Unafraid to ask even the simplest of questions, happy to have them simply answered  

smartmama 58F
181 posts
12/10/2005 2:23 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Unafraid to ask even the simplest of questions, happy to have them simply answered

Sea of Faith
by John Brehm

Once when I was teaching "Dover Beach"
to a class of freshmen, a young woman
raised her hand and said, "I'm confused
about this 'Sea of Faith.'" "Well," I said,
"let's talk about it. We probably need
to talk a bit about figurative language.
What confuses you about it?"
"I mean, is it a real sea?" she asked.
"You mean, is it a real body of water
that you could point to on a map
or visit on a vacation?"
"Yes," she said. "Is it a real sea?"
Oh Christ, I thought, is this where we are?
Next year I'll be teaching them the alphabet
and how to sound words out.
I'll have to teach them geography, apparently,
before we can move on to poetry.
I'll have to teach them history, too-
a few weeks on the Dark Ages might be instructive.
"Yes," I wanted to say, "it is.
It is a real sea. In fact it flows
right into the Sea of Ignorance
Let me throw you a Rope of Salvation
before the Sharks of Desire gobble you up.
Let me hoist you back up onto this Ship of Fools
so that we might continue our search
for the Fountain of Youth. Here, take a drink
of this. It's fresh from the River of Forgetfulness."
But of course I didn't say any of that.
I tried to explain in such a way
as to protect her from humiliation,
tried to explain that poets
often speak of things that don't exist.
It was only much later that I wished
I could have answered differently,
only after I'd betrayed myself
and been betrayed that I wished
it was true, wished there really was a Sea of Faith
that you could wade out into,
dive under its blue and magic waters,
hold your breath, swim like a fish
down to the bottom, and then emerge again
able to believe in everything, faithful
and unafraid to ask even the simplest of questions,happy to have them simply answered.

rm_longliner002 50M
227 posts
12/10/2005 3:33 pm

nice post.

klauskissnhug 57M

12/10/2005 5:03 pm

nice post

CalyxSpicaNiche 55M
6 posts
12/11/2005 1:21 pm

The elegance of the written word often escapes people. Afraid of that which is beyond the concrete, and may cause them to think. Trite sayings like thinking outside the box seem to fill our world and it leaves me longing for a "simpler" time. When we found time to appreciate the written word and were drawn to words like a moth to a flame. Thank you for the post

LiquidMotoXX 56M
79 posts
12/16/2005 12:50 am

You handled that well, didn't make the person feel bad for being stupid...it's amazing how they even survive.

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
1/2/2006 2:31 am

This was a joy to read. I think I stole that line from a movie. But it was.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

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