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  • morning finds us rising

    waking is a profane experience. there is the way that dreams linger on the sidewalk, impiously, like actors hanging around the backdoor of a theater after the night’s performance. chances are good that if you hated the show, you’ll run into the players afterwards; you’ll do your best to skirt the most obvious issue until you can manage to excuse yourself with other business. if you loved it, you’ll exit the theater to find that the characters you enjoyed so much were left on the stage, in the scripts, the costumes, and you’ll detect the twistings of a corporate sneer among mouths of the troupe huddled outside the exit, sharing a cigarette – alright, a metaphysical cigarette. somehow, they know; they know that you expected something dreamlike to walk out of the back of the theatre and linger in the waking world.

    waking is a mystical experience. there is the mystery of seeing oneself in a mirror while only barely awake. i cannot count the times that i have stared into the eyes of the only human being that i have ever really understood, and found myself wondering what is to be done with him – this great, hairy child of all my troubles. i suppose we will wash his face, clean his teeth, arrange his hair; we will turn his head from side to side to see how he looks in profile. but what, really, is to be done with him? look at how serious he seems, staring back. we know what he is thinking: “you must try. you must try.” what is to do be done with him? perhaps we will know tomorrow. he steps back behind a curtain; present, but hidden once more.

    waking is a holy experience. it is rebirth; rising; washing; praying; breaking bread; the endless ritual of it. so it seems, at least. our years are numbered, for we count our years, but not our days. that we do not count each one renders the total uncountable. and the solemn observance that brings me from bedroom to bathroom to bedroom to kitchen, that liturgical choreography that has no rubric, yet is catholic in its application to my mornings. always, rubbing my hand over the oily whiskers on my cheek. always, pouring a glass of cold water and then pouring another. and always, looking at the little prayer book in the pine bookshelf and battling the urge to simply ignore it.

    and that is when, always, i think of los angeles. three years ago and in january i was on an airplane, and i have perhaps never been so far away from earth as i was then. a few changes of clothes and two c.s. lewis books stuffed into a backpack. it was a careless attempt at piety that i left my vonnegut at home. when people ask me “how do you know that God exists?” (and they do, so many people! so many times!) the most honest answer that I could ever give is to tell them that i met Him unexpectedly in los angeles. that i was a bit embarrassed at the time because of some of the things i’d been saying about Him. and that i assume He is everywhere, but there is a certain sense in which I know He is in los angeles. and that He is the reason that i never chose, finally, to stop waking.

    what if being born again is really about being born again and again and sometimes even violently again?

    By · May 28, 2008 · contemplation, Featured, hope, resurrection · [Print]

    1 Comment to “morning finds us rising”

    1. chris h says:

      i am moved

      chris h

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