Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Quote: One Insular Tahiti

…Consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life.
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick 


  1. Beautiful picture. I'm so glad you've made your way back to blogging.

    1. Sorry that I'm late to reply to this, Christine! And sorry I didn't get a chance to call you back this morning. Joe called from work and then the kids started waking up yada yada yada . . . when I finally found some quiet time to call you back -- my phones were dead. Recharging now!!! :) But Thank you SO much for thinking of me and checking in on me from time to time! You are my dear sister-in-Christ and I love you!

  2. An insular Tahiti within us all? Perhaps. Yet no one is truly insular, nor is any part of us either. I'll go with Donne on this one:

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.

    I think this can be extended to say that even within us, the insular Tahiti that Melville identified is nto really so insular. Rather, the connections are such that there is no sea completely cutting it off but that unknown connections abound. One thing I've learned about the work of the Holy Spirit in my life is that he reveals these connections to me more and more.

    From Melville to Donne to the Holy Spirit in one morning? Now my brain hurts. I think I need a nap. ;-)

    1. Tim, I just want to say thank you for this comment and this Donne quote. When I posted this I was in the midst of figuring out all the heart stuff and I was feeling a bit blue and insular. But you are SO RIGHT! We all need community. I want the HS to reveal these connections to me as well! I appreciate your friendship b/c you often tell me what I NEED to hear -- not just what I WANT to hear in the moment. Thank you!

  3. Such a fascinating quote! Isn't it the unknown-ness that suggests the horror? For us, the sea is so mysterious and we can't survive there; yet to the creatures that live there, it is the only place that really makes sense! As Homer Simpson sang, "Under the sea, under the sea, there'll be no accusations, just friendly crustaceans under the sea!" (Hey, if Tim is allowed to quote Donne, I'm allowed to quote Homer Simpson. But feel free to tell me if I'm being a bad influence on your blog... :-) )

    1. A bad influence?! No way! You keep me smiling, friend! :D


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