Sister Doreen’s reflections
I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day
A Poem by E.E. Cummings
I thank you God for most this amazing day
For the leaping greenly spirits of trees
And the blue true dream of sky
And for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is Yes
I who have died am alive again today
And this is the sun’s birthday
This is the birth day of life and of love and wings
And of the gay great happening illimitably earth
How should tasting, touching, seeing, breathing any
Lifted from the no of all nothing
Human merely being doubt unimaginable You?
Now the ears of my ears awake
And now the eyes of my eyes are opened.
E.E. Cummings is an American poet, song writer, and painter – and in all of these artistic medium he has an idiosyncratic style. They encourage fresh perceptions.
One of the intriguing ways that EE Cummings uses the arrangement of words in his poetry is how it makes you stop and ponder as you read the poem. This caught my attention and became the occasion of some very meaningful pondering. The poem overwhelmed me with a sense of a sudden, sweeping awareness of the glory of God – in its beauty, its complexity, and its vastness – and E. E. Cummings response of “Yes” – to God as a “Yes”. I found that it moved my heart to kneel humbly before this Yes in awe and wonder. And the ears of my ears awoke and the eyes of my eyes were opened … and I understood at new depth myself as a little great one! All of this was gathered up in his use of the word “illimitably” – such a wonderful word to add to those Godly whispers or love words in centering prayer.
The ears of my ears and the eyes of my eyes – that call to a deep spiritual hearing and seeing of being awake, of opening our inner ears and our inner eyes – it is a call we need to awaken in ourselves. It is the call to know that we are indeed the chosen one – the great little one.
It leads to pondering with the inner ears of my heart – and the inner eyes of my heart: all the circumstances and experiences of the life I encounter on my journey home to God, through the valleys of the shadows of grief and death and the mountains of joy and delight; the successes and the failures that lead me to depend on God alone in grateful thanksgiving.
In the book “The Herb of Grace” by Elizabeth Goudge, Sally began musing over a situation: “And yet trying to see things as they were, as was her habit, aware that excessive shame was just as distorting to the judgement as excessive arrogance … at this point her thoughts would come up against Hamlet’s words, ‘The readiness is all’, and cling to them as to a rock. That put it in a nutshell. ‘That was the only possible attitude to life and death, as well as to love. You had to be ready to be used or not used, picked up or cast aside, and it didn’t really matter which it was provided you yourself were pliant to fate like a reed to the wind. … It was one of the glorious things about life, that for the pliant there was never really any lasting emptiness. They said that even into the emptiness of physical blindness there crept eventually new awareness and new powers. … For herself, if she could manage to welcome sorrow as readily as joy, it would shape her as deftly as joy could have done to whatever beauty of being it was within her power to reach…”
These words have become words that I live by, words that have changed me and “I thank you God for most this amazing day”.