I thought I would read poetry, and I found this poem that gives me light and focus. God goes… and He comes to the atoms of my traumatized body and associated emotions. Thank You, Lord!

13 thoughts on “Think of the atoms inside.

  1. It’s unnerving, isn’t it? I was rear-ended back in 1983, except I was going 60-65 mph at the time, and the police figured the dude who hit me had to be going well over 100. Obviously, I survived! The car didn’t, of course, but in some ways it was just as well. I’d just moved to Houston, and didn’t have air conditioning in the car. I already had figured out that was going to have to change.

    Rest comfortably!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely poem- thank you for sharing it! I’m so sorry for that frightening experience- and am glad to hear that you were able to walk away from it. Saying a prayer for smooth healing for you!

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  3. So sorry to hear you were rear-ended. Having been rear-ended twice I appreciate your doctor’s words about “emotional bruising”. I hope you heal up completely and quickly. RE: the poem… I confess, it made little sense to me as I read it off the page. But I looked it up and found this wonderful reading and explanation the poet gives:
    https://onbeing.org/poetry/every-riven-thing/

    I still don’t understand it all completely, but I greatly appreciate what Wimen has done in the structure of this poem, and will listen to him read it several more times. Each time I hear it, I seem to understand something I didn’t before. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry about your wreck, GJ! I’m glad you are basically okay – that it wasn’t worse. But it is emotionally unsettling, that’s for sure. I like the poem a lot, but have never heard of that poet before. It’s a deep one worth pondering for a while. Thank you.

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  5. Equally glad you are ok, too. I remember many years ago, I was rear-ended. I watched the car coming closer in my rearview mirror and thought, “He’s going to hit me.” And sure enough, he did! Then I went off and it turned out he had no insurance, but our car had frame damage. I should have called the police, but he was probably glad I was too naive to know to do so.

    I love that poem also! Christian Wimen is coming to a “Writers by the Sea” symposium in a few weeks. I have tickets to go – can’t wait!

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  6. I’m so glad you’re basically okay. I’m sure it was a frightening experience.
    I’m sorry I’ve missed some of your latest posts. In an effort to add a blog to my list of blogs I accidentally lost the whole thing. I had to ask for help and my DIL retrieved a list but it’s not my most recent one so many of my favourites are not on it. I am afraid to try anything lest I delete something again. I am very frustrated by being techno-challenged.

    Like

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