MY candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
How I do love the wanderings I have taken this morning (at the other end of my candle, or, as one friend's daughter terms it, "the butt-crack of dawn.")
First, I learned that this little poem that describes my life right now so well is not by Emily Dickinson. Apparently, I'm not the first to make this mistake.
Next, I learned its title, and got to wondering, "What do figs have to do with anything?"
Then, I learned that this poem is from a book entitled A Few Figs From Thistles, and there is a
SAFE upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!
...and the second fig seems just as applicable to my life right now as the first.
But still, there was the problem of the figs. Not being a Biblical scholar, I didn't realize there was this root to the "figs from thistles" saying:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men
gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
And now, I'm left arguing in my mind with the meaning of this verse. I can see that it is a warning about false prophets -- I don't trust the grapes and figs that come from a person who is all thorns and thistles. But what if you are a good enough person (maybe not perfect, maybe with just a few thorns and thistles that persist no matter how attentive you are to weeding your life)...and all you are given to work with are thorns and thistles...and somehow you manage to produce grapes and figs?
Through the blear of exhaustion today,
I will keep my heart and mind focused
on the figs and grapes,
the grapes and figs.
I will brush aside the thorns and thistles.
I will focus on the fruits.
Cathy has the roundup today at Merely Day by Day.