So many words – too many, perhaps, though many of them are very good – about this day after the election. Among them, Parker Palmer wrote about our need now to “learn to listen beneath my own and other people’s political rhetoric for what Howard Thurman called ‘the sound of the genuine’ in each of us.” (Read his blog at Our November Surprise.) Under the deluge of words alone I’d be stunned, but that’s only the beginning of what stuns me. These words from William Alexander Percy come to me just now, as they do more frequently these days and in this season of my life.
“I have a need of silence and of stars:
Too much is said too loudly; I am dazed.
The silken sound of whirled infinity
Is lost in voices shouting to be heard. . . .
I do not know. Some rhythm there may be
I cannot hear. But I oh, I must go
Back where the breakers of deep sunlight roll
Across flat fields that love and touch the sky;
Back to the more of earth, the less of man,
Where there is still a plain simplicity,
And friendship, poor in everything but love,
And faith, unwise, unquestioned, but a star. . . .”
Upon hearing the election results this morning I felt a surprising calm, as if something genuine were reminding me that things take the time they take to sort out, and they won’t be rushed. As Julian said, “All shall be well.”