“And my last words shall be these-that it is only from the inmost silences of the heart that we know the world for what it is, and ourselves for what the world has made us.” Sherston’s Progress, Siegfried Sassoon
I sometimes wonder why my urge to write has come on so strong in the last few years. It’s not like I am a great or even good writer, my prose, if you can call it that, seems stiff and stilted. My descriptions are flat with no dimension or depth. Yet here I am, writing, trying my best to pour out onto this page my thoughts that run around in my head like a stampeding herd of gerbils all stuck on the same merry-go-round.
I finally finished Siegfried Sassoon’s trilogy about the life and times of George Sherston, from prior to the Great War living a rather idyllic life in England’s countryside, to his time in the trenches of France, through his own questioning of the war itself then his return to the front line. The last line of his trilogy (above) has given me cause for some introspection. I’m a deeply introverted type and not at all given to putting myself out there, so to speak. I’m much more at ease in a group just sitting back, watching and listening, taking stock of what is being said then allowing those bits and pieces to lay in my mind where I turn them over blending them with my own thoughts. Of course, I would never allow those newly blended thoughts to spill out, thoughts can be dangerous, exposing us as the frauds we know ourselves to be thus entering into that black hole of doubt and despair. Yet, as Sassoon writes, it is from our inner most silences of our own hearts that we come to know the world around us. Many times it is a world that suffocates the imagination, the fruit of our dreams left to grow old and rotten on the vine. In writing I chose to burst out of that suffocating world and seek to breathe in the the freshness of newly sown ideas. Thoughts, that once exposed to the light grow beyond their limitations, refusing to be sentenced to the vast underworld of fear and doubt.
I believe that we all have our “Sherston’s Progress, our own unique story of failure and redemption. There are those people who have, for better or worse, touched our lives and taught us more about ourselves than we ever wished to know. Life, in all its possibilities, is meant to be lived fully and we in turn are meant to share our uniqueness as we journey through this space and time. The one thing about our journey is that we never know when the next twist or turn will come up. Each moment leaves it’s mark upon our souls and it is up to us in how we are able to use these moments to grow, in faith and love.