Sunday, September 18, 2011

Come Down, Come Down, Sweet Reverence

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I'm having a hard time with school, and that's translating over to life. When I feel incompetent in one aspect of my existence, that tends to spill over into other areas, too.

I'm also bad at handling people. They are too much of a responsibility for me to take. Like, I don't know how to make small talk, and I don't know how to access the deeper things that I want to talk about. So I don't say anything at all. But then people think I'm incapable of human conversation, and they give me these uncomfortable condescending looks and I want to be gone.

I think some of it is also PGSD (Post-Graduation Stress Disorder). I had a miniature panic attack this morning when I started thinking of what my after-college life is going to be like. What good will I do with degrees in English and German? How will editing a newspaper better the human condition? And with how bad the world is (cute starfish stories aside), what does it matter if I write a story of goodness and truth, even if it moves a million people? My words are so weak.

But then I was asked to concentrate on holy sacraments in my life: Consecrated actions and symbols - the ever-downplayed importance of physical interaction for holy communion. I've found comfort in the thought before, and offered these same ideas with love to others. Maybe I ought to listen to them myself. People are the thresholds into the realm of the divine. They're liminal, they love ambiguity, and they're hard to work with sometimes. But through them, with them, there's something much purer and more real.

That doesn't mean that the only real joy I'll ever find will be through people. I think I'll always love the mountains, the trees, the rivers just as much as any person in my life. The natural world represents a whole different part of God's love. Nature isn't disappointed in me, or embarrassed by me. The wilderness is stern and justly constant. Nature does not forsake.

You need both, I guess; you need to learn to accept and to be accepted. To cherish, and to be cherished. Equally difficult, equally sacred.

I've weathered the storm. I don't feel perfect, but I feel a little bit better. Emotion is holy.

So, come. Commune with me:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Movin' on my Mind

I am the movement, the hot summer energy.
The fly, the panting dog, a flick of brown lizard tail.
I breathe sweat and rain and blood and rivers and bile and mud,
and sing the harmonies of thunder and sparrows.

I am (and will be ever!) the stillness, the waiting barn-cat.
The groan of wood on wood and bone on bone.
The sticky warm wet of the dying, and the sunset.

But we make no promises. Pull your plow,
and watch your mountains.