The Thinking Poet



JOURNAL ENTRY November 17 1981

 W.B.Yeats: “Why do people think of eternity as a long, long thing? Eternity is the flash of light on a beetle’s wing”

 Eternity is a state of consciousness, a condition of experience, that is timeless; the intuitive world of the imagination.


JOURNAL ENTRY Novemeber18 1981

It has never struck me before that the word frequently translated for God is “The Eternal”, and that “eternal” is that which pertains to eternity. In other words God IS the spirit of eternity. God IS the flash of light on a beetle’s wing.

Christianity tells us we are sons of God. It says, become one with Christ. It talks a great deal about attaining eternal life. Yet few would equate eternity with the flash of light on a beetle’s wing. We tend to become exclusively moralistic in our Christian thinking, erroneously as I believe.


JOURNAL ENTRY November 21 1981

Sometimes I can sit and play the piano with some degree of satisfaction, despite my lamentable lack of practice. This evening was such a time, in spite of a full morning and afternoon’s work on the new garden gate and fencing – and stacking one ton of logs!

It is a matter of being possessed by an inner life, a zest. Zest is the prerequisite for any activity, particularly creative and artistic work. Unfortunately zest cannot be voluntarily invoked. Like the Holy Spirit (perhaps it is one and the same thing) it is given and received by grace. Who can say how and when it will seek us out and bless us with its potency. “The wind bloweth where it listeth.” Perhaps; but God can control the wind and the waves.

It is not self-indulgence to pray for zest, or for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. One of my favourite hymns is “Veni Creator Spiritus” – come Holy Ghost our souls inspire. We may try to simulate zest by means of alcohol and drugs, but we deceive ourselves. As the advertisement says “There is no substitute for the real thing”.

A little spirit is a good thing – 2 tablespoons of brandy in the Christmas pudding, 5 of rum in the mincemeat. Irene is busy with the Christmas fare this evening. I remember as a boy cadging candied peel from my mother at the mixing of the pudding – and licking the spoon!

Ron Cretchley