Protective Gear

Sometimes, I deliberately write from a darkened place because as those who dabble in God are painfully aware, there is such a thing as too much light. Even with safety goggles, a hard hat, and an emergency whistle, it’s impossible to feel entirely secure in the presence of what might be God. True, there’s a chance it’s something other than God, but it is not to be trifled with. It is Vast and Elsewhere. Holy Restraint. Indeterminate Destiny. Fool-proof Finality. It is Allah, the Tao, Enlightenment, Sacrifice. It is lamb and lion, gnat and nature—the fertile valley that floods with some regularity causing everything to die and be reborn.

Pure light burns through stupidity to the heart of all selfishness. The razor-sharp fangs glisten, and there’s a roar that makes Niagara seem like wind chimes in a gentle breeze.

Maybe God doesn’t realize her own strength or what it means to be first and singular, unadulterated and unmitigated light, but even a sideways glimpse can overwhelm me. I slip off the rails of rationality, my train of thought crashes, and the flammables in my soul ignite. It takes enormous effort to get to the river and douse the flames.

I, for one, do not appreciate how this feels in the morning. The advantages of denial are obvious, but the comfort there is limited. When I was a child, I feared the coming apocalypse, assured that the end times would be filled with fire, terror, and remorse. Then I grew up and realized that time is always ending, and there will always be terror and remorse—fire, hunger, and upheaval–but there will also be moments of wonder and inexplicable joy.

For instance, right now, as the days shorten and the chill of imminent winter asserts itself, the lion has laid its head on my shoulder and draped its body across my lap. It is a wild thing that loves me. My eyes close. The giant paws massage my sore muscles. Night is coming and cannot be stopped by my incoherent prayers, but…

I am reminded of stars.

8 thoughts on “Protective Gear

  1. Thank you Rita, so much, for taking us on that trip, so real, so true, so wild, so full of mystery and paradox and apocalypse and love. No wonder what we call God likes to hang out with you.
    Tom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tom. Such a delight to see your name pop up and read your kind comments. It’s nice to have good friends on this crazy journey. Not always happy with my co-author, but happy to have help handling It All. Thanks.

      Like

  2. Thanks once agin Rita! You metaphors leave me stunned at times, wondering where this train of thought is hurtling. And then: “Pure light burns through stupidity to the heart of all selfishness.” Whew! And then I caterwauled into the 4th paragraph, “the advantages of denial are obvious, but the comfort there is limited”, and the recurring terror and remorse ( wars and rumors of war), but juxtaposed with joy and wonder. I really look forward to your weekly creations, they fuel my morning meditative time. Only problem is, they are only weekly. Hmmm, maybe take off the googles and crank these out daily? Just kidding of course, and suspect that these thoughts are gestating over the antecedent week. Hugs- Scott

    Liked by 1 person

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