The Otherness of Things

I am struck by the otherness of things rather than their same-
ness. The way a tiny pile of snow perches in the crook of a
branch in the tall pine, away by itself, high enough not to be
noticed by people, out of reach of stray dogs. It leans against
the scaly pine bark, busy at some existence that does not
need me.

It is the differences of objects that I love, that lift me toward
the rest of the universe, that amaze me. That each thing on
earth has its own soul, its own life, that each tree, each clod is
filled with the mud of its own star. I watch where I step and see
that the fallen leaf, old broken grass, an icy stone are placed in
exactly the right spot on the earth, carefully, royalty in their
own country.
~Tom Hennen “Looking for the Differences” from Darkness Sticks to Everything. 

We dwell so much on our differences rather than our similarities, especially in an intense political year like this one. There is nothing wrong with “otherness” if each other is seen as God sees us.

We each are one of His precious and specially-made creations, worthy of existence even in our muddy, rocky, fragile state.

These days, though a “snowflake” is disparaged in the political banter of the day as weak and overly sensitive, there is nothing more uniquely “other” than an individual crystalline creation falling from heaven to the exact spot where it is intended to land. Something so unique becomes part of something far greater than it could be on its own, blending in, infinitely stronger, but never lost.

I am placed here, weak as I am, in the exact right spot, for reasons I continue to uncover and discover. I try every day, as best as I can, to not get lost and, of course, to stay out of the mud.

4 thoughts on “The Otherness of Things

  1. Emily, your title today, The Otherness of Things, immediately brought to my mind the poetry of Rilke; one of my favorites is this fragment that expresses so well the uniqueness and sanctity of everyday objects (Rilke even called them “angels”) that bless and astonish us if we but look:

    Let him whose soul is no longer startled
    and transformed by palaces, by gardens’ boldness, by the rising
    and falling of ancient fountains, by everything held back
    in paintings or by the infinite thereness of statues—
    let such a person go out to his daily work, where
    greatness is lying in ambush and someday, at some turn,
    will leap upon him and force him to fight for his life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily, today a snowflake is landing for us. I don’t know if you remember but back in October I told you a much loved nephew took his own life. Today his daughter is being born. The hopes and fears of our years, anyway. ♥️ I don’t know why I’m telling you. You are just such a beautiful cup to hold the miracles.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelley,
    So glad you have let me know of this new life today! I pray her birth will ease the grief of her daddy’s loss and she will always know of her own profound preciousness! Love, Emily


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