Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"The Sea refuses no river..."

"...I have seen a trace of strain
In other's eyes not spoken...
Now's the time
when we decide what freedom is
and turn water into wine

For the sea refuses no river
We're polluted now
but in our hearts still clean
The sea refuses no river...
We're washed over stones
But the sea won't refuse this muddy river
Nor deny the sulfurous stream..."

Pete Townsend

So, confession time.   This won't come as much of a shock, but I have never really been a big Pete Townsend, or the Who, fan.  In fact, I found their music confusing and unsettling, sometimes, "back in the day." And to be honest, even the song I've used to keynote this piece did not really strike me as "all that," when I first heard it years ago.   But over the last decade, I have become somewhat obsessed with the spiritual symbology of all things water and stone...the sea, rivers, tears, baptism, brooks, streams, stones, rocks, boulders, pebbles...and the interaction between those two elements.

So, when I was reminded of its song title, "
The Sea Refuses No River," after seeing it posted on friend's Facebook page, I had to give it another listen.  And when I read the lyrics, especially to some of the later verses, I was smitten.  It shifted my poet's heart into overdrive. 

John Donahue once wrote:

"I would love to live
like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding."

And Mary Baker Eddy, in referring to the balance of strength and peace, found in every drop of water, said:

This strength is like the ocean, able to carry navies, yet yielding to the touch of a finger. This peace is spiritual; never selfish, stony, nor stormy, but generous, reliable, helpful, and always at hand."

and elsewhere she says:

"'What if the little rain should say,
"'So small a drop as I
Can ne'er refresh a drooping earth,
I'll tarry in the sky.'"

Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God?  You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this.  Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right, and thus demonstrating deific Principle.  A dewdrop reflects the sun.  Each of Christ's little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer's declaration true, that 'one on God's side is a majority.'

A single drop of water may help to hide the stars, or crown the tree with blossoms."

I love thinking of myself, metaphorically, as a drop of water...pure, unadulterated H2O.  Nothing more...and nothing less.  A perfectly balanced combination of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule...or in the case of man - me, or any of infinite quantity of Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love "molecules" as our elemental makeup...just like God. 

If we see you, and I, and the rest of fact, all right constantly uniting, merging into a river with only one destination...God (the Sea) beautiful this song becomes.  No matter what we go through, no matter what seems to bind itself to us, violate our purity, interfere with our clarity, muck up our vision...the sea never rejects the never rejects or refuses even one drop of what constitutes its own makeup...pure, universal humanity. 

Here is the poem that poured from my heart as I listened to Pete singing this very powerful lyric.  And I wonder if,  perhaps...some forty years later than my peers,...even I can become a Pete Townsend never know...

We drop down
from on high
gentle rain,
torrential showers,
as a monsoon
flooding rice paddies in
or a drainage ditch
washing through a Brazilian
a stream meandering between
cottages and cabins in
a mountain hamlet,
soft showers
the tender herbs
growing alongside
tomatoes and
marigolds for
a cook's garden in

We find our way
through the
under a bridge,
swelling up from the
through the sewer ditches of
a life broken
and shattered by shame,
along the
walls of a grand
mansions full of
parties and

we swirl
and turn and
and carve and
navies and pebbles,
bits of garbage and
restored tall ships
christened with
champagne and caviar

but the Sea
doesn't know
what we've borne
as burdens,
where we've been,
the boulders we've diverted by,
who we've touched, or
how we've flown from mountain top
to where the
meets the salty tears of
a parent
waiting for
her return...

The Sea
refuses no river...

any river
or stream,
not any single drop of
on her way

the Sea
the river...
She accepts
her into
folds of of Her
generous salt-drenched
each drop
she is
one with her
she is

thanks Scott for encouraging me, thorugh your post, to listen again...
Kate Robertson, CS

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Kate this poem is beautiful and so poignant for me at this moment. It is hopeful for me to think that we are like the river flowing into the sea, and that we will never be turned away no matter what we have seen and carried along the way. Your poem has reminded me that no matter where our journey has taken us our path will always lead us back to God, and we are always welcome. Thank you! ♥♥