pronoun we

I was standing in front of the wood stove this morning warming my backside, a habit built into the edifice of my bones, when I looked out the east window and saw through a tangle of bare aspen and chokecherry branches a small triangle of green in my neighbor’s yard, toy green, a green I hadn’t seen out that window before, after all the mornings; I just stood in that place, thinking: I am standing in a brand new spot in the little world of this house.

I don’t want to grow old like this. Old upon old.

I’ve been reading Thomas Merton the past weeks with some Quakers. I was small in the shadow of Quaker peace when I was a girl, and I hadn’t yet developed my discontent with the pronouns He and We when Merton wrote in a closing prayer in the The Book of Hours, pronouns abounding:

We are in Him, He is in us. There is nothing further to look for, except for the deepening of this life we already possess. Be content.

I should not venture into this country, it’s just I love that Merton ended the passage on be content. Once I overheard a man and woman standing in an aisle in the hardware store discuss which No Trespassing sign to buy. Matter of fact? Conciliatory? When I was a kid, curled on the floor with my brother and sister in front of the television, maybe watching Red Skelton, maybe watching Laugh In, we’d say to each other: Your feet stink. No, Your feet stink.

That we might pass clean out of the midst of all that is transitory and inconclusive: return to the Immense, the Primordial, the Source, the unknown, to Him Who loves and knows, to the Silent, to the Merciful, to the Holy, to Him Who is All.

Companionable pronouns. When I first read Rumi I thought he was in love with a woman.

If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed.

He. She. Dog. Cat. Tree. Swallow. It.

I still squeak between barbed wires to walk out into the open fields. If I reduce God to a pronoun is the pronoun He or We? I’m glad to have an answer.

The plural sky transfigured into one sky; it’s snowing.

I searched the internet to see what Emily Dickinson had to say about precipitation and pleasantly discovered Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Montana.

It’s contentable to be standing in a brand new spot in the little world of this world.

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7 thoughts on “pronoun we

  1. Just the idea that the new green out the window brings on – hat you’re in a new spot in the “little world of this house” – I love that, the way it makes something new, and plasy with ideas of space and time. But there’s a lot more here. Merton is wonderful – haven’t looked in along time – I guess if there has to be a pronoun, let it be “we” but I don’t know! (And we know that’s OK! :-) ) I also love the idea of squeaking through barbed wire to walk into the open fields – wow, that’s intense! I’m selfishly glad you’re writing here; thank you.

penny for your thoughts

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