The Lamb

This week has been pretty uneventful in my own life. Things just sort of progressed, as they are wont to do, and I find myself roughly in the same place as the last post, only a week on. A couple of my classes were really interesting this week, though, so I enjoyed them particularly. We had discussions in various classes ranging from Kosovo to the antisemitism/Islamophobia comparison to European citizenship policies and contemplating the future of the European project itself. I am also preparing for a group presentation on English language education policy in Ireland which is a super interesting topic, but lame in the sense of doing work.

I do have some bad news, though. This was the last week of having Research Methods for an hour and a half every Thursday afternoon. For the rest of the term, we have it at normal time in addition to two hours on Fridays in a computer lab doing statistical analysis. So that’s dumb. I’m really not about that life. It does mean the end of pop quizzes on the reading (I think) but it also means that we’re getting tested on statistics. I don’t math, and I certainly don’t statistics, so it’s going to be an especially rough few weeks in that class.

I feel like I should say something about the events of this past week around the world which are simultaneously momentous and all too commonplace. But I also don’t know what to say. And I certainly don’t want to get into this whole thing that has erupted in some quarters about whose suffering is worse and all this ideologically based arguing. Because it’s ridiculous. Sometimes I look at mankind and echo Blake’s contemplation of the tiger:

“Did he who made the lamb make thee?”

But I have hope because I know that my redeemer lives and he is making all things new. Decisions shouldn’t be rushed into, because that almost always makes things worse, and we need to be thinking long-long-term, not just responding to immediate crises. I understand that these issues are immensely complicated–I’m literally getting a degree in this sort of stuff. At the same time, though, some things are easy to see. And, as I’ve said in another post, the best answer, while not outlining policy objectives or elaborating on implementation, is extremely simple: love. Any reaction, if it’s based in loving everyone, will turn out alright. I don’t know, but there’s my two cents on being human.

On a different note, I present the third installment of my month of poetry with another American sonnet, this one by one of my favorites– Edna St. Vincent Millay. I often have difficulty with seeing beauty in autumn. I’m not one of those people who’s really into fall colors and falling leaves and all that (though I can appreciate them on occasion). I do, however, love certain feelings that autumn sometimes inspires. Most of the time, I think of it as contemplative, solemn, and a little melancholy–a combination that I love to luxuriate in. This poem captures something else, though, and it calls to my attention another autumnal feeling entirely, this one much more positive. Enjoy.

God’s World

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
   Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag
To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
         But never knew I this;
         Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

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