Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Mind's Muddy River cannot be Dammed --post by QM

Annie Dillard's words from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek page 32-32 are in italics.
Painting By Alexandra Ross

My heart burned, unexpectedly.
Isn't that always the nature of a burning heart,
Those two dense men traveling to Emmaus, 
they remembered the ache after the fact.

The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise.

I had spent the day in a stupor, just sick enough to be lazy without feeling guilty 
and not so sick that I couldn't enjoy my laziness. 

I was enjoying a solitary lunch--
Sunday's Vietnamese Chicken soup,
Ginger Honey Lemon tea
And a piece of Lindt Chocolate.
Of course a book needed to be a part of this repast,
The calm before I stormed the needs of my chaotic laundry room.
I propped Annie Dillard's 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek' in front of my steaming bowl.

The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally
that the mind's muddy river,
this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash,
cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. 

I felt the minute details of my life swirling by, 
the detritus of 'ought' and 'should' that keeps me always occupied.
Suddenly I couldn't see. I smelled the sharpness of fishsauce and ginger, 
and the sweetness of the chocolate still lingered in my mouth, 
but the Emmaus Ache stole my vision with tears. 

"Launch into the deep," says Jacques Ellul, "and you shall see."
Today a friend wrote a peppy and thought-provoking little message on Facebook that went something like this:
Why limit yourself??? ...Why do we sometimes think..."My dream is dead...that's no longer for me"? That's a lie. Many times we are better positioned when we are older to take on that dream and realize it!! So dream big! 

I have been thinking about my dreams ever since. I want to 
get my master's in teaching English as a Second Language,
welcome people of all backgrounds into the church,
help immigrants and refugees learn how to communicate with Americans, 
keep a well organized house,
continue to love on my kids and husband,
be hospitable, and
make more meals like that Vietnamese Chicken Soup.

Another, final dream: to learn the Secret of Seeing and to draw other into that joy.
To return from one walk knowing where the killdeer nests in the field by the creek and the hour the laurel blooms. And to return from the same walk a day later scarcely knowing my own name.

hum in my ears;
my tongue 
flaps in my mouth
Ailinon, alleluia!
I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.