December 26, 2010

Hope In Small Things

Barbara King quotes from Here Is Where We Meet by John Berger:

Berger creates a conversation between a son and the dead mother who reappears to him as he stands atop an aqueduct in Lisbon.

The mother says, “Let a few things be repaired. A few is a lot. One thing repaired changes a thousand others.” The son replies, “So?” And out flows a maternal speech:

"The dog down there is on too short a chain. Change it, lengthen it. Then he’ll be able to reach the shade, and he’ll lie down and he’ll stop barking. And the silence will remind the mother she wanted a canary in a cage in the kitchen. And when the canary sings, she’ll do more ironing. And the father’s shoulders in a freshly ironed shirt will ache less when he goes to work. And so when he comes home he’ll sometimes joke, like he used to, with his teenage daughter. And the daughter will change her mind and decide, just this once, to bring her lover home one evening. And on another evening, the father will propose to the young man that they go fishing together… Who in the wide world knows? Just lengthen the chain."

In this season of peace, may you lengthen a dog’s chain. And then see what happens.

This is why we keep trying, doing small things. Ripples in the pond. Breezes in the atmosphere. Hope in small things.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan.


A Lewis said...

Beautifull, and perfectly, put. Today and always. I'll do my best.

Bridge Journey said...

Small things are anything but small. And life without hope is lost... holding on to hope. And hoping to be a positive ripple.

rox said...

Well said.

Ur-spo said...


Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I've discovered that the small things ARE the big things.

Patrick said...

Beautiful. Part of learning to trust this process is recognizing that one may never know what effects one's actions may have. We often don't even know we've made ripples. Doing the small things anyway is where Grace comes in.