Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thankful for you

To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments.  Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living.  It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live.  Who is worthy to be present at the constant unfolding of time?  Amidst the meditation of mountains, the humility of the flowers -- wiser than all alphabets -- clouds that die constantly for the sake of His glory, "we" are hating, hunting, hurting.  Suddenly we feel ashamed for our clashes and complaints in the face of the tacit glory in nature.  It is so embarrassing to live!  How strange we are to the world, and how presumptuous our doings!  Only one response can maintain us: gratefulness for witnessing the wonder, for the gift of our unearned right to serve, to adore, and to fulfill.  It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.  -From Man's Quest for God by Abraham Joshua Heschel 

In high school, we spent a lot of time studying arguments for the existence of God.  Cosmological argument, teleological argument, etc.  That kind of thing.  And I suppose there is a place for that.  But I've always been moved the most, in terms of evidences for the existence of God, by my overwhelming desire to say thank you to somebody for the moon.  How can people begin to be satisfied with having a general "gratefulness" without someone to whom to say "thank you"?  I suppose we can start by saying thank you to each other, but who do we say thank you to for each other, which seems like the greater desire.  

So anyway, I am thankful to you, for reading this blog, and I thank my God for you and the wonderful way He made you.  I am not worthy to witness the miracle of another human life.  And then to get to be one!  Walking around, talking, breathing, loving, drinking pumpkin pie batter from the bowl.  And then to get to talk to the Creator of my friends and family and say, "well done, good and faithful God."  It does feel a bit presumptuous I have to admit, but I suppose so is living life, prayer, the act of thanksgiving itself.  Who are we to pronounce goodness on this life?  And yet that is what we are called to and invited to join with God from the beginning of time who saw that it was good and very good.  
I love the word "ascribe."  I could think about it for years and years and never fully understand it, yet it must go hand and hand with our thanksgiving lest our thanks be as hollow as the balloons floating above New York Streets.  And it is a joy to do so.  Thank you God for the moon!  

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness." -Psalm 29:2 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

how good is good enough

Thursday I went to a concert/multimedia/performance piece by a man named Sam Amidon.  I highly recommend his music.  He mostly plays very old folk songs but the arrangements are (Icelandic) innovative.  My favorite moment from the concert was a home video he showed where he stares into space, obviously standing in front of some blinds because there were lines of light across his face.  He starts this eerie guttural singing/shouting, and then he looks at the camera and says deadpan, "here I am in my sun helmut."  He says some things after that, but then it dawns at you that the whole time he was saying:


I had no idea what he was saying during the sustained yelling but had the feeling that that whatever it was, it was deep and profound.  Partly this is because the concert was held in a contemporary arts center with lots of people wearing all black and trendy glasses.  And then I realized he was just being silly.  It felt like a trick.  Like a glorious trick.  

Lately I've been shouting this in the car and in the shower and around my house.  These are mostly the only places I've found where it is acceptable.    

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

wardrobe of my time

I've been trying sooo hard not to write this post.  The post about posting.  But I promise I'll make it short.

I started out without much of a plan for this blog and it felt good, a loose fitting garment.  But in the past two months, it's gotten too loose.  Falling off the shoulders.  I can't walk without a belt, etc.  So I decided to wear some other clothes and put this one in the closet.  Mainly four part time jobs and other responsibilities that feel at times like straightjackets.  I've been wearing more comfortable outfits too, like time with family and friends, playing piano more.  I think sometimes you look down at an outfit and realize it makes you look kind of fat or weirdly shaped and there's an initial disillusionment when you realize it's probably not going to attract your future husband or fame.  I think I realized recently "poet" is probably going to be the dress I wear on the weekends, rather than my work uniform.  And so I've been kind of avoiding it...the shame of changing my mind again....

But now that I've put this back on it feels nice, even without a belt.  Though I hope to get one soon.