Author, Photographer, Researcher, Artist, Adventurer and Buccaneer Extraordinaire

“Or at least that’s the plan each morning after coffee.”

DL Tolleson.com

THIS UNNAMED GEOLOGICAL formation is the likely result of wind, rain and time eroading away surface material to expose what at one time would have lava (magma) that had cooled and solidified. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
COMING INTO OR out of the Chisos Mountains, this is the northwest view and is several miles south of Panther Junction and the headquarters for Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE CLARET CUP is covered in barbed spines and blooms a reddish, cup-shaped flower from about April to June or July in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW FROM a formation called, “The Window,” looks out from the westside of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIAN HEAD MOUNTAIN and its southern region offers this “leaning” wall of geology at the western boundary of Big Bend National Park. The rocks of the foreground are boulders ranging from man-sized on up. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
MASSIVE AND TOWERING, this wall of the geology is at least a couple of hundrend feet high and situated in the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WIDE-OPEN PANORAMAS and mountainous terrain such as this are routine along roadside in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE SOUTHWEST SIDE of the Chisos Mountains, also known as the Chisos Mountain Basin and home to the lodge in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2011 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A FALLEN TREE is an impassable barrier in an otherwise debris-free dry riverbed in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIGENOUS TO TEXAS, New Mexico and Arizona, Javelinas in Big Bend National Park genetically differ from swine. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
LOST MINE TRAIL in Big Bend National Park, looking southward over Juniper Canyon, the Chisos Mountain’s Northeast Rim and into Mexico. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A TREE SILHOUETTED against the night sky as seen from Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW EAST of a volcano is an illusion of the setting sun streaming through the Chisos Basin area behind Casa Grande Peak in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WRIGHT MOUNTAIN in background at Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A VIEW WESTWARD after sundown from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A CAMERA COMPENSATION for the limited light after sundown provides this view westward from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.
SANTA ELENA CANYON after sunset, as seen from the Chimneys in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.

Publication History: The Heart Pines © Copyright 2001, 2009, 2019 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved. Excerpts from this work are permissible if author attribution is included. However, beyond this no part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.

Tolleson, DL. “The Heart Pines.”
DLTolleson.com, 2009.
http://www.dltolleson.com/poetry/heartpines.php.

Tolleson, DL. “The Heart Pines.”
TheLighthousePress.com, 2016.
http://www.thelighthousepress.com/dltolleson.com/poetry/heartpines.php.

Description: Poetry—127 words.

Commentary: How can we be certain that anyone is actually moral, faithful or honest? With certainty we cannot. This is why we often hear things like, “I’m shocked he (or she) would do that; it’s so out of character.” Of course the problem with that it is a confusion of “character” with “reputation” (but that is a topic for another time).

As for morality, faithfulness and honesty… The crux is in determining upon what we are depending for the basis of morality being exhibited in others (or ourselves).

If the basis for morality is merely that something is “the right thing to—or not to—do,” then there should not be any surprise when a “perfectly” and “thoroughly” moral man or woman suddenly exhibits behavior contradictory to their previously established norms. After all, if the basis upon which the person was moral in the first place was no greater a thing then because it was, “the right thing to do or not do,” that is a determination founded upon an internal source. Thus, when acting in contradiction to a previously perceived immorality of some stamp, the person was merely re-defining what constituted, “the right thing to do or not do.”

This is what is meant by “moral relevance.” It depends upon nothing more stable than a person’s subjective determination of “right and wrong.” Since we are speaking of human nature, that determination is not beyond influence and is subject to change. It’s an invitation to, “move the goal post.”

The only alternative to moral relevance is an absolute standard. An absolute standard is unchanging and determining relevance in a given situation is mostly a matter of weighing the severity of guilt. In contrast to moral relevance, an absolute standard is better known as God.

So, does the basis upon which a person’s morality is founded have barring upon whether a person will initially violate his or her own principles? Because we are speaking of human nature, we can only say that it does so in proportion to how important a given standard is to a given person. We are imperfect and subject to influence. But just as importantly—and maybe more importantly—is the basis of a given standard after a person violates his or her principles. That is the time when we can, with certainty, divine a person’s standard.

For the person who practices moral relevance may just as easily alter his or her morality after a violation of principles. Such an individual may not feel a depth of sorrow for a transgression because he or she can justify his or her actions. But the person having an absolute standard cannot seek solace by justifying a transgression. Such a person must return to the absolute standard—that is, if he or she is able to recover from the paralyses of soul-rending sorrow.

This is the purview of the poem, The Heart Pines. It is the lament of a narrator who has violated an absolute standard of faithfulness and regardless of forgiveness is unable to move beyond the sorrow of transgression.

—DL Tolleson

THE HEART PINES
DL Tolleson

I’ve admired from afar
The human heart,
But would welcome the day
Mine flies apart.

I don’t really want one—
Who needs the grief
Of all those emotions
Without relief?

Don’t misunderstand me:
Hearts aren’t that strong
When emotions cause pain
And things go wrong.

Yet the heart withers not
And will not die.
Still thriving when wounded
It bears the lie.

So I would rather live
And never dread,
Where fools rush in or where
Angels ne’er tread.

Unto death the heart pines
Without repair,
When love is disarmed
By deed's despair.

Oh Angles of mercy
Hasten the day,
When this heart forsakes me
And rest I may.

Bury me in a field,
Headstone inscribed:
“The day I wounded thee—
That day I died.”