Thank you for singing along with me about the wastes of cosmic slime and life risen out of mire last Sunday! There are many startling images in that hymn, which is a setting of a poem by Don Marquis he called "Unrest" and wrote in 1925. Unitarian Universalism is a faith that aspires to be open to change. But even for one who claims to be open to change, it is pretty bold to claim:
Sing we no governed firmament,
Cold, ordered, regular –
We sing the stinging discontent
That leaps from star to star.
We like order, we like to have our expectations confirmed, and we all have regular routines that give us comfort. If somebody told me they were singing of stinging discontent, I'd assume they were in pain and singing the blues!
If we believe in change, if we believe “a fierce unrest seethes at the core of all existing things,” then perhaps it makes sense that singing the blues is part of moving forward. And it makes sense that there must be some sort of discontent we feel if the status quo isn't acceptable to us.
But as we acknowledge our discontents with the status quo, let's also remember to find the beauty and love that is available to us right now. We may have trod the earth down under our feet, but as Gerard Manley Hopkins writes, in spite of that, “There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” And in that freshness, which is always available to us, lies renewal.
May you leap from star to star and connect to a deep down dearest freshness!
I will be away from Michigan from February 20 through March 3. I'll be attending the week-long First Year Ministers Seminar in Boston and taking a few days before and after that to visit with my wife, Kristin, whom I haven't seen since December.
I'll be checking email periodically while I'm away, and if there is an emergency, please text or call me at 989-941-6013. You can also message me on Facebook.
While I'm away, if a pastoral care issue arises that needs to be addressed before I get back, Rev. Kathryn Bert, my colleague who is the senior minister of the UU congregation in Lansing is available to you. You can reach Rev. Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 351-4081 ext. 5#.