My gaze is clear like a sunflower. It is my custom to walk the roads Looking right and left
And sometimes looking behind me, And what I see at each moment
Is what I never saw before, And I’m very good at noticing things. I’m capable of feeling the same wonder A newborn child would feel If he noticed that he’d really and truly been born. I feel at each moment that I’ve just been born
Into a completely new world . . . I believe in the world as in a daisy, Because I see it. But I don’t think about it, Because to think is to not understand. The world wasn’t made for us to think about it
(To think is to have eyes that aren’t well) But to look at it and to be in agreement. I have no philosophy, I have senses . . . If I speak of Nature it’s not because I know what it is But because I love it, and for that very reason, Because those who love never know what they love Or why they love, or what love is. To love is eternal innocence, And the only innocence is not to think . . .
~ Fernando Pessoa
Side note…after I put this together to share last night I read a post today from Steve Harper that I couldn’t help but “notice.” I think it might help define some of this poem for those who might be turned off by the words “not to think.” (it did for me!) I have posted it below.
Good Word: Beholding
Spiritual life moves in relation to beholding. And that means more than noticing. Noticing is good. It is how we enter a moment. Beholding is letting the moment enter into us. Beholding is where responsiveness is born.
“O Lord my God, where have I been sleeping? What have I been doing? How slowly I awaken once again to the barrenness of my life and its confusion. You will forgive me if it is often that way—I do not mean it to be. How little faith there has been in me—how inert have been my hours of solitude, how my time has been wasted. You will forgive me if next week, too, my time is all wasted and I am once again in confusion. But at least this afternoon, sitting on a boulder among the birches, I thought with compunction of Your love. . . . And again tonight, by the gatehouse, I thought of the hope You have planted in our hearts.”
~ Thomas Merton, A Search For Solitude
Painting by Stanislav Yulianovich Zhukovsky (1926)
“But where do we even start on the daily walk of restoration and awakening? We start where we are. We find God in our human lives, and that includes the suffering. I get thirsty people a glass of water, even if that thirsty person is just me.”
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”