Refuge and Grace
Feels like all this time between me and this page - feels like clouds beneath a sheath of light, golden sun streaks across the surface like heaven. When you're on a plane above it all and you lift that plastic window shade and you wonder, with such gold brightness, if that kind of dimension of sky-road is heaven. You know that feeling and that question?
And you think, here I am insulated in this speeding capsule through time and through space. It's all so strange, this wild predicament of being in a body at all and then being in a world of green shimmering beauty, and then lifting above the mass, up into an atmosphere of wind and invisible forces. We look down, as if that's normal, as if careening through space is what we do.
But it is what we do. Birds lifting off, soaring, sky bound, earth ground. All around. This is our life.
Tired from the day, exhausted really, I flip to Oprah and am reminded that I might be the one in eight who discover a lump in my breast. That could be tomorrow or next week or never. I flip to CNN and one minute in, I'm wondering if the world is going to end in a day or two. That's the message behind all the derisive debate. Will we all make it? Will we make it one more day or a week?
I turn off the TV to screams down the hall. Small voice wrestles in the dream, and I just don't know how to help her navigate. All the openings and snake-like passages, and all the input from unknown sources. In the dark, I cannot add to the psychosis of thinking I am in control of anything in particular, except just the offering of my embrace in a single moment of the night.
She says, in delirium, I don't want to be alone, so I gather her up, legs around my hips, hand at the back of her head, walk down the hall, into my room, and lay her down in my bed. She grabs my arm, drapes it across her ribs, tucks it under the other side, and finds sleep in three seconds. Spooned. Safe.
When I finally turn to grace, this morning, it's just a few piano chords, repeating over and over and over and over and over -- I am reminded that there is refuge in these times. Momentary, and if I am blessed to remember, I will not drop that thread for long, but know that refuge is possible more than once in my day.
Looking down the river, knowing that I must step into the boat, I see....rapids. Rough waters. Turbulent current beneath. The sun has risen already and I wonder if that kind of gold on the surface is heaven. I wonder if this will be my last day, or if it will be one in ten thousand. Either way, I find my seat, find the posture of prayer and centered sitting. Flexible solidity. Fluid glide over parting elements, into the sun.
Blessings to all my friends, known and unknown, may you find that place that sustains you and take refuge.