We may as well go patiently on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON LOOKING UP BY CHANCE AT THE CONSTELLATIONS

You’ll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other, nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves,
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane.
It is true the longest drouth will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn’t reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last tonight.

Robert Frost, West-Running Brook, 1928

I read Frost’s poem on this blog: First Known When Lost, where it was posted this week along with a couple of others that may be seen as following a theme. Stephen Pentz leads off his article with the reminder that  “… the feeling that the world is going to Hell in a hand-basket is a timeless feature of human nature.”

Then he leads the reader to make a distinction between the world and the World. I have been thinking lately about Mary Oliver’s poem “Messenger,” which is about this, and I’d say “Landscape” as well.

The details of our given “work assignments” are unique to each of us; we need to look to God for light and strength to do the essential spiritual work, which will help us to be ready for any more public tasks that come our way. Pentz’s last line sums it up pretty well:

“Life is ever a matter of attention and gratitude, don’t you think?”

11 thoughts on “We may as well go patiently on.

  1. Loved this statement: The details of our given “work assignments” are unique to each of us; we need to look to God for light and strength to do the essential spiritual work, which will help us to be ready for any more public tasks that come our way. Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

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  2. Like FlowerLady, I too felt the impact of this lines: The details of our given “work assignments” are unique to each of us; we need to look to God for light and strength to do the essential spiritual work, which will help us to be ready for any more public tasks that come our way.

    Also love the line: “Life is ever a matter of attention and gratitude, don’t you think?” Yes, I do think so.

    Wishing you a pleasant day, Gretchen. Thank you for these calming thoughts.

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  3. I just had a thought that I’ve never had before, and I don’t remember anyone else addressing it. If we’re going to hell in a handbasket — who’s carrying the basket? There’s a thought worth pondering!

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    1. I hadn’t really thought about the possible origin of that phrase myself until this week, though I have often used it. Maybe it has something to do with the feeling that the downward descent is getting as much notice as a woman headed to market with her shopping basket.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Linda!

        I don’t think I heard this phrase as a child, so I picked it up somewhere as an adult, but don’t recall it ever being said in reference to an individual, only the impersonal “world.”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Oliver and Robert Frost are two of my favourite poets. I don’t think I’ve read the one of Frost’s that you posted today.
    I didn’t see constellations but I did see a planet and some stars early this morning when I looked up through the skylight in the bedroom. For a change there were no clouds!

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