Saturday, 28 July 2007

Matter ...

Last week’s rain had been, for me, a source of deep quiet and contentment: a droned beckoning to drift off into a form of relaxation and ease which enabled a steady and unhurried flow of clear un-tethered thought.
It was the sort of day and the kind of feeling, the degree of peace and the level of awareness that I could long for as a regular part of my week; the sort of day that would bring real meaning to the Sabbath if it could somehow be poured, complete with a full awareness of it, into all lives and minds. It enabled a focussing and a clarity, from within which came an invitation to narrow that focus to the point where it dwelt on nothing, and where the clarity would become totally clear, transparent and containing only the seeming nothingness upon which the focus dwelt. The invitation was to freefall into the true peace which the world cannot give: a peace which can be approached most nearly through contemplative prayer.
I believe I would have laid my books and my thoughts aside if the day had remained the same; I hope so. But I did not.
Instead, I thought and I read, until that moment when I realized the day was not to be entirely one of peace. Perhaps that is how it was meant to be, but I feel, nevertheless, that I missed a God given opportunity: a time made for being alone with Him, rather than simply thinking on matters indirectly related to spending time in His presence.

The influence of that rain having fallen in quantities greater than was comfortable, has not passed.
For many people that discomfort is a depressing form of grief in the aftermath of the destruction or ruination of their homes; a debilitating sense of violation and loss, in the face of a sodden mutilation that brought valued and familiar possessions to an unimagined and polluted end. Even for those who have suffered no such loss, the discomfort of being close to others who have, is a lingering numbness of empathy, sympathy and futility; and this generates that sense of helplessness which makes us feel guilty for having not been similarly devastated.
In my own case, such feelings are even more distant. We have lost nothing. The only possessions that were soaked were those we wore, and the only water that got into our home was that which dripped from our clothes. Our neighbours breathed the same sighs of relief as ourselves when it was over, but we all shared an untroubled outcome.

The garden will not look normal until the trench and its parallel ridge of turf, soil and stones have been rearranged once more into level ground, and then normality will not be complete until the grass has grown and no scar remains. That may take quite some time, as I shall not begin to repair the damage until I have made ‘alternative arrangements’ for the water which will no doubt reappear at some time in the future. It has been twenty five years since our first (not so dry) experience, but I do not think it will be that long before the next.

I would have thought that, by now, everything would have returned to normal; not for those who have been, and still are, suffering from the physical effects, but for myself, and perhaps for others who similarly have no reason to do anything other than return to an everyday, comfortable feeling. But I am not entirely at ease.
I cannot shake off an inner discomfort that has no immediate connection with the consequences of the rain, but is firmly linked to the quiet morning spent enjoying the sight of it, and bathing for hours in the sound of its fall drifting through the house. I had been immersed in peace, and the mild discomfort which persists within me, is only to a very small degree tied in with work that needs to be done before I can turn my back on thoughts of a similar flow running past my door.

My disquiet is born of a gradually surfacing struggle between my need to spend time in prayer, and what presents itself as an almost insurmountable inability to do so. Lodged somewhere in a corner - whether of my mind or my heart - is a small but tight knot of anguish: a low-key but, as it were, persistent hand-wringing. As already described, it is only a mild discomfort, but it increasingly points me to the ceaseless flow of life which maintains each of us in being, and which is at the root of everything around us, everything we know.
That flow is unstoppable, but it is easy to imagine that if we ceased to labour and strive, or, if continuing to do so, that we so utterly perverted our thinking that our labours became entirely contrary to the laws upon which that life is based, then we may self-destruct as a species. However much of the life around us we took with us, the flow itself is unstoppable; life would go on, though not for us. Since life came to be, life is, and so shall it be.

Entropy beckons within all physical existence: within ourselves, and in all that our awareness can comprehend. It is the supposed ultimate equalizer throughout the entire universe.
But, while I am happy to agree with that probability, I remain untroubled by it; something within tells me of the impossibility of the flow of life being inseparably linked with this conclusion of all matter.

“… for my thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not my ways, declares The Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)


About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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