“The Owls” by Charles Baudelaire
Among the black yews, their shelter,
the owls are ranged in a row,
like alien deities, the glow,
of their red eyes pierces. They ponder.
They perch there without moving,
till that melancholy moment
when quenching the falling sun,
the shadows are growing.
Their stance teaches the wise
to fear, in this world of ours,
all tumult, and all movement:
Mankind drunk on brief shadows
always incurs a punishment
for his longing to stir, and go.
“Mankind drunk on brief shadows / always incurs a punishment / for his longing to stir, and go.” In what ways do you find yourself “longing to stir, and go”?
Proverbs 1:7 claims that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Charles Baudelaire, although a troubled soul, finds that owls teach “the wise / to fear, in this world of ours, all tumult, and all movement”. What connection do you find between the spiritual practices of silence and stillness and growing in wisdom?
In this season, how might you resist the tendency to constantly be on the go and create margin in your life for stillness?