Friday, January 16, 2009
thoughts on a Friday afternoon
The office area is quiet now - small meetings, people gathered into still conversations, the platter of cupcakes eaten. I have a reheated coffee that is quite satisfying if not remarkable. NPR is playing pretty good music.
I am aware of being surrounded. Not a kind of surrounded that is oppressive, no space to breath. But the kind of surrounded that is love. Love with a friend across the email world. Love with a coworker who is in the top floor of another building, a man working for the two of us in Lexington, friends sprinkled across this part of Kentucky. I feel like I could walk outside my office, outside my building, onto the grounds and have friends surround me like a whirlwind of blowing leaves.
Of course if I actually walked outside right now I would be standing alone in crispy cold ... no right thinking Kentuckian goes out in this weather.
But I am thinking that our love doesn't have to be zipped into our pockets at all. What we love, who we love, can be utterly other and far away, unseen and silent, and still be completely part of our soul strength. I like that because I can't contain much of what I truly love.
Thomas Merton's journal during a time when he was filled with this sense of love:
"Love sails me around the house. I walk two steps on the ground and four steps in the air. It is love. ... that was the way it was all week. In the choir the less I worried about the singing the more I was possessed by love. There is a lesson in that about being poor. You have got to be all the time cooperating with love in this house, and love sets a fast pace even at the beginning and if you don't keep up you'll get dropped. And yet any speed is too slow for love - and no speed is too fast for you if you will only let love drag you off your feet - after that you will have to sail the whole way. "
Think about that for a while. I was at an art show opening last night and one thing I thought as I looked at the photographs was how the artist was shooting pictures of things I would not have paid attention to - like empty worn down buildings and parking lots without use. And yet in capturing the pictures he gave them value. He let them speak.
Love is like that I think. Until we grab it and take a picture of it and frame it and remember it - love is just an old building and an empty parking lot.