Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keeper of the Springs

The mystery of who wrote beautiful the words that I quoted in yesterday's post about letters, is solved.

This evening after supper I went back into the loft room to continue the sorting and sifting, but not very much throwing out I'm afraid. I found one of my most treasured books, Keeper of the Springs, by Ingrid Trobisch with Marlee Alex. The quote is from that book, and is by Katrine Stewart, who is the author's daughter.

The somewhat beaten up, poor book itself was given to me five years ago by Susan, my dear friend, who bought it for the princely sum of something like a dollar, because she believed I fit the author's definition of a "keeper of the springs." I believe that she is right!

Ingrid writes:
The things in my home are not collector's junk, the result of hoarding or cocooning: they are my lifeblood. "Just throw it away" people might say of certain objects, broken and mended. But because these things have been wounded in action, they are precious to me.

Brokenness is a symbol of some new value. A crack or chip or missing piece denotes that someone touched this, someone used it once upon a time. Each patch or dent says, there is a story here, another chapter in the context of our family history.

Ingrid Trobisch is a kindred spirit. My loft room is full of things that remind me of people, some of them people that no one else remembers. It feels like a sacred charge to remember them and keep some token, no matter how small, to represent the fact that they were here once. I cherish their memory and love to bring them to life again in story.

So, in the spirit of doing exactly that, I would like to share a wise and philosphical poem that I love, written by a Jewish man, the father of one of the group of people with disabilities with whom we lived for almost ten years.

This and That

If you have THIS--you can't have THAT
That's how life works with me,
It seems we can't have everything--it was not meant to be,
That we should gather to ourselves the whole of life's delight--
There must be something missing--just to spur us to the fight.
There'll always be a heartache in the triumphs that we gain;
In every thrill of pleasure there's a little stab of pain,
For absent ones, for chances lost, regrets, what might have been,
Some blot upon the landscapes of the fairest scene.
'Tis better so, for only thus we learn Life's deepest truth,
We cannot find fulfilment in the ecstacy of youth.
Having this--don't sigh for that, that's life, and it's God's way,
You can't have both...so take with joy, the blessings of today.

Michael Myers, February 2nd, 1965; age 79

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

"...because these things have been wounded in action, they are precious to me." Lovely! I'll be thinking about those words all day. Thanks for posting them AND the poem.

Susan said...

I guess I must be REALLY precious then... :)

Suz said...

Those things trigger memories, I understand. Something is worn and tattered because it ha been loved. I have a small teddy bear from my childhood that no one else would find beautiful but me!

Thank you for the beautiful poem, too.

Suz said...

Those things trigger memories, I understand. Something is worn and tattered because it ha been loved. I have a small teddy bear from my childhood that no one else would find beautiful but me!

Thank you for the beautiful poem, too.