Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Soul Is All But Out of Me

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote this wonderful poem that I memorized as a child and can still quote by heart:

God's World

O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

This is what it feels like, being home this mid-October week in Boulder, at the peak of autumn brilliance, as I reconnect to the life and world I left behind two months ago to head to Indiana. Every day is so filled with emotional intensity. At church this morning dozens of people not only hugged me, but held on to me, as I held on to them. We stood there in the pews holding each other, close to tears. And that was only one hour of my visit home!

I've been so happy in Indiana - I had almost forgotten this, forgotten home - and now it's all come back to me, with a passion that is stretching me apart, my sweet life too beautiful for me to be able to bear it. I feel like Emily in Our Town, come back from the grave for one day, marveling at how earthly people are able to endure the intensity of each ordinary moment. “Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it -- every, every minute?”

Only I've come back not for one day, but for one whole week.

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