Wednesday

Pentecost

Sunday was Pentecost and we were eating and setting things on fire. Well, just cherries jubilee, and the tongues of flame came and went in a few seconds.  Emily said: "There's a spark of the divine in each of us."  She said: "The gulf that we look across, that divides us from one another is real: the difference is real, and needed, and good. But the spark of humanity we share is stronger."  

This is what it is to be conscious: to feel our singularity, that we are alone in our skins, trapped in our skulls.    Though isn't this false?  Aren't we porous, full of holes (literally)?  More like water or fire than stone.   

David Foster Wallace said "Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion - these are all the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated." He wrote books, I said a prayers, just to feel close to another soul.     

The followers of Christ stand in the center of the city and speak in one language and many languages, like a story that is not your story (the details are different), but it is your story.  The theologians are really poets, and they're lying to themselves if they think that religion isn't an art, carving out a place where we can collect our loneliness and our fear and watch it dissipate a little, to dissolve it like an oil spill in the sea before it covers us in black, suffocating gunk.  How else do you get close to another soul except with words and symbols and prayers and stories.  And I'm the one saying "They are drunk with wine," even though I can't stop listening to the stories they tell.  

2 comments:

Ron Starbuck said...

Good writing! I really like this piece.

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