Carolyn Hutton debuts her column “Dappled Things: How To Live in the In Between” in InDepthNH.org just in time for our second anniversary celebration weekend. Welcome Carolyn. — Nancy West
By Carolyn Hutton
Dappled Things: How To Live in the In Between
Rod introduced me to Gerard Manly Hopkins’ poetry many years ago and I always loved this line “Glory be to God for Dappled things.”
I think it is a hymn to imperfection, to things not symmetrical, to lives not lined up just so, to an in-between space between dark and light. I want to start by saying that I don’t think our lives have to line up “just so.” They don’t line up, obviously, but I think sometimes we think they are supposed to.
This beautiful world we live in tends toward chaos naturally —remember Newton’s second law of thermodynamics, that what is ordered and whole tends toward disorder and decay. It takes a great deal of energy to keep things from falling apart.
Maybe that is the place to start, just remembering that falling apart is our natural state. What we can know, though, is that there can be beauty, joy, and even created order in the mess of our lives.
I want to talk about those three things in this blog. I invite any of you reading to post comments, thoughts. Everything you say is welcome and we can all inspire each other.
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: