Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another favorite poem to reassess

A few years ago I wrote a blog about the power of certain songs and poems to affect the soul. I think I wrote it on the song "I am a rock" and how because I wasn't careful, I made the song (and others like it) my inner vow.  Yes, songs like "I stand alone."

These songs have power to affect the soul and certainly affected my life. So we really have to be careful about the songs/poems that healed us or our childhood selves.

So today...I thought of one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems.


The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.
Unmoved, she notes the chariot's pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.
I've known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

I realized to my deep grief and sorrow that the power described in this poem is not one I want to indulge in anymore. As a kid and a teen and as an adult in some churches I was rejected. Mostly racial issues. Or folks who thought I was just plain too uneducated or poor for them to befriend.

I realized that in my fantasies (sexual or otherwise) there is a cruel power lingering, one I no longer which to have. I liked the idea of saying, "This is my friend and I will treat him/her gently and sweetly. But you are not my friend and so I will be impatient and cruel to you." I do this with a lot of people online and in the real world. It is a formof iniquity, i think. Because I will forgive my friends anything, ANYTHING, ANYTHING. But I will not easily forgive a non-friend even the smallest slight. It's an interesting kind of power to play the childhood kindergarten game of "He's my friend but you're not." But I want to grow in love and I don't want Holy Spirit to leaveme. It will mean risking being disliked by folks but I think I would rather not upset the Holy Spirit by having an unloving defensive heart that likes knowing it can be cruel to some people and not cruel to others.

So there...another favorite poem has been analyzed and cast off with the old man that produced it.
With Jesus helping me, I can do it. Thank you, Holy Spirit
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