“The cut worm forgives the plow”

This morning I read a quote which was taken from one of the works of William Blake, an English poet and printmaker.

“The cut worm forgives the plow.”

I read that and thought … what a great analogy. (Please note: I am not calling you or us worms, so please bear with my rough analogy here.)


If you are freaked out even seeing an image of a worm, sorry! Please read on, there are no more pictures.

It’s not that a worm has a mind to forgive anything or even think about anything. It simply does what a worm is made to do. But, in considering an earthworm, for example, which is what I immediately thought of and am most familiar with as having the misfortune of being cut by a plow *, this is a very interesting statement.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

An earthworm that gets cut in half still lives, but as two earthworms. Did you know that? It’s an amazing feat of nature. Each then regenerates the parts lost, then continues on with life. If you are really interested, there is a great article here that you can read later. If you are not interested, then please excuse my fascination of such things.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

  • Have you ever felt that life circumstances are cutting you in half?
  • Do you feel you just don’t know how you are going to handle the stress in your life?
  • Do you feel cut off from what used to be normal for you?
  • Has something happened that has changed your path and redirected you?

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Think about that a minute. What if things have to change – you have no say in it or your better choice is to go with the flow? Suppose what lies ahead is even better than what you have to leave?

We don’t know what is coming ‘down the pipe,’ so to speak. We don’t have the ability to foresee how things are going to be years or even days from now. But, what we do know is that we can survive if we simply keep taking each moment as it comes. Never mind the days or hours, or even minutes … take each breath, each moment, one at a time … and keep on keeping on.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

That plow in your life is making a difference. It is up to you what you do with that change. Are you going to bemoan what happened to affect change in your life, thereby not allowing yourself to move forward? (I am well aware that some things are tragic losses that seem insurmountable, but I can assure you there is life – however altered – waiting to be lived. I just hope you will remind me of that should the time come again in my life.)

We have a choice to make when faced with change – when the plow again passes through our well-ordered, predictable lives. (As much as we may think life is chaotic and scrambled, there is a certain routine we have developed, however varied it may seem.)

  1. Do we emotionally fall apart and refuse to move on, clinging to memories and what remains of the life we knew? Or,
  2. Do we take a brave breath and step forward into the unknown (which describes every day, anyway), being thankful for the growth that lies ahead for us?

I know it’s not easy to do the latter. Moving ahead when we are uncertain and wobbly can be frightening. But, have you ever watched a young child learning to walk? Usually the baby will eagerly try and try until gaining the strength and balance to move ahead on his/her own. Even with help at first, it’s exciting and rewarding to accomplish those steps. We can do it beyond babyhood, too, although in a different way – one day at a time, one step at a time.

What was, good or bad, is something that is part of the whole of who we have become and can be used in either a positive or negative way. If it was bad, we learn to not go there again, to not be that person anymore, to not continue to live life that way; if it was good, we take the best of it and let it contribute in our future in a positive way.

So, has the plow cut through who you know yourself to be? You can start again, renew yourself, continue on. There is always someone who has been there before you, who has made it, and from whom you can learn.

When I write things like this, I usually don’t know for whom it is intended – myself at some future date, or for someone else – which is the usual case. If this speaks to your heart, Bless you! Take courage and make that step. Look ahead with eagerness of what wonders lie ahead for you.

Have you an experience you’d like to share about here as encouragement? Are you in a situation now that is challenging you to let go and move on?

*Plow is another spelling for plough but they have the same meaning.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:34 (Amplified version)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂



31 responses to ““The cut worm forgives the plow”

  1. When you say that you’re not sure which person you are writing this for, I can say with certainty – me for one! Thank you, Lynn. What a timely post and just what I needed to read. Many blessings.


    • Sue, I am so glad this spoke to your heart. The Lord knows what we need and how to deliver it. Thanks for letting me know. Blessings to you. 🙂


  2. This is so very powerful Lynn! Thank you!


  3. What a GREAT analogy! Well done! 😀


  4. What a comforting post for me at the moment Melanie. Well timed. xx Hugs xx


  5. Sorry, mind elsewhere, I mean Lynn of course not Melanie. xxxxxxxx


  6. The cut worm forgives the plow is one of William Blake’s proverbs of Hell. I’m still trying to figure out what it means, but I think I like your interpretation better than its probable intention. It is also listed with “A dead body revenges no injuries.”, and “You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”


  7. he never wrote a novel…


  8. Didn’t they prove that worms don’t become two worms when cut?


  9. What a beautiful blog – I love your words. I’m so glad to have found it. Thank you so much, Lynn. xxoo


  10. Your words certainly spoke to me today, Lynn. Thanks for sharing your thoughts from the heart. Change is inevitable. I regularly need to be reminded that it’s how I react to change that gives it power to make or break. “Take courage and make that step.” Every day. Every day. 🙂


    • Heather, I’m glad they have helped you in some way.
      It surprises me that this post is the most viewed of all I’ve written, and it continues to be visited. Thank you for your comment today.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You are an awesome writer.


  12. Hi Lynn, I came across that William Blake quote for the first time today, and I kept thinking, “How does he know the worm doesn’t curse the plow for the rest of his life?” lol, so I Googled it, and that is how I found your wonderful blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. if we are cut in two by a “plow” do we become two people?


  14. let me try again… i understand you and i are not worms, but i have had conversations with friends and family regarding the question ‘can a person be two different people?’ i was really just wondering if you thought life (life being the plow) could turn us into two different people, like the person who appears happy in public but who is really depressed. thank you for your time and consideration.


    • Ed, welcome to my blog, by the way …. I am months replying to this, unsure if this was for real or not. I’m taking a chance and answering you as best I can and maybe you’ll come back to see it some day.
      I believe a person can seems like two different people, in that one’s personality can adapt to different situations. Example: quiet and shy around people just met; outgoing and at ease around friends and family. Your example with life being the plow – “the person who appears happy in public but who is really depressed” is a good one. That has described me on many occasions, and I know it describes many others. We adjust to our environment and adapt as a means of survival.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


  15. i am awaiting moderation. been awhile… i hope i haven’t crossed a line with you or your readers. i’m a letter writer. love making simple birthday cards and envelopes. i make scrapbooks that take years to complete. i write poems (i know, everybody does). i also help build planes designed to kill. it turns my stomach more and more every year, but it’s a living. (i’m paying for some of it now and the balance will come due at the gate) i’d rather open a dog and cat travel agency. i’ve been doing research on the benefits of sending your pets away on vacation. beneficial to both pets and owners. in conclusion i apologize for butting in. take care ya’ll


    • You didn’t cross a line with me, nor with my readers as I’m the only one who could see your comment until I approved it.
      Your interests are creative. It’s unfortunate your job is eating away at you, and I hope you can find something that makes you happy and supports you financially. Your idea of a pet travel agency is both amusing and interesting. Would there not be concern about the separation leading to anxiety? And … are you serious?
      Thanks for your comment.


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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