Today was one of those days off work where the morning was filled with activity and the afternoon was laid back and relaxed. Sandi and I had planned on being in New York City this weekend but with two weddings this summer found that we lacked the funds to get us there. So since I had already scheduled the days off, I took them anyway and stayed home.
And that is not neccesarily a bad thing even though it would be great to be with my wife in the Big Apple doing all the things we like to do when we are there. I am looking forward already to next year’s trip.
My lazy afternoon consisted of sitting around outside and reading and enjoying the mountain air and fall sunshine that is just a little less hot than the summer sun can be. I read the paper and began a book of poetry by Lawrence Raab entitled Visible Signs. He is a poet that is easily understood but in saying that I do not mean that he is simple. It is just that his language is saying a lot more than what the words on the page would at first seem to indicate. And to me, that is what makes great poetry—a blend of fragrances and subtle shades of color that grab you sometimes and slowly envelop you at others.
There were several verses that by themselves stuck out and seem to say a lot more to me than perhaps they were intended to. The first is:
nothing is only itself
This very small piece of a larger poem seems to resonate strongly in me that we are not alone on this journey—to think and act like we are is an error in thought. I really can’t say what this walk or Christian community is supposed to look and act like—but I do know that it is something that was put into my heart at the very moment I became a believer and has not left yet. I have seen us fail at living in it—I have seen relationships that were supposed to be kingdom type reduced to kind words in the church hallway on a Sunday morning. I could go on but you get the drift.
As I sat in my outdoor living room yesterday, these thoughts turned into an almost surreal rambling on paper that is somewhat oblique but I feel is still understandable.
There’s more to this life than what I am seeing/feeling—experiencing.
Shades of nuance—hidden meanings—subteranean cultures.
Our box—the womblike enclosure that surrounds our every thought and movement
Changes shape daily as we move
From one level of awareness to the next.
Do you see what I see—can you hear what I hear?
Hey…the emperor is naked and thinks he is robed in splendor.
Maybe he is—in his God suit.
So much is hidden—so much we have passed over.
My life is certainly filled with information that will never benefit me
beyond the moment of knowing it.
Like so much junk mail piled high on the table—waiting for me to sort through it
and throw away the 97% of it that I am not interested in or pertains to me.
I get the feeling that if what I have stored in my memory banks were laid out as sheets of paper—
the paper would cover much of what we know to be North and South America— maybe
even a few islands in the South Pacific would be covered as well.
Yet I remain as tightly compressed as ever—a functioning body of skeleton and skin
who can alomost hear the sounds of the distant drummers
as I sit outside—sun shining through a slight breeze that loosens
the leaves of an early fall.
A swingset sits in my backyard—a memory—a moment
of past children laughing in their playful way.
What a time that was—when almost free from the pull of the earth
We dared to go higher and higher in an ever widening arc of freedom,
A motion of magic—eyes closed and imaginiing all sorts of daring adventures.
We made it through the day and lived to swing and ride bikes into the brave new world and beyond—into
our hopes and dreams. What makes me any different from you—nothing but what I have dared to see.
A days reality piled upon another and another like pipe smoke in the still air of post adolesence—can I touch it?
I remember the freedom of a Saturday afternoon with nothing to do and nowhere to be—turning into a
long walk along the beach until dusk with waves as my only company.
That simplicity turned inward and longing now for attention—release—all these days waiting for a place to take shape.
Can I hold them all?
It is raining in Boone today—a slow steady rain that is much needed. Nothing is only itself.
Rain glistens on your stonesdrips from your leaveschange is in the air