After a while I stop counting apples and just wonder what the right word for their particular shade of red might be, which my wife - who is busy picking - suggests isn't a better expenditure of time. A storm is coming, west to east, each breath of wind a little more electric than the last.
Context is helpful, until it is not, and one has to be sensitive to the difference as it occurs. Waking up at three a.m. and entering the field is a kind of pilgrimage, or you can - if you want to - see it that way.
Struggling to read through broken glasses, Macbeth, John's Gospel, Sylvia Plath's early poems which yesterday I recalled in conversation, suggesting they reflected a kind of informed bravery mostly missing from today's poorly-read imitations of that particular confessional mode. Geese crossing from time to time, their oratorical V's ever a harbinger of what makes me most love the Abrahamic God.
Last night while I wrote, C. sewed buttons on various articles of clothing, catching up on side projects, both of us remembering old pets long gone. Last of the bread dipped in crushed tomatoes and dried basil, a little feta added just to clean out the fridge.
Focusing on word counts is okay at first but leads increasingly to confusion about the difference between quantity and quality. One thinks of Emily Dickinson in the 1870's, and is not alone, ever.
At night, standing under the stars, you perceive your life not as a series of personal events held together by a narrative self, but as a single stitch in a vast beautiful fabric ultimately incomprehensible to our limited (and limiting) minds. I have called death a darkening but that is only from this side - from the other it is a lightening, in at least two senses of the word.
I woke at 3 a.m. to the neighbors fighting, slurred insults just audible through a late summer welter verging on rain. A dead cardinal come to unexpectedly, gone when I passed that way a few hours later.
We are one movement, which is so hard to perceive and which - once perceived - tends to inspire all sorts of creative resistance and antipathy. J. asks for pancakes and I accommodate, but not without gently observing that most breakfast experts consider them mainly a fall and winter meal, to which he replies matter-of-factly, almost kindly - as if seeing better than me the fear of love from which my wordiness emerges - "then don't eat them."
What is it about mystery (other than the satisfaction of solution) that we so love and covet? Letters come and go but language lasts forever.
E. brings a few pounds of cubed lamb by to say thank you for my writing his son's college application essays and we marinate it in olive oil, lemon juice and oregano, then barbecue it on skewers with cherry tomatoes and red onions, then smear it with shaved cucumber and yogurt, then eat it with a kind of home-made naan, until our gratitude floats away as high as the trees. What I am always trying to say is that one day follows another, or seems to, as if we are loved beyond our puny ideas of love, as if we are fed by a God who relishes our joy, and as if our joy - here, now - were Heaven itself.
"At night, standing under the stars, you perceive your life not as a series of personal events held together by a narrative self, but as a single stitch in a vast beautiful fabric ultimately incomprehensible to our limited (and limiting) minds. I have called death a darkening but that is only from this side – from the other it is a lightening, in at least two senses of the word."ReplyDelete
In this lovely spill of words, Sean, I feel a very real sense of freedom. It is another gentle reminder to simply get my "self" out of the way and in that same movement, open to what is. Thank you...
Hope your new school year is starting well. I missed your words while offline in Pennsylvania.
Thanks, Chery . . . A "lovely spill of words" is a lovelily phrase I am grateful to be entangled in!ReplyDelete
That whole getting out of the way is such a simple coach kind of phrase but man, it really works . . . And it's such a relief to get the self out of the way but so unfamiliar. Practice, practice . . .
School is good - first classes today. I had a rough night of sleep and woke up late but got through okay, despite feeling turned around all morning. I did a lot of interesting reading in advance of the semester - around evolutionary psychology of all things, in particular what I am broadly calling our evolution towards peace, communal benevolence and God-awareness. Everything speaks to me now: everything says there is nothing to do, we are home.
Good Morning Sean,ReplyDelete
Yes, at some point the dots begin to connect themselves, or so it seems, although I would imagine that is merely the manifestation of an ever-deepening awareness.
I hope as your week continued, you were able to get more rest. As a troubled sleeper myself, I can empathize.
My take on why we love mystery? We think the solution will take us somewhere "beyond" here, not really knowing the beyond is already here.
If that makes any sense... :)
Enjoy your weekend with the family. I'm off to peddle baked goods for our church at our city's annual Bay Days event. David dons an apron and serves up smoothies. It's all very busy and fun.