Monday, May 14, 2012

I cannot sit sadly by your side

First trillium

Walking uphill to the neighbor's bus last night, where he has a bonfire most Saturdays of the summer—and although we're still only hitting low fifties during the day, we only have a month until days start shortening again, so as far as I'm concerned, summer is in full swing—I walked between the two beaver ponds, one on each side of the dirt road. The peepers are so loud by now that standing in the midst of them like that almost hurts my ears. I guess summer is in full swing for them, too. I can almost drown in the sound, the sound of warmth, of heat, of long days.

I stand still in the middle for a minute, let the noise wash over me. Wash me clean. Although not so clean, because I'm standing there with a bloody mary in my hand. And that's what it means for me to be a flawed person in a physical world.

It's why I love Jesus, the bloody specificity of his being, of God interceding in human history at one moment in time, to badly paraphrase C.S. Lewis.

I feel like my post from Friday is a coming out of the closet in some ways, a public admittance of my desire to be a being of pure thought, to leave my flawed body behind. No wonder gnosticism was the most dangerous heresy for the early church. Jesus was fully human and fully God. He lived here in this messy, ugly, broken, breathtaking world with the rest of us.

Sometimes I feel convinced I need to start a church of Annie Dillard. We need to exegete Pilgrim at Tinker Creek like it's Scripture. Next rant about American culture and supermodels, just tell me to take a hike. Then I can walk past the bare stumps that soon will succumb to moss, past the alder gnawed by blue beetles, and remember, as Annie Dillard taught me, that beauty and death are two sides of the same coin. The peepers remind me. The trillium reminds me. Even my own aging body reminds me.

3 comments:

Red Sonia said...

I love this! Beauty and death as two sides of the same coin! The peepers, the trillium, you, and the magic of following Annie Dillard's lead. Thank you!

anniewald.com said...

Yes, amen.

Melissa said...

I believe I've been more publicly naked in my posts of the last month or two than perhaps I ever have... Perhaps because of the time the three of us spent together at Calvin. And having these naked, vulnerable posts resonate makes me believe that my struggle to be honest has not been in vain. Thanks to both of you...