Saturday, February 11, 2006

A moment of wonder

My life, wether it be work or play or mindless dissipation, is punctuated by these moments of wonder. Perhaps light falls across my path. Perhaps words, ideas, collide like V's of geese in the clear blue sky, exploding into a cloud of feathers and confetti, softly falling on the grass near my feet, dissolving.
I look up at the window, begging within to find a hint of light on the nearby oak, and it is there, and suddenly all of the ideas held within the invisble globe inside my head receive their missing link, harmonies to ancient melancholy melodies.
I am afraid and reluctant to describe these moments. I feel like they are powerful beyond my control. I taste the fierce joy that they promise.
Perhaps in describing this to myself, I am only painting a picture of a lost 20 something American male who doesnt know what he wants or how to believe, very well, in anything, and so is wistful and melancholy, and sort of hates his job. There are, as Robert Bly says, any number of men inside of me - too many.
One of them - the one I am leaning into, trying to become - speaks latin to himself in his sleep. He rises early, with the first light, and is patient in silence. He prepares himself. He gathers himself and says one word, clean mouth to the morning sky. Perhaps a song. It is not his own name, but a liturgy, a creed, a submission. He is fully himself, having fully submitted.
Chesterton's "Man Alive" comes to mind.
I pray across these electronic lines, holding disbelief in my hand like a baby crow, I pray to the living God that I and my family will honor him with our joy. That I will surrender to the joy that has always gripped me - the joy that is not by my power, but by the power of the Creator. Jesus Christ, light and reason of this lovely and terrible world, by faith I honor you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Secular Humanism

I have a friend who claims to be a secular humanist. He subscribes to a weekly journal that expounds upon this topic. He has, upon his living room wall, a framed document that reads across the top: The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles.

I have somewhere within my soul compelling arguments in opposition to some of these affirmations. Such as the contradiction between the first two points:
A. We are commited to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the world... and B. We deplore efforts ... to explain the world in supernatural terms...

Along the looping way of my life I picked up the knowledge that knowledge is contingent. Knowledge cannot happen in a worldview vacuum. Nor can science. Science requires supernatural terms to even begin to be a useful tool. Why?
Because of the assumptions science makes about the world. These assumptions are very different that the assumptions of a strict materialist ; which is what you call anyone who "deplores efforts to explain in supernatural terms". Materialism assumes that the world is what it is, and there was no cause except material, and there is nothing but material - matter in motion.
Whereas Science, oh you great glittering snake, you require something very interesting to be your stealthly self. You require Order. It is a slippery concept, so one must watch it carefully as it slithers through the mind; if something is explainable, constructed in such a way as to be possible for one to understand, then this something has an order to it.
Okay, I really need to go do laundry. But lets get this expressed.

One would not seek to understand or explain a world where every thing happened by chance. In a world of matter in motion only, there are no laws, just the appearance of laws. One cannot investigate that which has no rhyme or reason. This is precisely why we dont prosecute Insane people for murder. They didnt do it for any reason. We dont try to figure out motive.
If the world is Insane, matter from matter, flinging around, accidentally creating strong creatures, that is clumps of matter that exist in close proximity and create the appearance of a singular being, that beat out other weak creatures; in this world there is no reason to investigate. There is no beginning or end to understanding. You cannot figure out why such and such happened; there was no reason why - it just did. It was an accident.

Science is exploration. Science assumes that if one tests something once, it should work the same next time. Science assumes the knowability of the world. This is a supernatural concept. Nature on its own does not create knowability.

I'm trying to articulate. Pardon my repetition.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

So, for days
songs spun easily out.
The clouds
opened up
for days
and rain
welcomed itself

The temptation
on an arid afternoon
is to think that inspiration
is ninety percent

What is that Einstein said?
Or was it Ben Franklin?

I have still have songs,
you know, on the quiet ends
of the cycle -

cumulus, cirrus, clear sky -

but they sit cheerfully silent
like a dog who loves you too much
to run and get the bone
you've thrown for it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Morning Walk with thoughts

A gaggle of geese
careening in from morning sky
looks and sounds exactly like
a Scotsman falling down a flight
of stairs, bagpipes in hand.
Monsieur Heron,
I will walk a wide circle for you.
This is true:
Everytime I hear the electronic
soundbyte of a red-wing blackbird
from a store-shelf plush toy
it is always the same three vacuous
alarm clock chirps.
I have never heard this bird
make such empty noise.
A few songs, but mostly
the lovely 4-octave melody
they are belting out now
each from his own alder top.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On a drive to the shoe store

Today on the road
I received three blown
kisses from an old woman

with a strawberry red
wig sitting slightly askew
on her titlting brow.

She had been waiting
to fit like a pin
into the close-knit weave

of traffic. I slowed
and gave her the two-finger
sideways bow. She erupted

into an explosion of strawberry
gladness, screeching out
and sending the blown kisses through

her blue-glazed windows
to me.

Ex Cathedra VI

The summer of my 25th year,
when the soul's ghost was busy
within turning the notched gear
to the quarter century mark,

the genie granted me my three wishes.
I stood up on my chair and demanded
he tell me who he was. It was still dark
and he opened his mouth in the darkness

and a glow began emanating up
from the back of his smoky throat, slowly, before my eyes,
warming to a deep crimson, until I saw
the thin line of vibrating light rolling

up into sight over his wet tongue.
I shook with pleasure, and it woke me.
Surprise! it was only the sun rising. Morning! with stiff limbs.
Some of us, I found out later, did not ask

receiving the gifts with simple gladness.