Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...



I feel 16 again because I spent my past two weeks cramming for SATs. I am "casting bread on many waters," when it comes to my future, tapping open as many doors as I can so that God can push me through the right one. This includes application to a handful of universities. Several of which, I discovered, require two SAT subject tests in addition to the regular SATs. So I chose the ones I liked, on world history and literature, and set to studying with my remaining ten days before the test. Literature, no problem. World history... well. I know it generally. I know Western history even better. I love the story of mankind - it's a fascinating epic. The imports and exports and dates of the dynasties of said mankind though... that's another matter entirely. Cramming ensued. Now, tests are over and Christmas is goldenly, spicily here and I am gleeful with the scent of fir and sugar cookies and glint of star-like lights. I still have a book deadline of December 31, which means I'm breathing hard. But I intend to think and read and see many beautiful things this Christmas, and I'll drop postcards of it all here. I'll start with the poem below, which startled me with its poignancy. I found it via my daily email dose of poetry from Davey's. If you want a poem a weekday (with fun, short commentary) in your inbox, you should sign up here. It's an easy way to follow Goethe's maxim to "...hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day ... in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul." So here's the poetry and picture for you. Let me know if you find some steal-your-heart music. Have a heart-always-open day.

may my heart always be open E.E. Cummings

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple and even if it's sunday may i be wrong for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully and love yourself so more than truly there's never been quite such a fool who could fail pulling all the sky over him with one smile