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Lost in Tulgey Wood

"I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge." J.R.R. Tolkein

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Location: Canton, Ohio, United States

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure --Mikhail Baryshnikov

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Carry That Love

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time
Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy.

I never give you my pillow
I only send you my invitation
And in the middle of the celebrations,
I break down

Nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It's easy.

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

Nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.

All you need is love...All together, now!
All you need is love...Everybody!
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need (love is all you need).

Lennon/McCartney

Thank you, Tulgey Wood Singers, for your message from the heart, from the mind, from the soul. Now gather 'round, my forrest friends and listen to me well. I'm here to tell you that I know you're afraid, that your standing here listening to me puts you in danger of getting hurt. And yes, you will be hurt, I can't prevent that. But, you might've missed that nice song, had you stayed in your hollowed logs or your cozy warrens, or this lovely day, or my company.

Life is pain. Life is the absence of pain. Life is joy. Life is the absence of joy. Sometimes its a combination: pain and joy, no pain and joy, no pain and no joy, pain and no joy. These are truths waiting to be embraced. You may want to leave them lay, though, and I would understand. Perhaps self-sufficiency is what you crave. It's a nobel, if impossible goal.

Why not fall back into interdependency? What greater pleasure is there than helping someone through their pain? What greater assurance is there that someone will be there to help you through yours. Reliance on others is unavoidable, my friends. Relish it. Know you are loved. Know that if you trip on a tree root, someone will stop and wait with you till your ankle feels steady enough to travel again, no matter how long it takes.

We all have great burdens, physical and spiritual. I don't think God wants us to carry them ourselves. I refer you to the poem "Footprints".

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it: "LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

"The LORD replied: "My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Margaret Fishback Powers wrote those lines and I'd like to take her idea a bit futher. Her poem suggests that God carries us through the tough times, and I don't wish to argue that. However, I believe, in practice, He works through others to help us through the scary times and the hard times. Because God is love, when we love each other, we are doing His work. That is why it feels so good to aid others, to love others.

Why then is it so difficult to lean on others? I know our national heritage encourages us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and if we have failed, we have only ourselves to blame. But that's a rather pithy way of looking at things and not at all reflective of our little corner of the Wood.


I believe it's so hard to lean on others because we feel we have failed somehow to be responsible for ourselves. We don't deserve it. We ought to be able to do this alone. Perhaps. But who are we to turn away Grace when she comes calling? This gift of goodwill on our doorstep unbidden, unwanted maybe. Why not accept her within with hospitality and the intentions to return the favor when it is in our power?

What is Grace but love in action? Unconditional love. Are we willing to love each other dispite our faults? Despite our differences? Can we not hurt each other and heal each other and still love? I think we can. I hope you know it's possible; I've seen it. You can take my word for it if you want. You can turn your back now and return to Safety and it's promise of no pain or less pain.

Either way, I will walk with you when you are ready. Meanwhile, I'll stand here on the bank of the river and remember you and save a place for you at the table. For you are family and I will always hope for your safe return.

6 Comments:

Blogger Big Orange said...

wow, that's heavy. cool-doodley, but heavy! BOSS NASS: "meeesa lika dis!!"

I wonder, tho: as you're standing on the metaphorical bank, what happens if the current picks up and the person you're waiting for gets swept away? I guess you should jump in?? OR, what if the person in the river just stops tryin' to swim? I guess it'd be rood to leave 'em??

Heeeaaavy stuff...

5:13 PM  
Blogger Big Orange said...

reread this. LOVE the sermon on how God carries us thru the actions of others. You could tweak that and send it in to someplace... I thunk y'all should.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

"What happens if the current picks up and the person you're waiting for gets swept away?"

Some friends are so strong, they can part the river.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

...you just have to be a big rock out in the middle.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Big Orange said...

well, remember when putting the big rock out there not to knock anyone on the head! :) (I say this 'cuz, no doubt, that's what I'd wind up doing!)

1:23 PM  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

Sometimes a big knock to the head is all that can save us.

8:57 AM  

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