When God Decided to Invent
A Little Talk on a Poem by E.E.
I am not an
E.E. Cummings scholar. I simply like
E.E. Cumming’s poetry, as odd as it can be.
When I read his poetry doors open, windows open, entire skies bloom in
an instant inside me. This post will be my meditative reflections that came
after reading one of his poems.
poem. It doesn’t have an official title.
It was published in 1944.
god decided to invent
everything he took one
breath bigger than a circustent
and everything began
when man determined to destroy
himself he picked the was
of shall and finding only why
smashed it into because
First off, I
love Cumming’s joy at creation:
one breath “bigger than a circustent.”
unfamiliar with Cumming’s poetry need to know that he does a lot of play with
words—completely throwing out conventionalities, spellings, word breaks, and so
on. Here he simply blends two words
together “circus” and “tent,” and we are given an image of bigness—fun
bigness—extravagant bigness-playful bigness—billowing bigness.
“everything began.” It began with
breath. Just like with us.
If we are
seeking mental clarity, inner healing, peace of mind, and creativity, then we
need to start at the beginning—with breath.
The more we
learn to consciously breathe—big breaths (i.e. deep breaths)—from the belly–full,
rich breaths, the clearer we become. The
more we can breathe and revel in the full funness of life, the deeper and more
nourishing our breaths will become. And the more we consciously breathe, the
more everything begins…again and again…
are times we forget to breathe. And when
people can’t breathe, they lash out—they lose control, trying desperately to survive. And desperate people do desperate things.
are suffocating their dreams, their hearts, and when that happens, things get
smashed to bits.
makes the decision to invent.
is final. It is will blossoming into action,
and it is done.
Man, on the
other hand, according to this little poem, determines, which literally means, “to
set bounds or limits (Online Etymology Dictionary).”
What do we
set limits to? Our own beliefs—our own
minds and hearts. We carry limited
beliefs within us that would knock down the circustent.
limited beliefs are in “the was of shall.”
means, in its roots, “to owe (ibid).”
So I look at
these words, “the was of shall,” and interpret them to mean:
boundaries on our beliefs due to unresolved memories and issues from our past. There are amends to be made, forgiveness to
give and forgiveness to seek. We need to
pay back what we owe. Clean our side of
If we want
freedom, we need to live in the consciousness of now and learn to transform
painful, limiting memories, into healing, creative big-top fun.
In short, we
must stop living and blaming the past.
if we don’t? What happens if we stay
victims and imprisoned by limited beliefs?
We sink deeper and deeper into the suffocating waters of looking for
answers, into the “why this and why that.”
And since we can never truly know all the whys, we smash everything up
with justifications and rationalizations.
We smash it to bits and then, like any angry child does when asked why
he or she did something destructive, we say:
know why (consciously) we do many things we do.
And thus we stop breathing, and thus we become unconscious.
know why we feel angry, we might know why we feel afraid. Sometimes it makes little difference in the end. Deep
down we know time is ticking. We’re
throwing away our dreams, and instead of making decisions, we set more and more boundaries
in (and on) our minds and hearts. Our
minds shrink into prejudices and violently limiting ideologies—about others, about
people we judge, the world, and ourselves.
Breathe breaths as big as circustents.
things rather than destroy them.
have fun even in the work of becoming. (Humanely)
train the animals in your circus (i.e. your passions and your shadowsides) to work for you and with you, and perhaps even, to do tricks. Use any
odd talents and gifts you have, and shine.
Even when we
become aware of our limited beliefs, we needn’t destroy or try to resist them,
we can breathe through them with affirmations and positive actions of love
towards self and others thus transforming them instead of waging war against
We can learn
to breathe with child-like joy; with the awe of a child at a circus.
simply be and rejoice in the lavish play going on before (and within) us.
So there you
reflections and inspirations
after reading this little poem by E.E. Cummings.
What comes to you?
I’d love to hear.
Thanks for reading.
Peace and Light, Joseph
Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog