The Taser's Edge


My questioning was my attentive spirit

from St. Augustine’s Confessions (X.6, 9), translated by Maria Boulding, OSB

And what is this?
I put my question to the earth, and it replied, “I am not he”;
I questioned everything it held, and they confessed the same.
I questioned the sea and the great deep,
and the teeming live creatures that crawl,
and they replied,
“We are not God; seek higher.”
I questioned the gusty winds,
and every breeze with all its flying creatures told me,
“Anaximenes was wrong: I am not God.”
To the sky I put my question, to sun, moon, stars,
but they denied me: “We are not the God you seek.”
And to all things which stood around the portals of my flesh I said,
“Tell me of my God.
You are not he, but tell me something of him.”
Then they lifted up their mighty voices and cried,
“He made us.”
My questioning was my attentive spirit,
and their reply, their beauty.


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