Monday, February 27, 2006

Why "Crossing the Bar"?

While you're waiting for the next installment on the Old Sin Nature, let me share the reason for the the name crossing-the-bar.

For several years I used the last line or even the last stanza of Tennyson's Crossing the Bar as my sig line in my email. Not only is the poem by my favorite poet, but it also goes along with my email handle, sandbar, which is made up from the the first few letters of my first and last names. Also, Crossing the Bar and sandbar seem to be a perfect fit for this "kid" who spent her summers on a boat. Mentally, I envision the harbor where we docked our boat, the Wogekasan, when I read the poem.

Tennyson lived in a precarious time. Darwin, Lyell, and Huxley, among others, were challenging the existence of God. Science shifted from understanding God and His creation to proving God had nothing to do with creation. Tennyson's struggle between his belief in God and this new emerging science is evident in his work. When one reads Crossing the Bar one can't help but recognize the dichotomy.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again to home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.



Rehj said...


good to hear from you!


Holly said...

Wow Sandy,
It is amazing to see how much I still do not know about you. I love you very much and I have enjoyed reading about your life. I will be praying for you. I love you.