I thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened) [cummings]
Sometimes I have this experience: I am present, and then all of a sudden, I become aware. Oddly, awareness often distracts one from immersion within a moment–awareness causes one to step back and see, to notice with intention until the senses are full and you pass back into just being. It’s like this: I’m sitting in the same old corner of the same old coffee shop, trying to fit more words into the minutes I have left before class than is wise, but then, the timeliness of the moment fades and I am just wondering how it happened that I get to spend my days hanging out with all of the words, because that is incredible. I wonder, once I’m back to reading, if telling my professor that I got “caught up in being aware” is as good as “the dog ate my homework.”
Another day I’m walking across my beloved Quad, and the sky is so infinite that it makes me think of everything I love most. It’s been a rainy winter in these parts, but this day sings spring to us–it’s glimmering on the tops of everyone’s heads–and I stop. I touch the arm of my comrade: look, look, look. Maybe his face is asking if I’m going crazy, but I don’t know, because the sky is making me think about the way my mother looked when she gardened and how chocolate chip pound cake tastes and what it’s like to feel very pretty. We walk some more and bid one another adieu, and now I am free to let the grace take me to the last time someone gave me flowers and I am free to lose my immersion in the present and instead let the awareness of the infinite fly me and I am free.
All week long, I am sick; sniffles and coughs and throat-gurgling that makes the people around me grimace (my apologies.) All week long the sleep is not quite long enough, it seems; all week long, I rise and shine and get brave early. (Except when I don’t, but see, that’s another story.) But despite the sickness–or maybe because of it, on account of, well, NyQuil–this keeps happening, these pullings-away where I have no choice but to extrapolate every bit of goodness out of any given moment, or I have no choice but to look in the face of something I like to leave forgotten, and either way, I am here and there all at the same time. “Can it be?” I asked our God, as sometimes I get a little too emotional for my own good, and honestly, was relishing pound cake while I walked down the sidewalk really a good idea? “Should it be?” I say it again, and I feel His smile in my bones. “Oh, but it should.”
Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. –James 1:17
I invite you, then, into the infinite. I do not ask that you would forget where you are, but rather that you would feel it fully, that your freedom would dance you around to all of the wonder and splendor that this fallen world does indeed hold. May you cross between the place where the angels fly, the place where our spirits long to be, and come back again, bent on running this race. Let us blearily stumble into the kitchen for a mug at 5:30 a.m., prayers for strength falling from our lips, because that is life–and let us notice the way light charges our souls, because that can be life, too; and let us be free.