26 JULY 2021
Everything Falls Away
I recently calculated that at age 76, around 85 percent of my life has been spent and I probably only have about 15 percent left, i.e. the gas gage is about to hit the "low on fuel" indicator! That caused me to notice a poem written by Parker J. Palmer that is entitled "Everything Falls Away". Palmer's point is that we follow a thread throughout life. Much of life changes but the overall thread doesn't change. Here is his poem:
Everything Falls Away
There's a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn't change.
Sooner or later, everything falls away.
You, the work you've done, your successes,
large and small, your failures, too. Those
moments when you were light, alongside
the times you became one with the night.
The friends, the people you loved
who loved you, those who might have wished
you ill, none of this is forever. All of it is
soon to go, or going, or long gone.
Everything falls away, except the thread
you've followed, unknowing, all along.
The thread that strings together all you've
been and done, the thread you didn't know
you were tracking until, toward the end,
you see that the tread is what stays
as everything else falls away.
Follow that thread as far as you can and
you'll find that it does not end, but weaves
into the unimaginable vastness of life. Your
life never was the solo turn it seemed to be.
It was always part of the great weave of
nature and humanity, an immensity we
come to know only as we follow our own
small threads to the place where they
merge with the boundless whole.
Each of our threads runs its course, then
joins in life together. This magnificent tapestry -
this masterpiece in which we live forever.
Parker J. Palmer
This feels so very true with one possible upgrade. As Christians we perceive another common thread that runs throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It is the story of God's plan, of his interaction with mankind before Jesus, with Jesus and after Jesus. Our lives intermingle within that thread whether we are aware of it or not. And my life has intermingled with it for over 76 years! I can't wait to experience the rest of the story.
Blessings and peace,