There is a need to get away from the Linus book and to remember our hearts, our “chambered nautilus.” The need to share this poem is great for me, so please bear with me and hopefully you will enjoy.
Here is one writing, including the poem, from the book “It can be done; Poems of inspiration.” collected by Joseph Morris and St. Clair Adams, published 1921 and 1929.
“The nautilus is a small mollusk that creeps upon the bottom of the sea, though it used to be supposed to swim, or even to spread a kind of sail so that the wind might drive it along the surface. What interests us in this poem is the way the nautilus grows. Just as a tree when sawed down has the record of its age in the number of its rings, so does the nautilus measure its age by the ever-widening compartments of its shell. These it has successfully occupied. The poet, looking upon the now empty shell, thinks of human life growing in the same way. We advance from one state of being to another, each nobler than the one which preceded it, until the spirit leaves its shell altogether and attains a glorious and perfect freedom.”
“This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sailed the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,—
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more,
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings;—
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!”
–Oliver Wendell Holmes
Life is ever-changing, ever-growing, and this is good. The poem may be old to us, but yet ever mindful for us to think upon. We human beings are just as fragile and finite as any other living being in and on this world as much as the next world upon which there is life. Just remember that we are also Spirit and Energy which does not dissipate. We only change form. Life and beyond is most amazing, so live in the now as much as you can and enjoy the miraculously amazing gift later. . .