Tohu wa-bohu & the Journey of Imperfection

by Hilary Horn

By Rodney Marsh

Life itself is imperfect. Always. Imperfect – my life, your life, our life together. Always. However imperfection is a sign of coming perfection. No imperfection – no glorious hope – at least in this life.

Thirty years ago my identical twin brother died. Without him, I will always be an imperfect whole. But that’s ok. I was an even more imperfect whole when he was alive.

A large part of my healing has been acceptance of my own imperfection through Christian meditation. I wrote this poem about my journey. It’s called

Tohu wa-bohu

Nietzsche stared into the Abyss
The Abyss stared back
He went mad.
Kierkegaard looked into the Abyss too
The Abyss said, “Jump”.
He jumped.
I saw the Abyss once.
I looked away.
Whilst looking away, I tried to see the darkness
(I used the light of my mind)
I could not see the darkness.
I listened to the silence.
I could hear nothing.
(except the sound of silence)
The silence then whispered: “turn”
I turned.
I cannot see or hear the Abyss,
but my heart senses an echo

“Tohu wa-bohu”

Pregnant with promise.

Tohu wa-bohu‘ (formless nothingness) are the wonderfully onomatopoeic words of the Hebrew Bible describing the time before God spoke ‘being’ into existence.

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