20 September 2010


"But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not." 
 John Steinbeck (East of Eden)

Okay, so I hate to beat a dead horse, buuuuuut...

as you know, I've been listening to the Mumford & Sons album on heavy rotation, and their song 'Timshel' really struck a chord with me.  On a very personal level.

First off, let me say that I did not know what timshel meant.  So, like any big dumb, dumb, I had to google it.  A quick synapses: it is a Hebrew word that means 'thou mayest', or, basically, that you have a choice.  In just about everything.  Even in tragedy.

You can choose to be happy or not.  Choose to take your load of crap and push it all aside or not.  Choose to sink in a hole, or fill it and stand proudly upon the dirt.

See?  Timshel.

I struggle with choosing goodness in my own life.  I often seem to unconsciously choose the dark over the light.  I decide I'm alone.  That somehow my circumstances are different than anyone else that has ever walked this Earth.  No one knows what I feel, how I cope, how I wake up to face every day.

Guess what?

Everyone feels that at some point.  A teenager who doesn't have designer clothing like the other girls, a man who has yet to fall in love, a mother who has lost a child.  From trivial to heavy.

In our pain, we have a choice.  Good vs. evil.

None of us are alone.  Ever.  We have kindred spirits everywhere.  But, sadly, most of us withdraw into our own pain.  Convincing ourselves it's unique.  Unlike any other pain anyone has ever felt.

It's not.

I will be reminding myself of that.  Often.

Second, if you dive even further into the timshel theme, I've discovered that John Steinbeck based his novel, "East of Eden" on this very theme.  The power to choose.

I've read several of Steinbeck's novels, but oddly enough, I've never read "East of Eden".

As soon as we're settled, meaning all of our boxes and furniture make it to the new house in about 10 days, I am going to read "East of Eden".  Then, lucky for you all, I will be giving you a 'book report'.  I would love it if you joined me.

Thou mayest...

"I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?" 
 John Steinbeck (East of Eden)

Post Edit:
Let me add, that I in no way was talking about feeling alienated by God.  My faith reassures me everyday He is by my side.  Always.  ALWAYS.  WIthout that companionship, I would really feel lost at times. Something I don't even want to imagine.  
When writing this I was thinking more in the human camaraderie sense.  Alone in that way is never a good place to be.  Ever, ever.  


  1. we are kindred spirits :)

    i'm not sure what your beliefs are? but I do believe that I am never truly alone. It is comforting to know that my God and Savior has walked the road ahead of me and is holding my hand in the darkest of darks!

    hugs sista!

  2. mmm, good words. :)

    thanks for sharing your heart.

    and agreed, loving Mumford right now!

  3. I need to read that again. It has been a while. Buying Mumford and Sons. Right now. Your music taste has yet to steer me wrong.


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