The Patience of Ordinary Things – Pat Schneider
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
From Another River: New and Selected Poems (Amherst Writers & Artists Press; http://patschneider.com/pat/the-patience-of-ordinary-things/)
This poem inspires me today to take time to look into my life and ordinary things surrounding me with the eyes of love. All the things and people around me are there not by accident, but in relationship with me. And they are even there “for” me with patience and enriching my life with the unknown forms of love. Indeed, the poet sees the world in which “you are, therefore I am,” the world of loving relations.
The poem also leads me to recall one nugget of theological knowledge. Some ancient philosophers and medieval theologians thought that the universe is in its movement by the power of God’s love. Aristotle beautifully sums it up in one sentence: “God moves the world as the beloved object moves the lover.” Isn’t it wonderful to imagine that the God of love moves the world with the power of love, as the lover naturally gets attracted and moves toward the beloved? The poet may see the world through this theological lens.
With the eyes welled up with love, we may find things in different ways. With such eyes of love, the simple presence of all things around us, just as they are, can be a reason of thanksgiving and fresh amazement. Perhaps, the way we are may be a reason for someone to be grateful?
Today, why don’t we look at things with the eyes of love? We may feel grateful for such insignificant and absurd reasons; we may find great motivations to live on and move on. And above all, we may realize once again, that God loves us.
Pastor Earl Kim's weekly reflections