Happy Monday, my lovely, lovely friends! Can you believe it is December 20th already? (I actually can’t stand when people say things like that, as if the passage of time is an entirely new and unexpected occurence to us when we are of course living in it at every moment).
Today is just a short little post to remind you that when I started this Advent blog, I promised that we would have gifts at the end! They are three of my most favorite books in the world: (1) The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (the anniversary edition of the original); (2) Ten Poems to Change Your Life by the amazing poet and writer Roger Housden; and (3) The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality For Real Life, a new favorite by James Martin.
Since we are nearing the end of Advent, now is the time to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Gabe will choose three names at random (he can’t read yet, but I think if you said your name was Batman, he might be able to recognize that on the screen…), and you may be the one to receive one of these treasures. I can’t wait! (Please don’t go all midwestern on me and be too reticent to email; I really, really want to share these books with you)!
Today’s poem is also short, but so very, very kind. It is by Czeslaw Milosz. To see one’s self from a distance, as the poet recommends, lets us see that yes, we are “only one thing among many,” and the comfort in that is knowing that we are part of everything, and also neither more nor less important than any other living thing. The last line is also very comforting: serve, but don’t worry about needing to understand.
Love means to look at yourself
the way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills–
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.