Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Helpful, Clarifying Decision

Fireflies after rain leave dizzy streaks in still-wet air, phosphorescent stigmatics braving long hours of dark. Question the inclination to render umbrellas a fashion statement. The dog growls at the window and we walk in circles through the yard and it's no good, an hour later a fox takes one of the neighbor's chickens, its blood cries falling off away between goldenrod and timothy. One says certain things about God - like, "seeking God is like your tongue trying to taste itself" - and then at last realizes the futility of language, which is to say, the dimness of its utility, and so the spaces in which one admits a stunned silence grow larger and, oddly, more welcoming. It's not about you, and it never was.

Or so one thinks - or writes at least - admitting again the difficulty inherent in following Jesus, which is not so different from following Buddha, unless you insist on seeing the cross as a necessary penitential juncture. Raw garlic and an apple for breakfast, allowing that Jonathan Edwards wasn't all wrong. Thomas Merton's love affair is perhaps instructive, at least insomuch as it testifies to certain considerations of secrecy and, in the end, a helpful clarifying decision. Whiskey is a trope, and I like studying difficult books, and putting it all into words this way matters, and that's it, that's how it is right now. One comes to a stop on the beach perceiving in the watery distance a sailboat with enormous white sails blurring as it falls away, and one realizes that they are its pilot, and so this moment expands and encompasses so much more than initially believed.

I put away my prisms because the young cats were batting them, but now - morning after morning without rainbow shards floating through the bedroom - I wonder, I really do. D. once said "you have amazing eyes but get increasingly ordinary the lower you go" and I laughed even though I felt bad for my calf muscles. Her ankles were amazing and one afternoon while she read - Virginia Woolf, if memory serves, and if memory doesn't, imagination will - I studied her ankles closely and wrote dozens of pages of poetry in which the word "ankle" did not appear once and yet in which I learned all one can know about the body as a hinge, and thus began a mostly doomed, mostly wasteful exploration of what happens when you gently open it to reveal the other side. The broken insist that light is never so lovely as when it is separated into its vivid spectrum but the healed are happy in either instance because they know that only the form of light can change.

J. writes to tell me that self-salvation is the beginning, not the end, of the atonement process. Is it all a question of internal willingness or do we need someone to help? I stumble through informal prayers while picking sleep out of my eyes, falling back off my knees in gratitude, and receiving again - in yet another form (sort of like fireflies passing by the window at midnight), as if somebody somewhere is insisting on something - "it's not about you." I haven't found a single turtle to rescue this summer which makes me feel like Jesus is saying, let's just relax on the whole "I'm responsible for shepherding all New England turtles to their love nests" thing, okay? Song behind the song, Song of Songs, song singing me into you home.


  1. Missed you yesterday-but this post made up for it. (:

    Your intensity is equally balanced by your sweetness...actually your Heart is Bigger. You could never offer up these daily posts if it was "all about you".

    I thank you for your dedication and for singing your way into my home.
    And I now envision you enjoying some tea with J. ☕️

  2. hey there Annie . . . Thank you so much for the kind words, I do not often feel "balanced by sweetness" so thank you for seeing it that way, and making me smile. Healing finds it way through all our circling to the center. Tea is nice, with J. of course, and all of us really . . . so thank you again for being light for me today . . .