The Depths of August

Image by natureblog24

The Depths of August

By Eric Pankey

I was blinded by grace,
A prey torn from its shadow,
Entwined only to unravel.

Alive in a dead calm,
I was fire from which
Air is withheld,

A charged element.
An illegible signature,
I was that which

Otherwise serves to conceal.
An inaccessible room.
A sky divided by lightning.

The Depths of August” by Eric Pankey (Image Journal, Issue 101). Poet, Karen An-hwei Lee writes this about the poem:

“With a brightening sense of awakening and wonder, this lovely meditation explores what it means for us to be torn from our shadows, blinded by grace in the face of new light, then lifted from the inchoate darkness of “an inaccessible room” to “a sky divided by lightning.”

As the dog days of summer come to a close, we find ourselves in the depths of August.  I was captivated by the first line:

I was blinded by grace,
A prey torn from its shadow,
Entwined only to unravel.

It reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ book which borrows the first line from a William Wordsworth sonnet.

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb…

“Surprised by Joy” is Lewis’ account of coming to faith in Christ – as he states in his own words near the end of this little autobiography:

“You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”

Perhaps this illustrates what it means to be torn from its shadow, entwined only to unravel in the blinding presence of grace.


About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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