Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Originally uploaded by gemma.hutton

Let us get right into the detail of being optimistic now. You see for me, the easiest way to stay joyful in daily life is to pay attention. Most of what worries us in life is big, non specific, an unknown looming creature. The truth is that in life's detail we find the most joy, and conversely the most sorrow.

Gemma took this picture of the apple blossom. It could have been taken in our garden, but I think she may have snapped it at the local nature reserve. To me it is a picture of optimism and happiness. I can be happy everyday when I look at the detail of Creation: the clouds, the wind against my face, the sunshine or the rain. But, when I try to think big, about the future, or the situation of the world I find optimism much more difficult. I do not think I can be alone. This does not mean that we should dis-associate ourselves from the bigger picture, but that we should always remember to give proportionate attention to the detail. In doing this we can remember that there is divine care for the world, that the little things are looked after, and if we play our part, people far away will be looked after in the detail too.

In an excellent article about the role of attentiveness in poetry Ed Block comments: To pay attention, then, is our task. It is a challenge to live in that present that Lewis says is our only - though transitory possession; striving wakeful attentiveness that is openness and receptivity, and is also peace and selfless joy; as translucent (if not transparent) as the light of God that shines on all. And we take heart when we remember that, as Lewis says, "Joy is the serious business of Heaven."

Poetry, Attentiveness and Prayer
Ed Block
New Blackfriars: A Review
Vol 89 No 1020
March 2008

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