November Gratitude–unending breath

photo by Josh Scholten

“Flung is too harsh a word for the rush of the world. Blown is more like it, but blown by a generous, unending breath.”
Annie Dillard

Windstorms are equal opportunity events.  No one is spared.  The power goes out in large houses and small; everyone stubs their toes in the dark looking for a flashlight.  Plenty of things are “flung” in a storm including us.

There is a sense of being pelted by the gales of life in its head long rush to our conclusion.  We want to stop for a moment, face it down,  resist the momentum of it always forcing us relentlessly forward.  We can feel flung into the future, ready or not.

So it helps to think of the progression of our lives less harshly, like an exhaled breath pushing us along even when we have no energy left to keep going.  Such inspiration becomes unstoppable, unknowable, unending and infinitely generous: the power never will run out.


November Gratitude–trapezoids of dust

“Skin was earth; it was soil. I could see, even on my own skin, the joined trapezoids of dust specks God had wetted and stuck with his spit the morning he made Adam from dirt. Now, all these generations later, we people could still see on our skin the inherited prints of the dust specks of Eden.”  Annie Dillard

And so I am dust, always have been, always will be.  I am marked with it in the same way the land is marked when it is parched and thirsty.

Thirsty as I am, I am held together by the earth, my insides dependent on that dust covering my outsides.  I drink deeply to fill the cracks and crevices.

And so I am soiled and waiting to be washed clean, always have been, always will be.

November Gratitude–the doorway between two worlds

“I am sorry I ran from you. I am still running, running from that knowledge, that eye, that love from which there is no refuge. For you meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain. So once in Israel love came to us incarnate, stood in the doorway between two worlds, and we were all afraid.”  Annie Dillard

Some doors in our lives remain forever closed and locked.  No key, no admittance, no way in, no way out.   There is clarity in a locked door and no choices to be made.  When there is a choice, that is when I tend to run away scared.

The locked door is both invitation and opportunity when the key is handed to me.   I am forced into making a choice.  Do I lose the key and stay put where things are familiar?  Do I  knock and politely wait for the door to be answered?   Do I simply watch for the moment it happens to open, take a peek and decide whether or not to enter?  Or do I boldly put the key in and walk through?

The invitation is as plain as the key resting in my trembling hand.

For unto us a child is born, a son is given.  The door has been opened.