Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Good Morning, George Bernard Shaw!

I have this letter on the back of my bathroom door. I've had it like that for a couple years, so that every time I go to the bathroom I glance at it. I think it's done something for me, but I couldn't put it into words.

I think it's by an Italian monk named Fra Giovanni, and it's dated 1513. I don't know if they had exclamation points in 1513, but the version I have uses them.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see, and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, the angel's hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.

Our joys too, be not content with them as joys--they, too, conceal deeper gifts.

And so at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends its greetings but with profound esteem and the prayer that for you, for now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

rock on--


No comments: