Buechner and the Beach

Over the years, I keep returning to two quotations… One by Walt Whitman–Do I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself.  I am large and I contain multitudes.  And this one by Frederick Buechner.  Both speak of letting fullness dwell within; of letting what is most real dwell within.  And that living with fullness, living with the inner multitudes–our own and those of others, is living a life that knows something of the depth, the honor, the difficulty, of what it is to love.

A visit to Lawrencetown Beach
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. 
—Frederick Buechner
The news and a walk afford
half-assurance of this truth:
Bombs, borders, detentions,
inhumanity, insufficiency, 
desperation, aching humanity.
The other portion,
that is our work of discovery.
To believe a shell can hold the sea if I hold her to my ear;
that time has birthed geodes and fossils and you and me;
that simple is both elegant and enough.
And don’t be afraid.
Of either. Beautiful or terrible.
And how could I,
here with you, not alone.
With the sky and the tides and open horizon.
With apples and strawberries
and clean cold water for lunch;
with laughter and music and a road with a view;
with the lived truth that weighs in pockets: Beautiful and Terrible; 
and with unafraid hearts that have heard the ocean tumble across the stones.
Have heard her tumble and found her sublime.
Have felt the grit and the smooth she leaves
and tasted her on the wind.
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible.
Courageously alive.

—Kimberly M. King, RSCJ 

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