Stream of Consciousness

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,

we have come to our real work

and when we no longer know which way to go,

we have begun our real journey.

 

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

― Wendell Berry

 

Stream of Consciousness

 

Maybe I’ve been sitting by the wrong stream.

Its quiet depth and broad shoulders

have me nodding off.

 

I sought peace away from the paradoxes,

away from the tinkering creek

of arias and punk rap rhythms

 

and water rolling over bands of rocks.

It’s time the sound of the shallows

penetrate the deep space of the soul.

 

I’m heading upstream, above the tributaries,

where water flows over pebbles,

and jigs off the impediments

 

like a singing tap dancer.

“To everything there is a season.” Ecclesiastes

To Infinity and Beyond! I know, I keep using that phrase…Thank you Buzz Lightyear

Eternity is not infinity.

It is not a long time.

It does not begin at the end of time.

It does not run parallel to time.

In its entirety it always was.

In its entirety it will always be.

It is entirely present always.

Wendall Berry

p. 47 Leavings, Poems

We have a six-year-old sassafras. Her name is Emily. Whenever my wife or I tell her we love her she one-ups us. The other night when I tucked her in I said I loved her she fired back “I love you more!”  How can a little tart exude such power over my heart? She also responded “I love you to the moon and back!” many times. But the reverberation that catches my mind and heart is:

“I love you infinity!”

Followed by

“I love you infinity, infinity, infinity!”

Really? Wow! This little pip-squeak set in time, my time, to blow my mind and detonate my heart. In my estimation that equals a thousand of Ann Voskamp’s gifts. I am grateful.

Buzz Lightyear, from the Pixar movie Toy Story, embossed my frontal cortex a while ago with his intellectually suicidal statement:

“To infinity…and beyond!”

I was talking to a friend recently about the infinitesimal real estate us humans can inhabit. Think about it. Only 29% of the earth is land. Humans can merely ascend so high before running out of oxygen. We can only dive so deep before the pressure wrings us like a rag. We are walled in. We are essentially tucked in a linen closet of the universe. Why?

Dear God,

I don’t want to be unthankful, but why are we so fenced in? Is it because we couldn’t handle a little gardening? Is it because we are in time out?

Sincerely, Jerry

Dear Jerry,

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Do you want me to start the “where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid” speech? Listen, the uninhabitable vast spaces are there to keep you wondering about Me, like you are presently. Simply look at these areas as room to grow acreage. Seriously, I didn’t hem in the universe so you would consider that there is always room to grow. I put bright and colorful creatures in the deepest, darkest places of the ocean so you would ponder my intention. So you might ask Me why I splash shadows with frivolous bright colors for no human to see. You will never be satisfied on earth just like that C. S. Lewis thought that has wrinkled your brain. You are ultimately made for another world. Although the world is busted up, I have given you the sense to take in what I have revealed thus far with awe and gratitude. There are gifts, way more than a thousand, but you can start counting and thanking. I like that.

About that little tart of yours, I dare you to love her back…infinity, infinity, infinity.

I love you…infinity,

God

It Is A Quiet Mourning

It is a quiet mourning.  Even the words stopped their breathing.  The hospice nurse kept checking her fingers.  They were bluing.  The fever, that was making a last ditch effort to rescue her body, broke.  When I laid my hand on hers it was cooling.

My baby sister held that hand a few days ago.  She and her mom agreed it was comforting and then tears.  She was my mom too, but at that moment she and her were they.

“We are the you and I who were they whom we remember.”  Wendell Berry

Ellen, my older sister read that aloud.  It is a sentence which requires more than one reading.  Its truth applies not just to Wendell’s decades love for his wife, but it applies to any long term relationship.  I witnessed this truth over and over again.  My siblings would all rotate around my mother’s bed and it would echo a book from younger years.  “Just Me and My Mom.”

It was grace upon grace.  We knew when to let another into the country chair with the cushion.   We took turns to sit close enough to count the freckles on her arm.  There was no positioning, no “saving a seat”, no arguing over whose turn it was to ride “shotgun”.  It was grace on grace.  Our mom became my mom to each of us.

Our Mom moments are tucked into the breast pocket of our hearts.  No longer is there a seat close enough to catch her breath.  We will “sit still” as she so often sternly said.  We will sit still with each other now.

 

For my siblings as we process the next days, weeks, and months.

 

© Gerald Allen Barrett and parentheticallyspeakingin3d, 2012.