Friday, January 17, 2014

The Girding of Loins


They who know of no purer sources of truth, who
have traced up its stream no higher, stand, and
wisely stand, by the Bible and the Constitution,
and drink at it there with reverence and humility;
but they who behold where it comes trickling into
this lake or that pool, gird up their loins once more,
and continue their pilgrimage  toward its fountain-
head. (Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience”)l
When they came for the guitars I just stood there
and said nothing.  Ungirded loins.  To Do Wrong
among  the Parts & Devilish Details in order to Do
Right in  Accord with Higher Laws amounts to
Doing Wrong to Do Right. Fear & Trembling.
Wretch like me: I’m a goodie—wanna be good so
bad I can’t afford the bad-it-takes to get good 
to do good so as to throw the first stones.

Plenty of models  (Mark Hopkins sitting on a log,  any
prophet despised  in his own  home town,  Ichabod
Crane,  Anne Sullivan —Thoreau’s different  drummer—
rump a pum pum—). But Socrates is my  teaching model,
pedagogical patriarch —question everything: a  jesus of
liberal art—but not  the liberal arts: them majors  and
minors and poster and  capstone events.  I would gird
 my loins.

(I’m not spiritual worth a damn but I’m religious as hell
—especially when fearful, precarious, uncertain, needy,
anxious… then it’s all like Lord Jesus Christ, son of God,
have Mercy Upon Me, a Sinner, over and over, unceasingly
which happens to be my upbringing, heritage, tradition,
but I could as easily been some other—whatever. Essentials)

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