01 March 2012

I have a friend

who loves Emily Dickinson.  I always liked her poetry too.  There's a truth about her that's hard to beat.  I've been thinking a lot about my friend's favorite poem from her:

The bustle in the house
the morning after death
is solemnest of industries
enacted upon earth.
The packing up the heart
and putting love away,
we will not need to use again
until eternity.

There is something of that after a pastor takes a call.  The packing up the heart and putting love away.  Well, love is never put away and it cannot be put away, and that's part of the pathos of the piece.  But there is a packing up and putting away - if not of love, of the things that loved ones shared together.  As mundane as assembling files that may be useful for another on the computer and files that you know you'll not need ever again and hitting that delete button.  I haven't hit it yet.  Still can't bring myself to.  But it's only a matter of time.  Maybe I'll hit it tonight for at least a few of these things I'll not use again because they are so St. Paul's specific.  Sigh.


David Garner said...

That is a beautiful poem. I'm sorry for how hard this is for you, and yet I'm confident it is the right thing. God be with you as you go.

P.S., my favorite Dickenson poem, since I first read it in college:

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a billow be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

William Weedon said...

Thanks, David. Change never comes without pain.
I love that poem you posted.

Editor said...

Keep everything on your computer. There is plenty of space, and you never know when you will need to unpack a little love from the past.


Tapani Simojoki said...

Thank you for sharing the poem. I read it minutes before visiting a grieving family and shared it with them, too. It was much appreciated by all.

Blessings to you, the family and to St. Paul's as you say goodbye and prepare for new things.

Dr. Nagel sent a greeting to the recent 50th anniversary celebrations at Westfield House (he was the first Preceptor). It began something like this: "50 years! Who would have thought? The Lord did." And the end, again loosely from memory: "What lies ahead? Just wait!" He may have similar thoughts about you all at this time. He probably ought to.

Rev. James Leistico said...

did you know you could sing almost all Emily Dickenson poems to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas"?

my High School Lit teacher cursed me with this knowledge, and what I've been given, I hand on to you...

Untamed Shrew said...

Gorgeous poem. We've now been at Village almost 3 years, and it still feels like a death. There are phone calls and letters with especially close members of the former parish, but very little physical contact. It has really brought a whole new significance to the Incarnation and the Supper. We are flesh-and-blood beings, and we desperately crave flesh-and-blood fellowship --even to the point of feeling incomplete without it. He knows this. He made us in His image.


William Weedon said...


Yes, very hard - and quite profound words about the nature of the Incarnation and the Supper. We need an embodied God. Dr. Nagel's wise words: "A God who is everywhere is a useless as a God who is nowhere; what we need is a God who is SOMEWHERE." Pax!