Monday, February 14, 2011

The Way It Is

                             William Strafford

There is a thread you follow.  It goes among
things that change.  But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what things you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread,
but it’s hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and grow old.

Nothing you do can stop times unfolding.
But you don’t ever let go of the thread.

A friend included this poem in a collection of favorites given as a gift, and I love it.  It reads to me like a dropped pebble sinking into a calm pool of water, the words going deeper and deeper to a quiet place.  And the reminder to us all of what really matters: don’t ever let go of the thread.
Our lives are woven together by people and experiences and so, naturally, we write about our thread-bare lives.   Dropped Threads, a book in celebration of Canadian authors, is a reminder of how we do, actually, sometimes drop even the most important connections that weave us together and, when dropped, leave us frayed at the edges.  Not at all perfect.
I also remember coming across a poem in seminary written by the great African American minister, preacher and author, Howard Thurman.  In this poem/prayer, Thurman reflects on all the threads in his life that he holds in his hand, threads of relationships, roles and responsibilities.  Some of these threads get dropped in spite of our best efforts, leaving us more ragged and sad.  Some of the threads are like lifelines of energy and hope.  But there’s one thread that holds him, and that is the thread of God.  
Of all the threads that weave together your life, what is the thread that you must never let go of?

Dan Chambers

1 comment:

  1. You pose a good question, Dan. Although you may have meant it rhetorically, I have given it some consideration and would have to say that the thread I can't let go of is my sense of self, which is wrapped in and through with all those other threads like God & Spirit,relationships, energy and hope.

    Thanks for the reflection time!