During the month of November, I kept a long list of stuff I'm grateful for (examples: my poetry group, my health, Bruiser, the internet, the color yellow, my marriage, our grandchildren, chances to travel, weekly phone calls with Amelia, music, my cell phone, little rituals, daily walk, my crazy yard . . .).
One thing for which I am very grateful is NPR, and recently I heard two amazing programs that completely got to me, though in different ways.
One was a program called "Heretics" on This American Life. (Here's the link for the program.)
"Reporter Russell Cobb takes us through the remarkable and meteoric rise of Carlton Pearson, Russell Cobb takes us through the remarkable and meteoric rise of Carlton Pearson from a young man to a Pentecostal Bishop: from the moment he first cast the devil out of his 17-year old boyfriend, to the days when he had a close, personal relationship with Oral Roberts, and had appearances on TV and at the White House. Just as Reverend Pearson's career peaked, with more than 5000 members of his congregation coming every week, he started to think about hell, wondering if a loving God would really condemn most of the human race to burn and writhe in the fire of hell for eternity."
The other program was an interview I heard yesterday on Fresh Air, with Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, who were "who were instrumental in linking the evangelical community with the anti-abortion movement." What makes him so interesting is his (can you see this coming?) crisis of faith: "after coming of age as an evangelist and helping to organize religious fundamentalists politically, Schaeffer had a crisis of faith: Though he is pro-life, he decided that abortion should remain legal." This was an amazing and fascinating interview with a very thoughtful and extremely articulate person of faith. You can hear it here.
Finally, while I was working on a poem today, I found this, from Yeats:
I shall find the dark grow luminous, the void fruitful when I understand I have nothing, that the ringers in the tower have appointed for the hymen of the soul a passing bell.The last knowledge has often come most quickly to turbulent men, and for a season brought new turbulence. When life puts away her conjuring tricks one by one, those that deceive us longest may well be the wine-cup and the sensual kiss, for our Chambers of Commerce and of Commons have not the divine architecture of the body, nor has their frenzy been ripened by the sun. The poet, because he may not stand within the sacred house but lives amid the whirlwinds that beset its threshold, may find his pardon.