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[IP] Angels among us
To those of you who have not read this classic by the Dallas
columnist Paul Crume, allow me to reprint his article of 1967.
Angels are among us, on this day and every other.
A man wrote me not long ago and asked me what I thought of the
theory of angels. I immediately told him that I am highly in favor of
angels. As a matter of fact, I am scared to death of them.
Any adult human being with half sense, and some with more,
knows that there are angels. If he has ever spent any period in
loneliness, when the senses are forced in upon themselves, he has
felt the wind from their beating wings and been overwhelmed with
the sudden realization of the endless and gigantic dark that exists
outside the little candle flame of human knowledge. He has prayed,
not in the sense that he asked for something, but that he yielded
Angels live daily at our very elbows, and so do demons, and most
men at one time or another in their lives have yielded themselves to
both and have lived to rejoice and rue their impulses.
But the man who has once felt the beat of an angel's wing finds it
easy to rejoice at the universe and at his fellow man. It does not
happen to any man often, and too many of us dismiss it when it
happens. I remember a time in my final days in college when the
chinaberry trees were abloom and the air was sweet with spring
blossoms and I stood still on the street, suddenly struck with the
feeling of something that was an enormous promise and yet was
no tangible promise at all.
And there was another night in a small boat when the moon was
full and the distant headlands were dark but beautiful and we were
lonely. The pull of a nameless emotion was so strong that it filled
the atmosphere The small boy within me cried. Psychiatrists will
say that the angel in all this was really within me, not outside, but
it makes no difference.
There are angels inside us and angels outside, and the one inside
is usually the quickest choked. Francis Thompson said it better.
He was a late 19th-century English poet who would put the current
crop of hippies to shame. He was on pot all his life. His pad was
always mean and was sometimes a park bench. He was a mental
case and tubercular besides. He carried a fishing creel into which
he dropped the poetry that was later to become immortal.
"The angels keep their ancient places," wrote Francis Thompson in
protest. "Turn but a stone, and start a wing."
He was lonely enough to be the constant associate of angels.
There is an angel close to you this day. Merry Christmas, and I
wish you well.
And may you all feel close to your angel today
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