December 01, 2008

Being Alive

As Scott said, I've been adjusting to life at a secular university, and as Ambrose said, sorry for not letting you know sooner.

Life here is certainly not boring, nor is it comfortable. An example of this is that at the moment, I'm learning to trust God with the fifth in a series of spiritual attacks and writing a paper on elbowed squid.

Some days it's just hard to keep going- everything can frighten me if I let it, and not letting it takes exorbitant amounts of energy.

I have a plethora of ponderings on the election, amorality, ego and evolution, the prevalence of profanity, intellectualism, nutritional deficiencies, the importance of classical music, nonconformity, and why not joining a crowd of streakers setting off fireworks makes a person racist. I'll try to write them down as I reconjure them.

For right now, here's a poem my guardian angel led me to a few weeks ago when I was feeling really depressed. I've since committed it to memory and think it to myself whenever I start losing my grip on reality. It also fits to any 8787 hymn tune, if you want a mental accompaniment while reciting it.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!-
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined path and way,
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


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