MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Love Is Difficult: Isaac Of Nineveh

Love is difficult
until it’s easy..

How to write of this,
unless, until, we’re like him.. old and wise and
blind with reading and austerity,
speaking of what he’d become;
so that we, enfolded in his love,
become a little, that of which he writes?

On his painful, joyful, great adventure
to become the world,
seen as Creation sees it,
his heart so loved the mind,
his mind so loved the heart; that
these two walked together,
climbed hard mountains,
washed in cool, fresh streams;
were compassionate of each other’s failings;
rejoiced in each other’s purity.
Call this what you know of it.

First, he sought the body’s freedom
to be the tool of what was asked of it;
call this what you know of it.

Then, he sought what the unconscious mind
threw up from depths yet still not deep enough:
‘logismoi’ was the name some gave:
those seeds of action which he learned to listen to
to know whether they brought light,
or that darkness which is hard, agitated, cold,
these all at once..
call this what you know of it.

Then, love was easy: nothing was profane,
nothing sacred; he, sanctified,
sanctified the world around him;
his soul, when you were near him,
seemed to exhale a subtle, joyful fragrance
which changed the air around him;
embraced you in unspoken prayer
for all the world in mind: even devils,
serpents, sin, were thus embraced;
is this purity, compassion?
Call this, what you know of it.

All things then revealed to him
the secret of their being;
the visible, teaching the invisible;
the manifest teaching the unmanifest.

It’s said that Isaac was described
as ‘priest of all the world,
celebrating at the altar of his heart’;
call this, what you know of it.

For love is difficult
until it’s easy.

{Saint Isaac of Nineveh was born c.625 AD/CE
at what is now Qatar on the shores
of the Persian Gulf; especially beloved
in 19th century Russia.}

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Comments (1)

Michael thanks for another poem destined to melt into one's heart.