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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I just read D. H. Lawrence's "The Ship of Death": A rebuttal

(You are free to go read all of it on your own.)

It is about autumn and the apples falling... and dying... rotting.
Dying to self and just plain dying... and preparing for that, as he was, in the last months of his life. Pretty depressing stuff...
Now it is autumn and the falling fruit
and the long journey towards oblivion.
The apples falling like great drops of dew
to bruise themselves an exit from themselves.
And it is time to go, to bid farewell
to one's own self, and find an exit
from the fallen self.
And it goes on.
It is about seeing some kind of awesome beauty in the relentless, unforgiving cycles of nature. And a kind of brooding warning. We are going to die... this is one true fact we know without a shadow of a doubt.
But I can't look at it as he did... that we have to spend much time "building," preparing our "ship of death"... Death is something that is the one thing in our life experience we need not worry about, it will have its way soon enough, with or without our cooperation.
Still, autumn seems to have that effect on those who study the titanic moods of the earth.... as we watch the whole hemisphere go into a dying act, in fact a cold, suspended slumber. Fruit falls, leaves congregate at your gate, animals scavenge for sustenance. For a moment we consider our own mortality, and brown leaves and dead grass rattle our confidence. And poets quake.
But we live on.
And that is the lesson. God wants us to know that, while the rest of the earth goes into death throes, we live on. We can watch dispassionately, knowing our fate is not in sync with these forces. We live because we are slated as children of God... to be...
We are building, or neglecting in some cases, each of us, our individual Ships of Life!
That is what I am building!
As the Apostle Paul so insolently proclaimed, "Oh death, where is thy sting!"
Thank you Lord, my Shepherd, for the peace that knowing this gives your sheep.

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