Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Housekeeping and Some Irish Poetry

I had one of those days today...  It wasn't that nothing went right so much as it that it didn't go as expected.  That had blessings and what seem like pains.

Like trying to figure out how to make these new blog template features work.  I thought I'd spend an hour or two as a diversion, taking a break from some other duties.  It would be fun...  ??? What, am I nutz?

I think this blog template works fairly well.  I have not yet figured out how to direct the blog buttons on the first bar at the top of the page to the particular web pages for "Contacts" and "About..."  But I have bigger fires to put out -- like figuring out that I can move gadgets around on Explorer but not on Firefox...  I'm fairly happy with it and I think it's now in working order.  But now I'm in a very weird altered state of consciousness and can't see straight after looking at this crazy box all day.  I'll probably dream about fonts or something.  Rich from over at By His Grace, For His Glory was going to help me try to re-work this old blogger template, but I found this one that seems to be doing just fine.  (I might have to get him to help me figure out this navigation bar at the top, however!)  Thank you, Richard for all of your help.  Now for time to write more posts!

I have all sorts of plans, including finishing up the Cognitive Dissonance posts and the saga with my neighbor.  (I'm partly hoping to stall long enough to have good news of a new convert by the time I get it up online!)

Then, there's Barb Orlowski's new book about Spiritual Abuse Recovery.  And I've found some good videos that I've included in the "Essential Viewing" page which you can select from the tab at the top of the page!   I would like to post them here and discuss them.  Lots of excellent stuff there.   Then I would like to develop the "How to Talk to Your Quiverfull Friends" concept that I've been trying to figure out myself.  (I can definitely talk about what NOT to do through my trial and error schooling!)   And on and on it goes...

And I also had the unexpected occasion to recall a few lines from a poem today.   I'd found just this quote in a book of inspirational sayings more than half of my lifetime ago, and it didn't directly attribute the author.  It came to my mind today as I thought about the cruelty that too many people offer to me as a 40 something year old married woman with no babies to show for 20 years of marriage.  I'd loved this phrase from a poem back when I thought of all of the dreams in my heart to make the world a better place and to set it on fire.  I never dreamed that I would be at this place in my life, for if I thought that I would endure this many years, I would have a few children to show for it. 

I'd remembered the phrasing this way:
What if the dream come true?  What if the dream come true?  And millions unknown come to dwell in the place I have shaped in my heart?  In the noble house of my thoughts?
Today, this lovely prose returned to me in the context of being childless.  My body is weary and I don't even remember what some of my dreams used to be.  I wanted to make a difference that would help to rescue the helpless and to comfort the wounded.  I hoped to help others learn from my mistakes, if that was the only equity I could squeeze from them.  Now I do have only the houses I shape with words and ideas which I'm blessed to enjoy anyway.  But it's funny that we never know what life will bring us.  As my dear friend says, I have the "children of my husband's pain," the consequences of chronic illness.  I would have rather had a redheaded child bouncing around at my knees to be silly with and to teach everything I could possibly remember about everything.  And yet, I find I have more blessings than I can count, just with melancholy.

But here is the poem in its entirety, correctly quoted and referenced.  I'm not surprised to see that it was penned by a fellow Irishman (and a rebel fighter for freedom ;) ), as I am of Irish decent by half, at least.  (Though we were Protestant, and that's also in my blood, I think.)   You can read about Padraic Pearse at your leisure and enjoy his poem.  I'm going to read it once through and close out my long day, reminding myself that the

The Fool
Since the wise men have not spoken, I speak that am only a fool;
A fool that hath loved his folly,
Yea, more than the wise men their books or their counting houses or their quiet homes,
Or their fame in men's mouths;
A fool that in all his days hath done never a prudent thing,
Never hath counted the cost, nor recked if another reaped
The fruit of his mighty sowing, content to scatter the seed;
A fool that is unrepentant, and that soon at the end of all
Shall laugh in his lonely heart as the ripe ears fall to the reaping-hooks
And the poor are filled that were empty,
Tho' he go hungry.
I have squandered the splendid years that the Lord God gave to my youth
In attempting impossible things, deeming them alone worth the toil.

Was it folly or grace? Not men shall judge me, but God.
I have squandered the splendid years:
Lord, if I had the years I would squander them over again,
Aye, fling them from me !

For this I have heard in my heart, that a man shall scatter, not hoard,
Shall do the deed of to-day, nor take thought of to-morrow's teen,
Shall not bargain or huxter with God ; or was it a jest of Christ's
And is this my sin before men, to have taken Him at His word?
The lawyers have sat in council, the men with the keen, long faces,
And said, `This man is a fool,' and others have said, `He blasphemeth;'
And the wise have pitied the fool that hath striven to give a life
In the world of time and space among the bulks of actual things,
To a dream that was dreamed in the heart, and that only the heart could hold.

O wise men, riddle me this: what if the dream come true?
What if the dream come true? and if millions unborn shall dwell
In the house that I shaped in my heart, the noble house of my thought?


Lord, I have staked my soul, I have staked the lives of my kin
On the truth of Thy dreadful word. Do not remember my failures,
But remember this my faith
And so I speak.

Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
O people that I have loved, shall we not answer together?

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, 
and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: 
for more are the children of the desolate
than the children of the married wife, 
saith the LORD.  
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them
stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: 
 spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;  

For thou shalt break forth 
on the right hand and on the left; 
and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, 
and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Isaiah 54:1-3

As I sing myself to sleep...