Poem: Ecclesiastes

This life, filled with vanity.
This life, filled with divine gifts to enjoy.

The enjoyment of prosperity?
A vanity, a vapor.
God’s gift to enjoy.

The experience of all pleasure and laughter?
A vanity, a vapor.
God’s gift to enjoy.

To experience our fill of bread and wine?
A vanity, a vapor.
God’s gift to enjoy.

To taste all the delights of life?
A vanity, a vapor.
God’s gift to enjoy.

To possess superior wisdom?
A vanity, a vapor.
God’s gift to enjoy.

The fruit of labor and toil?
A vanity, a vapor.
God’s gift to enjoy.

Better never to have been born.
So enjoy the beautiful wife you love.

This life, filled with vanity.
This life, filled with divine gifts to enjoy.

Look again at this contradiction.
Stare at these sentences
until the mind is baffled
and the eye grows weary
and the lines dislodge from the page
and move
and overlap
and join together.
One sentence from two
becoming a single, three dimensional truth.
No longer a contradiction.

If the eye can see both lines at once
it sees one reality
of what two sentences cannot say as two
and neither sentence can speak alone:
That to set eternal hope in what will never deceive
requires losing hope in everything that will deceive.

When harmonized, the contradiction brings liberation.
Freed from asceticism.
Freed from worldliness.
Freed from the sinful hopes that disappoint.
Freed to thank God for all things.
Freed to fear God in all things.
Freed to await the eternal.
Now free to enjoy the delicious moment.

One thought on “Poem: Ecclesiastes

  1. Thanks for the excellent poem. It’s amazing that the greatest satisfaction in this world is reserved for those who know that this present world can never satisfy.

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