….it would be this one:
The Silken Tent
She is as in a field a silken tent At midday when the sunny summer breeze Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent, So that in guys it gently sways at ease, And its supporting central cedar pole, That is its pinnacle to heavenward And signifies the sureness of the soul, Seems to owe naught to any single cord, But strictly held by none, is loosely bound By countless silken ties of love and thought To everything on earth the compass round, And only by ones going slightly taut In the capriciousness of summer air Is of the slightest bondage made aware.
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From A Witness Tree | Henry Holt & Company, 1942
It’s too complex, and I’m too tired to try to explain all the fullness of emotion that I feel when I read this. To say nothing of all the implications I feel of how this works out in every aspect of my life. How this way of being affects my theology (or maybe grows out of my theology). How it shapes the value I see (or try to see) in every person and relationship. Why I feel every connection so deeply and why I hold so firmly to my own beliefs and ways of doing things, even while I grieve deeply the tensions that come out of that within relationships.
It’s all so complex, and I risk having that complexity be misunderstood by identifying myself so strongly with this poem. Nevertheless, I’ve come back to this poem again, and it reminds me of why I feel so anchored and rooted even when I look wavering and contradictory at times.