Paul's Perambulations a personal blog

January 2, 2013

Andrea del Sarto (Called “The Faultless Painter”) and Paul’s three-legged stool.

Filed under: Education,Love,Work — admin @ 7:45 pm

Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning

I reread this poem on New Year’s Day 2013. I believe that I had not read it fully since high school, and it is amazing how different it feels to read it in my late 60’s compared to reading it as a teenager. “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” is a common quotation from the poem, and it was my intention to understand that phrase better though a better familiarity with its context. I often heard that phrase when young, with only vague understanding, The poem was written for an adult reader, yet I am grateful for having been exposed to it when still a callow youth.

I suggest that you read the poem and think about it yourself.

It is amazing poem that perfectly fit the mood that I was in on New Year’s Day and that relates to what I have been considering of late. I often find it helpful to try to express my thinking through writing, and my first Comment (“The three-legged stool”) is an attempt at expressing how I am reviewing/organizing/structuring my life at the moment.

p.s. Framed copies of two Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems (How do I love thee; If thou must love me.) hang in our bedroom with pressed leaves that a relative gathered from E.B.B.’s grave in Florence on Christmas Day, 1911. I gave them to Fran our first Christmas.

1 Comment »

  1. My three-legged stool: This tree; the trees I see; the forest I’m in.

    1. Focus is on acting on my personal life (this tree), such as by simplifying my life by right-sizing and right living. Let peace begin with me, with inner peace, and be a model of that for others. A personal focus, including my family and community relationships

    2. Focus is on acting directly on things I see and experience (the trees in my environment). This includes anti-war activities, war tax resistance, conscientious objection (these are particularly peace related), as well as EQAT, Protecting our Waters, etc. (these are particularly environmental related), and also my Quaker and Villanova volunteer work.

    3. Focus is on acting in response to the big picture (the forest) of what is happening in the world I share, and in particular to bear witness against its current systemic authoritarian governance by mega-corporations and oligarchy and to develop appropriate concepts and ideas for their replacement with a governance that represents all people. This can lead to peaceful direct action to help make such governance an actuality.

    Comment by admin — January 2, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

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