Friday, March 14, 2014

The Seasonless Center

A few flakes of snow fall, and icicles elongate, but Spring is coming. One knows it from the impersonal - from the seasonless - center. The brook a freshet heard half a mile away, rushing its banks not in sentience but in joyous dreams of sea. If we give attention, we see the nature of life is cyclical and that properly understood, circumference permits neither travel nor return. With you, one, and alone, one, and the difference is the north wind in pine boughs, and the silence after it passes.

Thus we wake at three a.m. and stumble east onto crumbling snow trails. The owls establish the familiar tonal narrative and one is lifted by it as by hands that know better than ours what is needed. Cold lentils for supper and for breakfast reheated tea and cloves of garlic. The specificity of any sentence is merely a rehearsal for letting go, a falling back into what is general and abstract. For a long time I was a student and then one day became a teacher.

It is true - it is beyond doubt - it stands all reason - that God does indeed long for us, as we long for God, though one can quibble about the semantics (the least interesting form of resistance). That which is is always there and always accepts our attention. Somewhat akin to seeing Van Gogh originals, then walking for hours alone through Amsterdam, alive differently and incapable of language. So I pause by the pine trees I planted a quarter century ago just to hear the sound of snow falling through them. Action transcends activity.

The names of the world's savior are legion and mostly lost to those of us still worshipping history. How happy I was to come home and settle into a corner to pray, and how simple my prayer was. Thankfulness opens an internal channel and allows us to perceive at last that we are not origin. The brief flash of sunset seen through an icicle. I mean the luminescent movement of which we are composing.

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