Friday, August 07, 2009

Wave and shore

The first day back from vacation began soberly enough--coffee and the New York Times online, the way most days at home begin for me. A little bit of work while still in my jammies, some family business to arrange with a friend, then off to church to try to catch up, whatever that means. By midday, my leisurely vacation life was left behind, and pretty soon, the mad extrovert that rested while I was on vacation had spilled out, and I was back to analyzing problems instead of contemplating them lakeside.

It's a high-contrast life. I'm wearing a black t-shirt and white capris today--would that be yin and yang, sin and holiness, darkness and light, sanity and craziness--what? Drama.

Here's my journal from the last day of vacation--just yesterday:

It is a beautiful shore. Prettiest place on the island. Maybe that's not quite the word--pretty.

God separated the dry land from the water at such a place as this. No boats there then. No sand toys strewn on the beach. But grass and plants growing from dry land, moving in the Spirit blowing upon the face of the waters--plants growing in the shallows as the water becomes the shore, gold and green, leaning, always leaning toward something, bent by the Spirit wind, dancing.

Birds of the air, fish of the sea--one can see why these come next in the Creation myth. Birds glide on the wind as if they were a part of it, as if they flew out of it, called into being by the word of the Lord. Fish form in the water, unseen, from muck at the bottom, from still water deep down, and go their own dark ways, beneath the waves, in dimmed light.

Animals, man, woman--we become strangers to this shore, our lives complex, twined and twisted together in social systems whose patterns look silly, unnecessarily complicated. We are captives, not of wind and wave, but of brains and language that never quite says what we need. Captives of each other, on the earth, not of it. We have come far away from the Spirit that long ago gave us birth.

And yet.

A family group--three generations--walks down to the water and closes ranks for a picture, water behind, arms extended to hold young ones, support old ones, alive together where water meets land. Standing tall, leaning together in the wind.


gwen said...

is the flautist prissy?

Gwen said...

I don't know about flautists, but flute players are not prissy. Flutes--breath transformed into music.