Go as far as you understand, then take another step or two, so that you might learn.
31 Mar 2005
(And now for something completely different — an experimental poem I did years ago. Enjoy (I think).)
Truth perils depth
(where death is the closest
money) to shy
the rushing patterns of
distance light brittles to aim —
blank wisdom was bought.
Enter life the deafening
boredom: she tailors
a sage, heathen fire
to hermetic savor.
Then she screams planets.
What action craves to sting,
ancient dread predestines a
taut plunge, and stills the air
leaven eras to ruse.
While reason bleeds
lies, mutations of blue
fold in unceasing logic.
29 Mar 2005
Once every somewhile, an inkling of how things might have been. A glance at a fragmentary mirror, glimpsing into the possibility: I have always imagined that destiny’s hold was not so tight on us. It could have happened in another way, even the things that are meant to be. Perhaps, in my thinking, a different shuffling of the deck would not have turned the world upside down — some dreams that are not could have come true, and some dreams that became real might have stayed mere figments. The balance of the world is more a feel than an infinitesimally precise metric. Somewhere, God winks at us. Sometimes, why is merely a passing fancy.
28 Mar 2005
On the one hand, there is the helplessness of man to override the gears of destiny. On the other had, there is the primacy of choice. Perhaps it is the nature of we the upright animals to be of such paradox, made out of nothing in the image of the infinite. For it is written that our lives are predestined to the last bit of detail, yet in the same breath, we are made poignantly aware that the smallest thing that we decide echoes in eternity. One can, given this information, utterly despair that anything we decide makes the littlest difference in what happens to us, in how we affect the world; too, one can be paralyzed by the sheer weight that each choice ultimately will portend. But in each, we ignore the consequence of the other viewpoint of how things work; and it may be that in the paradox one can consequently breathe free.
Look at our Lord, Jesus Christ: for Him, the paradox was the utmost in its expression. He could see all things that He was going to do, and thus, the destiny He was committed to was completely laid out, plain before his eyes. If, then, He had no freedom in choosing what was to happen, what would He be but an automaton, less than human, a robot going through the motions that had already been planned for Him — what would He have been but simply the Algorithm of God? Yet, this is not how we know Him. He was, instead, the highest that consciousness can aspire to, and so, must have had the greatest of all freedom. Thus, we must believe that since in any situation, He would only choose the best way to go, that in any situation, there were an infinite number of best courses available. Not equal, not even equivalent, but with what He could make of any decision, in any of these ways, the best that possible could be.
Does the fact that He knew exactly what He would do lessen His choice? On the contrary, it means instead that His powers of planning were absolute. There is more meaning, then, to His decision, not less — because it all went precisely as He intended. What this lays out for us is that we are no less free to do anything though each iota of our expression is known. We should not despair that our decisions mean anything less than freedom gives us in consequence. And we should not collapse at the weight of such responsibility of choice, for the workings of destiny are larger than any of our choices precipitate. We are caught in the middle of never and forever: but it is a good place. We are responsible for our actions, but in the last estimation, believe that Someone who knows better understands how fraught with uncertainty any of our choices are, how much courage it takes for us to make them.
26 Mar 2005
Distance is the one mystery no one considers.
25 Mar 2005
Even if all the things that people prayed for happened — which they do not — this would not prove what Christians mean by the efficacy of prayer. For prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted. And if an infinitely wise Being listens to the requests of finite and foolish creatures, of course He will sometimes grant and sometimes refuse them. Invariable “success” in prayer would not prove the Christian doctrine at all. It would prove something more like magic — a power in certain human beings to control, or compel, the course of nature.
In airy heights I spun a dream, then fell and fell and fell;
something, though, had me climbing up again, a call that never died,
to find that one dream you fight for is worth forty handed you.
24 Mar 2005
I am small, held in a single thought, and I am never one thing or another, but constantly becoming.
I breathe in during the day, and I exhale it all at night, wondering if the dreams to come also come and go like the tide.
I have drunk of moonlight, when the pale glow poured into silent ponds, rendering stillness to the waters.
I am huge, of greater matter than the most enormous star, but in the darkness, how like nothing I am.
I leap in my dreams across the airy heights, and I walk upon the feathertop clouds — but even in my dreaming I return to earth.
I have stumbled and fallen, fallen, but I heed not gravity’s advice, and still I reach up toward infinity.
I am a cry, a whisper, a teardrop fallen into dust, and however much I change, this soul of mine keeps in the tune of “me”.
22 Mar 2005
Somewhere in my dreaming I have desired terrible things. Now, I have heard of stories where people have spoken to dream inhabitants, who spoke back saying that they, too, were real: makes you wonder if there is some astral place where one goes in one’s dreams. For I have committed crimes there I never would have thought to while here in this too too solid flesh. And I think I have done very little in the way of saintliness there, if I come to think of it. Will it then be that at the end of time, I shall be judged by what I have done in my slumbering hours, too? Perhaps that is a fruitless musing. It is just that I know not why we are so different there, and I cannot say which of the dream or waking is the truer me — just as in a dream I cannot tell if I am real, or if I am being dreamt myself.
21 Mar 2005
How it is that the wonders of the world have become ordinary. But has this not always been so?
How can we say
that we are closer to infinity
than a garden slug?
That we understand destiny
any better than an ant?
O proud mankind,
God has set you above
all the other animals, but
did you not know
we are only as noble as we act,
that since we alone
have eaten of the Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,
we alone can choose
depravity? Not even
the parasitic worms are evil,
after all, for their lot
was nothing that they decided.
We who are made
in the image of love itself,
in the image of the eternal,
think not that our
noble births will save us
Know thyself, if you dare.
Our freedom is a dangerous
blessing — in every
moment, a calling
we choose to hear or deny,
life and death
we render upon the world.
19 Mar 2005
Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved.
Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”
– Bob Dylan
18 Mar 2005
I have imagined that I have seen far, once or twice, that I peered beyond the veil that holds the stars in place. It was most probably illusion, I am of tendency to judge, for these things I have thought seemed the stuff of angels. Perhaps, too, I am inclined to dismiss them in that if such sublime reflections were of substance true, how on my shoulders would there be weights of grand responsibility. But I remember how I have sat, flying high on no drug but a vision of some mathematical automata, how I have felt a nausea of fear in what I could possibly create — not because of anything wrong, but that these ideations so boldly ventured into territories so unknown. Perhaps, in the end, they will come to nothing, but even to have been there, experiencing such desperate hope that revolution was in my breath: I die having truly lived.
17 Mar 2005
Any good man has many dreams he hopes never come true.
When is it passion, and when is it obsession? For visionaries there have been of both types that would not heed the detractors, who pressed forward despite all harshest criticisms. Is it merely to say that those which have succeeded in bringing their vision into the light of day — do we say that if and only if this is the case, the seer is justified? What of the passion that fails, the truly earnest drives that never get exactly where they want to go, never fashion into righteous form the stuff of their imaginings? And the other side, of the obsessions, the madnesses that become wrought into reality, and succeed despite how truly wrong they are? For this world, I think, has discarded many treasures, and reveled in much that is swill…. Perhaps it is only when the heart of the dreamer one peers into do we get the answer to our question: passion is when you are true to the dream that is true to you, and obsession instead cares nothing for the truth. But the lines are blurry, and truth has often been a mystery. One may find, however, that both justify themselves, and need no reason to be — beware. To be caught is like the rushing of the wind up to precipitous heights, and the only way down may be a great, great fall.
15 Mar 2005
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.