Saturday, 24 January 2009


Though in general I do not sing hymns etc. there is one Sankey hymn which has been on my mind today. I first heard it as part of a production of Mystery Plays at The Crucible in Sheffield about 20 years ago. Given what has been happening to me and many around me over the last year I feel it appropriate to share. The pity is I can't give the tune here. ONLY REMEMBERED
1. Fading away like the stars in the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.
Refrain: Only remembered, only remembered,
Only remembered by what we have done,
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.
2. Shall we be miss'd tho' by others succeeded.
Reaping the fields we in springtime have sown?
No, for the sowers may pass from their labors,
Only remembered by what they have done.
3. Only the truth that in life we have spoken,
Only the seed that on earth we have sown;
These will pass onward when we are forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done.
4. Oh, when the Saviour shall make up His Jewels,
When the bright crowns of rejoicing are won,
Then shall His weary and faithful disciples,
All be remembered by what they have done.
This strikes something within me about life, and our purpose, and history. History is too often the story of the great and the winners whilst life, which becomes history, is made of the acts of the many no matter how insignificant in status or apparent value. Some may say that I am talking about the butterfly effect so often used in explaining Chaos Theory; that may be so but if it is the case we are all butterflies. It could be said that we should make our lives' speak but is it really just relating to our being in the world and the effects known, and unknown, which existence brings?We will never know the consequences of our lives but we must be true to them in the sense that Khrisna said to Arjuna the words to the effect it is better to die in your own life than live in another's. As Melville says in Moby Dick we must 'strike through the mask' and see what actually lies beneath which I feel relates to those who cry 'Lord Lord' but without sincerity or honesty.Sorry for the rant.
In Friendship
P.S. Rather than tell the story here of the man who fell asleep and dreamed he was a butterfly then on waking wondered if he was a butterfly he was a man I prefer the story for the two caterpillars on a leaf watching a butterfly pass. One said to the other 'You'll never get me up in one of those things!
'Was it Augustine who said that inside every sinner there's a saint and inside every saint there is a sinner?

1 comment:

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