slanted truth

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant~

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every one be blind~

from poem 1139 by Emily Dickinson (“man” changed to “one” by ldh)

This poem by Emily Dickinson speaks to the journey towards self knowledge.    Parker Palmer writes of this poem in his book A Hidden Wholeness:  “If soul truth is to be spoken and heard, it must be approached “on the slant.”  I do not mean we should be coy, speaking evasively about subjects that make us uncomfortable, which weakens us and our relationships.  But soul truth is so powerful that we must allow ourselves to approach it, and it to approach us, indirectly.  We must invite, not command, the soul to speak.  We must allow, not force, ourselves to listen.  We achieve intentionality in a circle of trust by focusing on an important topic.  We achieve indirection by exploring that topic metaphorically, via a poem, a story, a piece of music, or a work of art that embodies it.  I call these embodiments ‘third things’ because they represent neither the voice of the facilitator nor the voice of a participant.  They have voices of their own, voices that tell the truth about a topic but, in the manner of metaphors, tell it on the slant.  Mediated by a third thing, truth can emerge from, and return to, our awareness at whatever pace and depth we are able to handle-sometimes inwardly in silence, sometimes aloud in community-giving the shy soul the protective cover it needs.” (p 92)

It  is our deep hope that Kitchen Table gatherings provide the kind of space where people of this community may reveal how it is with their soul as they hold one another in love.  May our gatherings this week be slanted towards the deep end of your desire to share your soul in circles of love and trust.


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