Measuring vs Pouring

Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I know the voices dying with a dying fall

Beneath the music from a farther room.

So how should I presume?

–T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

“It is the law that is measured out. It is the law that always asks the questions, “How far do I have to go? How much is enough?” But love never asks these questions because love is never measured out. Love is always poured out.”

Bill Mills, Naked and Unashamed

It is a little strange to begin an entry with two quotes, especially two which come from such completely different sources. The first, from one of my favorite poems (especially to read aloud), strikes me as being all about living life by holding back, by choosing to believe that pouring oneself out into the world unreservedly would be presumptuous. Poor Prufrock feels the insecurities of being ordinary in a world which values the extraordinary – and who among us has not felt that? And feeling that, he holds back. We hold back.

The second quote, above, comes from a source I haven’t read. Instead, this quotation was included in a blog post by Randy Greenwald, and it has stayed with me for days. Love is always poured out. Which is to say, if it isn’t being poured out, if it is being held back, measured, and dribbled out, it isn’t love.

Usually, I would want to blather on and on about what all this means. Today, I simply want to say that in learning to love my life, I have been learning to pour myself out – to allow love to flow unimpeded by insecurities and fear. I haven’t learned to do this perfectly yet. But I have learned that putting myself out there in a careful trickle only results in regret. So I am going to let love (of life, of others, of my flawed self) cascade, flood, gush forth and inundate my world. I hope you’ll join me — and let it pour, baby, let it pour!

2 thoughts on “Measuring vs Pouring

    1. Glad you enjoyed the photo of your originals! I have no clue where the get-ups came from, but thanks for them! I bet we loved them.

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