Friday, October 2, 2009

Lost & Searching

How many ways to be lost?

It's that tug of longing after the rain, and the inhalation of tall trees. They draw you into the secret recesses of childhood, the shadows of hedges, the mazes between the negative spaces of things. They call to you as they did in childhood: "Look here, in the shadow realm, because the things you seek aren't out in the clear light."

Immersed in childhood's idyllic light-womb, we all are lost. We wait for the change to come, anxious for things to change--as if all change is progress and nothing present, no present reality, has any value whatsoever. Precisely because the present reality is so good, so comfortable, so unchangeable, it gives rise to that future-longing.

The light is so bright we long for the relief of shadow, of relaxed dimness, and a motion toward sleep.

We lose ourselves eating. Eat rather to stay alive. Eat consciously. Use writing as your spice. Use adjectives as condiment, specific verbs as sauce. Slim down on your diet. Eat voraciously in your writing life.

Walk heady into the horizon, as if you weren't lost. The "eureka" moment is illusive because momentary. The search is the thing. Paradoxically, in searching you are found, located as surely as if tracked by GPS. The plumb line of heaven drops when men stop seeking staircases to God and learn about the divine that inheres in what fascinates them.

The fountain recirculates, the artesian well brings back to the surface the hidden secrets of the deep. The standing rain carries our prayers with it, seeping slowly into the water table, mingling in the moist eye of God. He weeps for our frailties, our blindness, and sends a spring up through the parched ground. The mountain receives the blessing coming up from below and coming down from above. Men, therefore, climb and don't know why.

They think they have met God on the mountain as Moses did. They are most gravely lost, even as God leads them gently, like lambs, down the rocky path to pasture.

He can be known, but in this life, He has so many impostors.

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