Saturday, July 30, 2011

Some small weak tender part...

Artist: Van Gogh

Here is a poem I recently found. I'm using it for reflective reading. It presents an ideal, of course. An ideal undoubtedly impossible to live up to - although some of the great saints have come pretty close, I'd say. I think this kind of wondering is an antidote for cynicism as well as a remedy for discouragement and that's no small thing:

I wonder what would happen if
I treated everyone like I was in love
with them, whether I like them or not
and whether they respond or not and no matter
what they say or do to me and even if I see
things in them which are ugly twisted petty
cruel vain deceitful indifferent, just accept
all that and turn my attention to some small
weak tender hidden part and keep my eyes on
that until it shines like a beam of light
like a bonfire I can warm my hands by and trust
it to burn away all the waste which is not
never was my business to meddle with.

-- Derek Tasker



  1. My wife and I went to see Cowboys and Aliens last night. There is young Native American man who plays exactly the role that Derek Tasker describes in relations to the sour, ruthless old Ranch owner and bully played by Harrison Ford. There is redemption toward the end of the movie that is due to the Native American boy turning his full attention to a small hidden part of Ford's character until it shines like a beam of light.

  2. Oh, I must see that. Your description of the redemptive aspect of the story sounds intriguing.

  3. I completely love this quote...wouldn't it be absolutely grand if we all treated one another this way?

    A couple of weeks ago I was hurt by someone who angrily turned on me (quite out of the blue and unreasonably it seemed to me)...I was caught off guard. This would hade been a good mantra to know...maybe next time.

    annie c

  4. I have to admit it is not a mantra I could or would wish to follow. I'll leave that to those special saints who have that calling. But I was touched by the unyielding devotion of the Native American in Cowboys and Aliens. But the way I found the movie to have mythical aspects that made it compare favorably in tone with the Early Star Wars Movies. There were multiple stories but tied together with a common theme of growth, redemption and factions that started off in animosity coming together to face a common enemy that threatens apocalypse.

  5. I'm so sorry that happened to you, Annie. And it makes it so much worse when we're blindsided that way.

    Yes, I really want to see that movie now, Tom. But isn't it a pity that we typically have to have a common enemy before coming together?

  6. Ellie-
    I enjoy the VanGogh image you chose with the inspiring words by Tasker-which are ideal but necessary. Good painting + painter to select as often his subject is grim-abject- yet portrayed in rich color, light & found beauty.

  7. Oh, thanks, Kara! From you, that is high praise indeed. (And I did spend quite a bit of time looking for just the right image...)

  8. When I was a teenager I was passionately in love with the idea of being passionately in love with God, and it seems to me that's maybe not so far away from what the poem is saying.

  9. Wonderful! Blessings. Anthony Rebello


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