Through a glass, darkly

This photo of Tarn Hows on a misty morning, was taken by my friend, Gill Henwood. She gave it the title ‘Through a glass darkly,’ which is a quotation from verse 12 of what is probably St. Paul’s most well known writing – 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. (that is the King James Version. The more recent NRSV has, see in a mirror, dimly, which, to my mind is poetically is weaker.)

As I contemplated the feast day of the ‘Conversion of St. Paul,’ I found the title Gill chose, and the fascinating and rather evocative scene, kept coming back to me. I wrote this poem and tried the let the photo speak to the event I am trying to address.

It is a very amazing photo and it deserves to highlight a very amazing event.

The Conversion of Saint Paul

Brooding mist 
blurs edges of perception.
Colours muted.
A whisper of wind kisses the water,
rippling on the shore of the soul.
Visibility impaired,
a cloak of quietness drawn across the mind.
Stilling all movement.
Intentions passionately  held,
melt into deep darkness.
Yet this is not the cause of fearfulness 
nor of despair.
Out of the shadows,
of seeing “through a glass darkly”
there is a pinprick of growing light
which slowly, perceptively,
burns away the haze
as new vision takes shape.

A Voice,
crisp, gently directive,
unfettered by illusion,
beckons,
touching  eyes to see a wonder,
“face to face.”
The waypath is irrevocably changed.

[Mr. G. Conversion of Paul. 25th January 2023]

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