The Lord saw fit to let me live today. Driving home from work I was sailing down SR 25, a silver and blue GMC Sonoma pick-up in front of me, a pristine white SUV behind. Suddenly the truck in front of the GMC realized he needed to make an emergency stop at May Bees grocery. GMC slammed his breaks. In a matter of moments I began slamming mine, realized SUV wasn’t going to be able to make the break, swerved to the right as he did to the left. The next minute SUV and I were stopped and virtually parallel to one another. We paused a beat and melted back into place, sailing—a little slower—down SR 25. I kept watching SUV in my rear-view mirror and feeling a kind of kinship at our shared aversion of disaster. Perhaps I should have said something?
At a traffic light in town GMC pulled into the turning lane adjacent to me.
“I saw you almost got smashed girl.”
“Yes,” I said. An expressive response indeed.
I remember in the defensive driving course CAP required I scored the worst on judgment but the best on reaction. Thank goodness I didn’t have time to think.
There was a time when I was known to think too much. “Get out of your head!” the fella I ran around with would always say. It took a lot of practice for me to get into life, but sometimes I miss that other world. It is still spinning and dancing and weeping; I’m just not privy to it’s happenings the way I used to be, more caught up with the lives and actions occurring around and emerging from me.
Thomas Merton writes, “There is a silent self within us whose presence is disturbing precisely because it is so silent: it can’t be spoken. It has to remain silent. To articulate it, to verbalize it, is to tamper with it, and in some ways to destroy it.”
Reading that passage I was reminded of a conversation I once had with a friend. We were talking about the inner landscapes of our silly minds. I said that I believed once we expressed the “inner self” it instantaneously becomes outer and in doing so invalidates it’s “innerness.” Yet, we cannot be without an “inner self” and so invariably this “in” that was out-ed must be replaced. Even in discovering that we have a new “in,” we are moving it to a place closer to the surface and thus displacing it and causing it to necessarily be replaced. And so, we not only cannot be completely known by another, we cannot completely know ourselves. The very pursuit spurs the mutability of our nature. Mankind is a glorious mystery. Though, not the only or most glorious by far when set ourselves in the context of the universe. Truly, the heavens declare the glory of God.
I was driving to Jackson House last weekend, taking the curve around Big Hill, a wonderfully winding road that passes between a blasted out hill surrounded by waves of rolling green. Every time I drive it my heart sings and I rejoice in the privilege of our blessed senses. Particularly when the sun is valiantly burning a brilliant orange, tingeing the sky with rosy streaks and scattering the pale blue clouds. I am eager to cry out with the rocks and stones, “Glory, glory, glory.” In appreciating these wonders, soul-ish delight often turns to sensual longing and I wish for one to walk the inner landscapes with. Why in the midst of pure delight does the heart so recklessly yearn for one thing more?
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another. We do not discover the secret of our lives merely by study and calculation in our own isolated meditations. The meaning of our life is a secret that has to be revealed to us in love, by the one we love. And if this love is unreal, the secret will not be found…we will never be fully real until we let ourselves fall in love—either with another human person or with God (Tommy Merton, again).”
God of the universe, let me love you truly, and revel, satisfied, in the majesty of your kingdom that is always and not yet.