The image was as I awoke of a lake where a sitck of diynamite had been thrown in several minutes before. Floating on top of the lake were the fish that had been caught in the concussion of energy released by the blast.
Your mind can take it from there—water is like that—a safe place to live until an explosion changes things forever.
We could think about the fish for a minute—floating lifeless and belly-up on top of the water—eyes wide open but no longer seeing anything. We could gather them all up and eat them for food but this is the end of a dream and we are not really there.
I am also thinking about the energy released by a mind that is turned on and going seventy-five miles an hour. When you are in the same room with a mind like that you can’t help but feel the vibration—though silent—of all those synapses firing in the brain. Don’t let anyone tell you that science cannot be poetic or at least scientific definitions. A synapse is:
The junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, muscle cell, or gland cell.
I have lived my whole life not knowing that deep within my brain there were such things as axon terminals. And wouldn’t you know it but that all of this is surrounded by a salty water solution.
At this point in the early morning as I attempt to slow my mind back into sleep I am also struck by the thought of rigidity and how muscles will atrophy when they are not used. That delicate balance of life as we feed the cells that in turn enable us to wash our cars, mow our lawns and water our gardens—the three things that came to mind at 4:14 in the morning.
So from all of this can I assume that in those times when sleep evades us it is really because the brain is firing off dynamite charges and our thoughts are like those fish floating on top of the lake after a big blast and looking from above we see them as floating things belly-up with eyes wide open asking all the questions that have no easy answers.
Each generation must make peace with its’ own thoughts and ways of doing things. We are really just painting over a canvas that has had several layers of paint already applied to its’ thin surface. Underneath our picture is another and another and another—we can’t see them but they still exist and meant something to someone who lived and loved before us.
It is interesting also the things you learn if you continue to ask the questions that need to be asked in order to clarify where it is you have been or where it is you are going. Having read the book of Ruth in the bible, I thought that the principle of gleaning—allowing those less fortunate to gather grain around the edges of a field being harvested—was something that was world wide. I was reminded by a friend just the other day that this principle was only practiced by the Jewish people or at least as far as he knew was birthed within the self-same culture from which we received the bible.
Not that this little revelation is that profound but just shows me how much I have taken for granted all these years. No wonder it is so hard to communicate with one another when each of us has read about our origins from our own unique perspectives. We understand our world through the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the prople we have known and the places we have visited.
As we continue our pilgrim’s journey we must remember to take time to talk with each other about our common history and how our lives have been shaped by the events of the past and not be afraid to continue in the process of allowing the clay of who we are be shaped and re-shaped on the potter’s wheel of life.