Old Man Jayber Crow
Many I loved as man and boy
Are gone beyond all that I know,
Fallen leaves under falling rain,
Except Christ raise them up again.
I know my blessings by their cost,
Thus is the pride of man made low.
To ease the sorrow of my thoughts,
Though I’m too weary now and slow,
I’ll need to dance all night for joy.
From This Day
A little Jayber for this beautiful day, because it’s about time for my annual re-reading of one of my favorite novels:
“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time…of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here…It is in the world, but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.”
It’s supposed to be springtime in Indiana, and it makes me want to read outside in the crisp spring breeze. I’m re-reading one of my favorites, Jayber Crow, and I love this (I won’t even apologize, even though I’m sure I’ve shared it here before):
“‘You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out – perhaps a little at a time.’
And how long is that going to take?’
I don’t know. As long as you live, perhaps.’
That could be a long time.’
I will tell you a further mystery,’ he said. ‘It may take longer.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
From Jayber Crow, my favorite:
I remember too how spring came, just when I thought it might stay winter forever, at first in little ouches and strokes of green lighting up the bare mud like candle flames, and then it covered the whole place with a light pelt of shadowy glass blades and leaves. And I remember how as the days and the winds passed over, the foliage shifted and sang.
I began to feel at home.
Here is Jayber Crow (one of my favorite characters and novels) on the church…
My vision of the gathered church that had come to me… had been replaced by a vision of the gathered community. What I saw now was the community imperfect and irresolute but held together by the frayed and always fraying, incomplete and yet ever-holding bonds of the various sorts of affection. There had maybe never been anybody who had not been loved by somebody, who had been loved by somebody else, and so on and on… It was a community always disappointed in itself,disappointing its members, always trying to contain its divisions and gentle its meanness, always failing and yet always preserving a sort of will toward goodwill. I knew that, in the midst of all the ignorance and error, this was a membership; it was the membership of Port William and of no other place on earth. My vision gathered the community as it never has been and never will be gathered in this world of time, for the community must always be marred by members who are indifferent to it or against it, who are nonetheless its members and maybe nonetheless essential to it. And yet I saw them all as somehow perfected, beyond time, by one another’s love, compassion, and forgiveness, as it is said we may be perfected by grace.