Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 in Reflections | 1 comment

Mary birthday 
My youngest turned six today, and it's becoming ever more evident I gave birth to Ramona Quimby.  : ) 

I sure do love you, darlin'!



What You Have to Get Over
by Dick Allen 
Stumps. Railroad tracks. Early sicknesses,
the blue one, especially.
Your first love rounding a corner,
that snowy minefield.
Whether you step lightly or heavily,
you have to get over to that tree line a hundred yards in the distance
before evening falls,
letting no one see you wend your way,
that wonderful, old-fashioned word, wend,
meaning “to proceed, to journey,
to travel from one place to another,”
as from bed to breakfast, breakfast to imbecile work.
You have to get over your resentments,
the sun in the morning and the moon at night,
all those shadows of yourself you left behind
on odd little tables.
Tote that barge! Lift that bale! You have to
cross that river, jump that hedge, surmount that slogan,
crawl over this ego or that eros,
then hoist yourself up onto that yonder mountain.
Another old-fashioned word, yonder, meaning
“that indicated place, somewhere generally seen
or just beyond sight.” If you would recover,
you have to get over the shattered autos in the backwoods lot
to that bridge in the darkness
where the sentinels stand
guarding the border with their half-slung rifles,
warned of the likes of you. 


I like this poem so very much because of its emphasis on continuously moving forward, even while fully understanding the journey will be long and ever fraught with eye- twitch-inducing challenges and frustrations. What gets me no where in a hurry is plopping down on the floor and pouting…or worrying…or making excuses for why I'm sitting on my bum motionless: Life's not fa-a-a-i-i-r-r! He's not fair! She's not fair! 

Isn't it all just a matter of perspective, really?

What if I viewed my screw-ups, betrayals, rejections, disappointments not as obstacles to eliminate but necessary refining fires to pass through – as my only hope for burning up the pride sitting all heavy and obtrusive on my shoulders? Pride is the worst.  Pride makes me forget I need God, and forgiveness. Pride makes me arrogantly summarize the intentions of others, and judge their actions having never walked even a block in their shoes. Pride trips me up and slows me down.


I want to wake up determined to scale the daily mountains set before me, instead of recoiling from them with resentment. I can't afford to waste energy on pining over "could have," would have," should haves." The last line of the poem is particularly powerful, I think. I'm only a threat to hell and hate ( that bridge in the darkness where the sentinels stand guarding the border with their half-slung rifles, warned of the likes of you.)when I'm no longer blinded by a ravenous sense of entitlement. I'm only truly dangerous when Love/Christ is all I want or need.