Sunday, November 27, 2022

An aid to retrospection

A man is reviewing what he noted in Bible his mother gave him:
I find that I’ve underlined many verses but otherwise left no marginalia, which suggests an unconscious reverence for the text. Psalms 19:12, for instance, is underlined: “But who can discern his errors? / Clear thou me from hidden faults.” That seems apropos though I’m surprised my younger self was able to recognize such a defect of character within himself.


I recognize some continuity with the younger man who marked these passages of scripture. Nothing underlined come as a surprise: “I agreed / with the young annotator’s every thought: / A clever girl.”(*) None of the marked verses suggest a stupid, disrespectful, argumentative person, which is a relief. In her final stanza, Warren wonders what she and her former self would make of each other. The young man I see reflected in the Bible comes off much better than he and I know he truly was.

Part of wisdom is being on the right path to wisdom, even if you don't have it all yet. My earlier self had a lot of shortcomings, and I knew better than I lived. Thanks to God, I think both knowing and doing are a little bit better than they used to be--which is the right trajectory, anyhow, albeit still off the mark by miles.

Found through a link to a blogroll

(*)Reference to a poem by Deborah Warren

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