Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In a Rush to Become the Prodigal

Near midnight I walk alone to the edge of the meadow and stand quietly as if by the sea.

One gives up on certain embodiments - this meeting or that, this woman or that, this teacher or that.

The image disturbs the clear surface only when we insist on attribution.

When I lean over the meadow and gaze into the fallen grass, what do I see?

Falling stars, hand-made scythes, lonesome dentists, crickets and ladybugs, lonesome dogs with barely-discernible limps.

There is no "what's next" where there is only this.

There are never not roosters, never not crows.

The interior silence both deepens and widens at God's request, notwithstanding the utter absence of any God.

One arrives again at the futility of effort and learning and is saved by attention which reveals not wholeness but the utter absence of nothing.

A fragmentary method that remains appealing precisely because it is illusory, comprised of hints, et cetera.

We pile zucchini on the counter, make bread and muffins, toss it recklessly on pizza, into spaghetti sauce, soups, et cetera.

I will no longer appeal to that which distresses me, trusting in God to settle all seas, including yours.

A little before midnight, pausing at the meadow's edge, one slips into the holiness of alone-but-not-alone that sustains one through the many deserts, the many cities of solitude and unknowing.

One does love the stranger, doesn't one?

We drive slowly along summery back roads, so slowly you can make out each tiny blossom on the Queen Anne's Lace, so slowly that even one's arrival home feels as if it happened in another lifetime.

One lives in proximity to death now and is not unhappy, is not in a rush to become the prodigal son all over again.

God was at the bottom of the watery swale, waiting patiently in the silt and weeds, and when I saw this, even the surface that had rejected me as unfit rejoiced, slipping beneath itself in utter joy.

You see what I see?

One turns to the medieval mystics in the same way one fishes in early October - patiently, thoughtfully, gratefully, studiously.

Thus, this alphabetical impulse lives in me - briefly I hold it - as only I can - for the collective in which together we reside, wordless.

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