#AdventBookClub week 5 – day 6 – ‘That there…’

I wonder what sort of landscape you are transported to by R.S.Thomas’ image of :

       a landscape
that will through all time
resist our endeavours
at domestication.

My mind goes to the moors my cousins and I played on as children – with huge and strange rock formations which we pretended were animals or castles or pirate ships, or whatever our game required – vast untamed space where we too could be untamed. Or the sea on a wild and windy day, crashing over whatever sea walls or flood barriers we humans have erected in a vain attempt to contain or control it. Or the sheer enormity of a view so vast our eyes and minds struggle to take it in, and a photo can never to justice to the immense space.

But all the wild landscapes of our experience or imagination are only a metaphor in Thomas’ writing for the untamed vastness of God. Lurking beneath the surface of our world, beneath all our illusions or order and control, is another reality: the all-encompassing, untamable wildness/wilderness of God. For me, this has echoes of what a very different theologian, Mary Daly, refers to as the Background, which she defines as:

"the Realm of Wild Reality: the Homeland of women's Selves and of all other Others; the Time/Space where auras of plants, planets, stars animals, and all Other animate beings connect"

I wonder whether Thomas would recognise in that definition something of the untamed reality of the kingdom of God, which he tries to capture (if ‘capture’ can possibly be the right word for conveying the very wildness of it) in this poem, and in so much of his writing?

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’.

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