Monday January 12 – “When I fell into the world”
Many work mornings I begin the day with a poem written by George Herbert in the 17th century, “Love Bade Me Welcome.” For some reason it wakes me into an ordinary day noticing that my ability to be welcomed needs to be renewed again. On really good mornings, people from my life come fresh into memory, women and men who could welcome me out of my solipsism and into a live, hospitable world. Magical. I owe my life to those people, some of whom read this post, some who have died.
Here’s George Herbert’s poem. It’s not exactly “Today’s Post.” Richard Wehrman’s “When I Fell into the World,” a poem completely new to me this morning speaks of birth and being welcomed out into a larger world. It appears below my signature.
Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.
‘A guest,’ I answer’d,’ worthy to be here’:
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’
“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste My meat.’
So I did sit and eat.
George Herbert 1633
One other thing. UDM’s snow plow team came out early clearing campus roads and parking lots. I’m all smiles but not all of you will agree with that I bet. Have a blest day even so.
It’s best to read the poem out loud, with a couple pauses.
john st sj
Posted by Phyllis Cole-Dai on Jan 10, 2015 12:00 am
When I fell into the world, it was
as into my mother’s arms, it was into
the holding of warmth, the blue-green water,
it was into the beings who blinked
back at me amazed, as I was by them.
I fell from separateness, I fell from constriction.
I fell from the ice castle of myself, through
the rushing darkness, past screams,
past fear. I did not float up, I fell down,
and it was the world that waited
as I was stripped bare, as I tumbled out
of my self—faster and faster through blue
clouds and white, into the unknown arms
of joyfulness, toward the beings unnumbered
who opened their hearts in love.
“When I Fell into the World” by Richard Wehrman. Text presented here by poet submission.
Art credit: Image by unknown photographer.