Feb 272012

So, this blog is in part supposed to be a sort of Lenten practice. As today is Sunday, and a feast day, I like the idea of just sharing a poem. It’s a favorite of mine, by Wendell Berry.

Do not Be Ashamed

You will be walking some night

in the comfortable dark of your yard

and suddenly a great light will shine round about you,

and behind you will be a wall you never saw before.

It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape,

and that you are guilty:

you misread the complex instructions,

you are not a member,

you lost your card or never had one.

And you will know that they have been there all along,

their eyes on your letters and books,

their hands in your pockets,

their ears wired to your bed.

Though you have done nothing shameful,

they will want you to be ashamed.

They will want you to kneel and weep

and say you should have been like them.

And once you say you are ashamed,

reading the page they hold out to you,

then such light as you have made in your history will leave you.

They will no longer need to pursue you.

You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.

They will not forgive you.

There is no power against them.

It is only candor that is aloof from them,

only an inward clarity, unashamed, that they cannot reach.

Be ready.

When their light has picked you out

and their questions are asked,

say to them: “I am not ashamed.”

A sure horizon will come around you.

The heron will begin his evening flight from the hilltop.

  2 Responses to “Poem Sunday”

  1. What an enlightening image. Thank you. It is already strengthening my weak knees.

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