Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The Ten Thousand Mile Gaze

Can we agree that it's late - not too late but late - or will you deprive me of even that small comfort?

Imagine how tired the prodigal was when at last he arrived home, and imagine the nature of his gratitude, and then ask: is this a story about the prodigal or how the prodigal's father learned how to forgive? 

What the magician learned, what the priest learned, what a woman learns who is not consulted but chosen to be a queen, and what I learned by trying over and over and over to choose nothing. 

A therapist, he said, is a storyteller and seeing it that way was helpful for a surprisingly long time.

The wind makes an angry sound high above us, coming down through the valley in early winter, cirling the pasture, ascending and descending, reminding me of the old argument: when does a hand become a fist.

The sentence lengthens, becomes complex, losing itself in itself, and fantasies of a cell somewhere begin to appear again in my mind.

At night in windy sleet howling I guide the blind horse back into the barn, lose a shoe in freezing mud near the door, tumble around in the darkness for what feels like years protecting my toes from the great weight of God.

Photographs haunt me worse than any ghost, noon is the darkest part.

What we don't want to say but must is that I am a mother's son with an awful secret, a gift for talking his way into and out of every room, and a tolerance for physical pain that only in my fifties did I realize wasn't a virtue.

After, the bedroom fills with blue light, angelic and clear, and something in me briefly stops trying to keep track by counting.

Things I was wrong about include labeling the Holy Spirit attention, though a day after realizing this, I wonder again, what am I doing?

A great deal of what appears appears to co-exist with what else appears.

One slips into recursion again, or awareness of recursion maybe, and remembers the early days of discovering the separation was an illusion, not a mystery but a puzzle, one that could be solved, heady days when Dad was still alive and it felt like the cosmos was preparing some grand gesture of welcome, inclusion, ordination.

The mice in winter in the barn are happier than we are: this is not an easy lesson to learn.

The question is, would you accept the gift of total and perfect peace from God if the sole condition was, you will forget about God entirely?

The wedding, the marriage, the infidelity, the suturing, the realizing it's all sutures and always was, and the ten thousand mile gaze still traveling through the galaxy in search of the perfect woman. 

The rank profanity of "it is what it is," which I reject utterly.

Days after her own orgasm Chrisoula reciprocates by giving me head in the pantry, jacking me off at the end, ropy semen shining on her fingers, which she uses to trace and touch my lips, running her palms across my eyes, trailing her hands down my throat, all of it to mark me, bless me, remind me what gifts are and recognize better the Giver.

Between hemlock branches, morning light, last night's snow gone down the river to another town, briefly the end of all loneliness.

Oh it is Advent again, let us put our shoulders into carrying the five loaves and two fishes through the snowy meadow, our whole heart a lantern ablaze in other hearts, starving and merely hungry and otherwise.

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