A few hours before this post goes live, I’m scheduled to commit poe-babble, theo-babble, and auto-bio-babble.
Recently, to find the scene of the putative offence, I drove northwest from the capital of Lebanon baloney, turned right at the Ebenezer Fire House, and found myself looking at a small office building with WLBR in big letters on the side, around which several red and white metal poles jut up into the sky. Fleches, I wondered, of the cathedrals of our age?
This must be the right place, I told myself – the place where my voice will climb up those fleches and float out across the county.
Immediately, I remembered Thomas’s lines:
I switch on, tune in –
the marvelous languages
of the peoples of the planet,
discussing the weather!
Well, in my case, not the weather.
Rather, the poetry of R. S. Thomas, the theology emerging from it, and, at the behest of the program’s hosts, a little about my faith journey and what I liked most and least about parish ministry.
Poe-babble, theo-babble, auto-bio-babble – all the while wondering:
Is someone sitting in an easy chair giving close attention?
Are my words bouncing around a dental treatment room, keeping the hygienist from hearing the ouches of the patient?
Thomas, again; this time describing himself in the third person:
On the threshold of middle age, not too old for the young. He listened, trying to sympathize with their assault upon silence. They could converse amid cacophony, but not endure nature’s silence. Up in the hills they looked at one another appalled and turned on the transistors. He addressed them, but was not heard. His voice was wind out of the past through a patched gate.
I’ll let you know in my next post if the callers-in to “You and Your Faith” left me with the feeling that my “voice was wind out of the past through a patched gate.”
Perhaps, when I leave the radio station and turn left at the Ebenezer Fire House, I’ll entrust the outcome of my babbling to my Ebenezer, for Ebenezer means “Stone of Help.” “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
Poetry and prose of R. S. Thomas quoted in this blog:
“I switch on, tune in” – “Relay,” Laboratories of the Spirit, 9.
“On the threshold of middle age” – untitled paragraph, The Echoes Return Slow, 64.