This page consists of posts that focus on the experience that comes from the passage of time.

Language of Time

When I was an English teacher, I always enjoyed when my students could read “Hands” by Sherwood Anderson. Without getting into too much detail, there is a line where the protagonist instructs, “You must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices.” This is a line that continues to resonate and I still share with students today. 

Writing helps me silence and sort through the noise of daily life, but I usually have to connect my posts to some sort of external stimuli. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on a collection of poems written by my great aunt, Sister Ellen Murphy. Her collection, called “Body of Time: Poems for this Incarnation” really struck a chord during this particular life chapter. Whether it’s the inevitability of passing time or the fading memories of days gone, it’s difficult to decipher. Maybe these reflections will provide clarity. 

Sister Ellen’s poetry collection is broken into four sections to align with the four distinct seasons in the upper Midwest. One constant throughout all the pieces is the unwavering beauty of nature, even as time continues to alter the natural world and our experience within it. My aunt recently shared with me that Ellen was a “deep thinker” and a “great poet.” It makes me wonder if those two qualities are dependent on each other. 

It is clear in Sister Ellen’s writing that she understood the precious quality of time and its constant movement. She even took it upon herself to memorialize the Murphy family history. There is an archive donated by Sister Ellen currently housed at the University of North Dakota. 

I’m looking forward to this journey and revisiting the words from my great aunt published more than fifty years ago. 

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