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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

533 a mute blessedness Exceeding all distress, The fresh light stained a hundred shades of green.

Day 533 Tuesday August 31st 2021

But a mute blessedness

Exceeding all distress,

The fresh light stained a hundred shades of green.

“Sabbaths – 1979, IV”

by Wendell Berry


The bell calls in the town

Where forebears cleared the shaded land

And brought high daylight down

To shine on field and trodden road.

I hear, but understand

Contrarily, and walk into the woods.

I leave labor and load,

Take up a different story.

I keep an inventory

Of wonders and of uncommercial goods.

I climb up through the field

That my long labor has kept clear.

Projects, plans unfulfilled

Waylay and snatch at me like briars,

For there is no rest here

Where ceaseless effort seems to be required,

Yet fails, and spirit tires

With flesh, because failure

And weariness are sure

In all that mortal wishing has inspired.

I go in pilgrimage

Across an old fenced boundary

To wildness without age

Where, in their long dominion,

The trees have been left free.

They call the soil here “Eden”; slants and steeps

Hard to stand straight upon

Even without a burden.

No more a perfect garden,

There’s an immortal memory that it keeps.

I leave work’s daily rule

And come here to this restful place

Where music stirs the pool

And from high stations of the air

Fall notes of wordless grace,

Strewn remnants of the primal Sabbath’s hymn.

And I remember here

A tale of evil twined

With good, serpent and vine

And innocence of evil’s stratagem.

I let that go a while,

For it is hopeless to correct

By generations’ toil,

And I let go my hopes and plans

That no toil can perfect.

There is no vision here but what is seen:

White bloom nothing explains.

But a mute blessedness

Exceeding all distress,

The fresh light stained a hundred shades of green.

Uproar of wheel and fire

That has contained us like a cell

Opens and lets us hear

A stillness longer than all time

Where leaf and song fulfill

The passing light, pass with the light, return,

Renewed, as in rhyme.

This is no human vision

Subject to our revision;

God’s eye holds every leaf as light is worn.

Ruin is in place here:

The dead leaves rotting on the ground,

The live leaves in the air

Are gathered in a single dance

That turns them round and round.

The fox cub trots his almost pathless path

As silent as his absence.

These passings resurrect

A joy without defect,

The life that steps and sings in ways of death.

Announcement: A morning retreat with Diarmuid:

Step by Step: Accompanying Each Other Home

A Zoom Retreat Morning with Diarmuid O’Murchu Saturday, September 18, 2021 9:00 am to 1:00pm

As a Community, we have missed each other's presence, shared the loss of loved ones, grieved or departed, and prayed for all affected by Covid 19. To hold all that in a discerning way, we need some time apart to ask: Where is God leading us at this difficult time?

Diarmuid O'Murchu has kindly agreed to facilitate a discerning day with us on Sept. 18th., consisting of some inspiring input, a process for befriending grief and loss, and some affirmation and hope for the way forward. Through the wonder of ZOOM, Diarmuid will lead us from Dublin. There are many people who know, love and follow Diarmuid. We encourage everyone to join us on our retreat morning. Please share this information widely. (You can detach the outline in WORD and PDF formats below and send them to friends in Email)

When: Saturday, September 18th Hours: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm


Passcode: 1234

Meeting ID: 519 315 8573 One tap mobile +16699006833,,5193158573# US (San Jose) +13462487799,,5193158573# US (Houston)

9:00 - 9:15

Introductions, Welcome and Opening Prayer (David and Victoria)

9:15 - 10:00

Life Grows Around Grief (Diarmuid)

10:00 - 10:20

Break Out Groups (Diarmuid offers questions for discussion)

10:20 - 10:45

Open Forum (Large Group Discussion)

10:45 - 11:00


11:00 - 11:30

Accompanying Each Other as a Faith Community During Difficult Times - Diarmuid

11:30 - 11:55

Open Forum (Large Group Discussion)

12:00 - 12:30

Dying and Rising to New Life Contemporary Theology (Diarmuid)

12:30 - 12:45

Open Forum (Large Group Discussion)

12:45 - 1:00

Closing Remarks and Closing Blessing (Diarmuid and Victoria)

Diarmuid's Retreat Schedule with descriptions
Download DOCX • 16KB

Diarmuid's Retreat Schedule with descriptions
Download PDF • 43KB

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