Safe Upon the Solid Rock



Second Fig

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay


Another of Edna’s poems to ponder and share. Though, honestly, there’s not much to ponder here.

To quote a lesser-known poet, ‘brevity is the soul of wit’. (I jest. I actually do know Shakespeare penned that. But we’re getting away from the subject at hand. Which is to say, this poem is brief and witty.)

And it is here today because, yet again, Edna’s words have moved me and I want to share them.

How easy to find stability on solid rock. And yet, what else will you find there? True beauty lies in dreams and desires. These are often found perched on less-than-solid ground. Is instability a part of being creative? Of following dreams? I don’t know.

But if it is, I’m letting my feet sink into the sand where my shining palace stands.

It could collapse.

That beautiful place I’ve worked to build.

I could lose everything.

Or it could remain.

I could gain everything.

Best not to dwell too much but, instead, look upon the ugly houses I don’t want.

Then, I daresay, I will be willing to live surrounded by the glimmer of my dreams or sink with my shining palace.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Can we indulge in our creativity and follow our dreams while still keeping our feet on solid ground? When it comes to your dreams, are you willing to live with uncertainty?



41 thoughts on “Safe Upon the Solid Rock

  1. Powerful that and a bit like having my brain drained reading that at 7am… (note to editor: don’t open a Brentyn post before first beveraging). Does creativity need uncertainty. Or is that instability. It has a superficial attraction. I need to think about that. Time to go into the garden eat porridge and ponder the pond. Thank you for theming my day.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I could hang a sign?
      ‘Caution: Reading requires thought. Please consume words responsibly. Coffee recommended.’
      There’s a bit of uncertainty in all we do, I suppose, just feels like unleashing our creativity is difficult to do fully without giving up some stability. Do think on it. I love your silly-serious-philosophical thoughts. Enjoy the garden. A gorgeous place to ponder.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m not sure. I think I’m standing in sand, too. I could lose everything or I could gain everything. But if it’s quicksand, then maybe it will just gobble me up and I’ll be gone. Only time will tell.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think we need/find/build that solid rock- it’s our base, our center, from which we venture when we decide to be vulnerable. We have to know where it is and keep it strong so we don’t lose sight of it out there, in the uncertain sand. So we can find our way back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s an interesting thought—having both worlds. I like the idea of choosing when we decide to venture out into uncertainty. But can we still have solid rock to return to? Hmm. Yes, I guess some of us do. 🙂 Here’s to always finding your way back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So lovely to see you and one of my favorite poets. Edna strikes the heart in just a few words. I think as creatives we have to dare unsafe spaces — to confront fears and failures for the chance to fly. Playing it safe is writing annual reports. The template is safe. But it’s ugly writing. A novel is wild, but what if it’s ugly writing in a different sense? One is certain, and the other a risk. Ah! Thanks for your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She does. Strikes the heart in just a few words. It’s a gift.

      Ha! Annual reports. Yes! So, even if our creativity is “ugly”, it is in a different way–it’s messy and full of emotion. I agree. I think we need to venture out, step off the solid rock (at least sometimes).

      Hope all is well with you. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh. Clinging is no good. We’ve got to make up our minds to get off the solid rock or not. That partial letting go leaves us in limbo. I’m in the midst of a learning-to-let-go right now in many areas of my life. It’s difficult. But, in the end, it’s a freeing and liberating. Let’s do this! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This post ended up reminding me of the song Tightrope from The Greatest Showman (a movie my entire family has been obsessed with lately). Have you seen the movie? LOVE IT. I’ve seriously watched it at least 15 times in the past two months.

    I’d like to say I’d gladly go running in the sand, but when I truly reflect on my life choices, my job, and the determining factors of my behavior, I have to admit I am risk-adverse and firmly founded on my rock.

    However, when people look at me, I’m pretty sure they see someone with some level of instability (at least mentally). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have not. But, now, it’s first on my must-see list. 🙂

      Risk-adverse. Hmm. I guess I can see that. Yet I can see you handing a shifting foundation better than some, even if you didn’t choose it. Squirrels don’t like sand, do they? But they do maneuver *really* well on thin branches.


  6. A lovely post and ponder, Sarah. I suppose the “sink” happens when we move beyond the now and place expectations on future wishes. Is it possible to enjoy the palace as it currently shines and indulge in our creativity and dreams today? I think so. Tomorrow is an uncertainty we must always live with. Tomorrow may never come and therefore is always built on sinking sands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. There is uncertainty in everything. Every day. So our “solid” foundations are an illusion. Makes us feel better, I suppose, to say we’re on solid ground. But, ultimately, we all live on shifting sands.

      Here’s to shiny palaces bursting with creativity and shifting with the beauty and uncertainty of life. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

    • (Just found your comment. Apologies.) I love this. So true. We cannot plant in rock but can definitely grow something in sand. Cultivating a garden in the sand near my dreams is a lovely idea. 🌸🌼🌺 Thanks!


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