the shifting plates … your precious life

by Rev. Robert Walsh
Did you ever think there might be a fault line
Passing underneath your living room:
A place in which your life is lived
In meeting and in separating, wondering and telling,
Unaware that just beneath you
Is the unseen seam of great plates that strain through time?
And that your life, already spilling over the brim,
Could be invaded, sent off in a new direction,
Turned aside by forces that you were warned about but never prepared for?
Shelves could be spilled out,
The level floor set at an angle in some seconds’ shaking.
You would have to take your losses, do whatever must be done next.
When the great plates slip and the earth shivers
And the flaw is seen to lie in what you trusted most,
Look not to more solidity, to weighty slabs of concrete poured
Or strength of cantilevered beam to save the fractured order.
Trust more the tensile strands of love that bend and stretch
To hold you in the web of life that’s often torn but always healing.
There’s your strength.
The shifting plates, the restive earth, your room, your precious life,
They all proceed from love, the ground on which we walk together.
Thank you to my friend Sarah, who shared these beautiful words with me after my father’s death this past month.

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  1. Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Oh my word Lindsey so powerful. Sharing this widely. Words to live by. Thank you ❤️


  2. nancy king bernstein
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Have always loved this! -It’s been in my chapbook forever–he was a Unitarian Universalist minister–not one I knew, but I know & love his writing.

    Wishing you & yours a happy new year.


  3. Posted January 11, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    This is so lovely and timely. Thank you, Lindsey. xo


  4. Kate
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    That’s really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. I am so sorry for your loss. My mother-in-law passed away last summer and the finality is hard to grasp at times.


  5. Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! Xo


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