Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thoughts on a Thursday Afternoon

Maybe heaven is having both the freedom and the will to do that thing which your soul craves; the thing that crouches, like a word on the tip of your tongue; surges, like the ocean swell; fights, like a dog against a chain. Desire for it can be restrained but never vanquished. You neglect it for the sake of duty or for lack of time or out of fear, but it is the one thing you know is true, without doubt or demonstration.

It approaches each of us differently, and as a result we are forever misnaming it. It is Truth, but goes far beyond any account of the facts; It is Beauty, but is immaterial and unadorned; It is Love, but it is impartial. It is the wedding of what you long to be with that which you long to do; of what you desire to give with that which you desire to receive. Heaven is to act without self-thought and yet be satisfied; to abandon all else for the sake of one passion, and find that it is the road to everyone and everything else. It is exactly what you were made for.

We could call this passion, "God", and say that we find final purpose in "worship of God", and that would be true, though perhaps misleading. This suggests a uniform human experience of it, and leads us to think we may lose ourselves in God, as masses before a powerful orator, or a man before the muse. When you throw yourself into God, you journey from the collective to the individual, from the vague to the specific, not the other way around. God has specially named each one of us, and heaven will be, at last, finding out that name.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dog Days

I'm sitting in the family room, sipping tea, listening to a steady rain and blessing its Sender for the seeping, pooling way it cools the earth. The house is dark and I've left off all the lights so I can feel the rain work. My three-year-old son is running up the driveway in his underwear, puddles splashing at his knees and streams of rain wetting the curls on his head. Another day I might stop him, but today I'll welcome wet clothes and muddy feet.

Yesterday the heat index topped off at 106 degrees. I don't know for how many days the sweat has beaded above my lips and at my hairline, and run down the middle of my back, but the time has been sufficiently long to make me forget that t-shirts aren't perpetually damp and clinging and that I sometimes like to wear my hair down.

I didn't think we'd need air-conditioning in Michigan, after living in stifling St. Louis heat for six years. I also thought that experiencing and changing with the seasons was a noble goal or at least a grand idea. Two days ago I spent the better part of the day in my air-conditioned car. I called myself a wimp and a traitor, but I knew I needed to get out of the heat. I had already yelled at my kids and thrown a pile of papers on the floor and chucked a plastic cup at my kitchen counter, and used a few choice words without choosing to. I was just getting started on the "I hate everything/nobody likes me/I just want to die" stage when I realized I had to get out. So that's it. I am weak. But I believe concession is the wiser course than the one which crashes and burns.

And, today, the lovely rain. I'm looking around with eyes which seemed open before but must have been closed. I'm seeing my front garden, over-grown with weeds, my bookcases which want dusting, and I'm trying to remember where I have been these past weeks. The best that I can come up with, is that I was waiting out the heat, the way one waits out the flu or the way a woman in labor waits out the pain. Now that it is over, I can begin to move.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Fruit of our Labor

Trinitas Classical School is now online! Check out our website