As I read a William Blake biography this week, I was struck by a tiny quote of Blake’s. Because of the wider truth of it, I have spent some time pondering. Thought I’d share.
“Without Unceasing Practice nothing can be done. Practice is Art. If you leave off you are Lost.”
I am in no way qualified to comment on the piece of art that this quote was taken from, or really, to offer much insight on William Blake. But the truth of this statement as it relates to marriage and parenting got me, and I realized that those two things are my Art. I daily practice those things, for better or for worse. And some days, it is for worse! And those are the days that these lines come in so handy:
“Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.”
(I swiped the first, second and last verses from this amazing poem, A Psalm of Life by Longfellow. It really is worth jumping over here to read the whole thing. I love it so much.)
As a side note, a few of my kids are memorizing that poem in school and whenever they recite it to me, it makes me cry. They are a teensy bit tired of this situation, and have actually threatened that if this continues, they will not recite to me anymore, they will go find someone else. Someone who doesn’t cry.
Anyway. Marriage, Parenting.The Unceasing Practice. It is worth our time, our energy, our devotion. If we leave off practicing, we are lost.