I find the imagery of today’s poem strange and startling. I had not made the connection with baptism until I read Carys Walsh’s reflection, but that struck me as significant. The imagery of death and depth speaks of the baptismal journey of dying to self and finding new life in Christ. But it speaks too of the strangeness, the disturbance, the disruption which comes with such life-altering new birth.
This poem speaks to me too of the tension between desire and fear of greater self-knowledge. We may long to live more fully as the people God has created and called us to be, and yet at the same time fear what such fullness of life may bring, and what it may uncover in us. Certainly that has been my experience of discerning vocation: the simultaneous yearning towards becoming more and more who I am, and holding back for fear of who that might turn out to be.
So what kind of ‘accepting’ do we find here? I think perhaps it is the accepting of contradiction and complexity, the accepting of the cost of living truly and authentically as ourselves. And there is an acceptance too that we are always in the now-and-not yet of saying ‘I have this that I must do / One day’. We are all works in progress, ‘human becomings’ as a dear friend of mine puts it.
This year for #AdventBookClub we are reading “Frequencies of God: walking through Advent with R.S. Thomas” by Carys Walsh. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AdventBookClub or on Facebook by searching for the group ‘Advent Book Club’.