Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Nothing to do but write

I'm sitting in a screened-in porch on the bayou, waiting for a projected thunderstorm to blow through. It's a strange feeling being protected in this way by mesh-wire windows, but at the same time feeling so close to it all. I can hear the wind hissing through the fine metal membrane, wrapping its fingers around the palm trees and stripping them from the bottom up, causing a stir among the gulls and pelicans, herding the water between the banks. It makes me worry about the workers on the roof next door.

And yet, from where I'm perched on this couch between screens, were I blind and deaf, I'd have to sit very still to even realize there was a slight breeze blowing through the space. Barely enough to turn the page of a book or pick playing cards up off the table. Raindrops are hung up in random patterns in holes in the screen. Tiny string-lanterns draped across the tops of windows bob as if in anticipation. On particularly heavy gusts, the edges of the table cloth might be inhaling and exhaling.

But that is the extent of the inside turmoil. The movement within does not match the chaos without. And yet my eyes and ears would seem to tell me (falsely, of course) that I could be swept away at any second. I'm not quite sure how to feel.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

pressed down, shaken together, and running over (and running over and running over)

I am so thankful to God for a day so beautiful it is almost unfair. Maybe unfair is not the right word; I think the word I'm looking for is gratuitous. It is a gratuitously beautiful day. When I saw arms hanging from the windows of the car in front of me on Shades Crest Road, fingers splayed to catch the vacuum of wind, I felt better to know that I wasn't the only one with this idea.

I have a bad habit, in my on-the-spot prose, of switching between voices (first, second, third person) and moving in and out of prayer. Just a forewarning in case the following is confusing. I won't go into the context; it doesn't really matter. Just some personal thoughts which tumbled out over a sandwich, lacking in profundity (and possibly in coherence, to anyone but myself).

It's so weird how God so often brings things full circle for me just to show me I lead a charmed life. Faces from my history returning, not to haunt me, but to know and shape me in a new context, a new place, a new paradigm. This way of returning good things to me - ideas, people - is His way of reminding me I'm not forgotten.
...Israel, I know every detail of your existence because I created that existence. I know what moves you - you may have forgotten, Israel, but I remember - and I will reveal it to you and floor you all over again. And in this way, beloved, you will know how I see you, how dear you are, because I want you to feel the weight of glory even when you turn away your face, when you think you have ceased to feel at all, ceased to be sought and found...
I see now that I was a fool every time I projected God's disdain onto myself and didn't bathe in the love, didn't bask in the pride He feels for me. I was made for glory - a light not just reflected, but instilled within me and brimming over, seeping out uncontrollably, so dense and magnificent it defies all gradients; it cannot be contained!

Oh, bring me back when I have left this place!