Sunday, November 3, 2013

Songs of innocence and experience

Despair tells me that the world is here to destroy innocence, youth, and finally life itself. Isn't that so? Look at what happens as you live. What's the end point to your life, to mine, for everyone?

Life is a ravenous beast that devours the young, the good, the innocent. Literally, oftentimes.

Faith tells me that's not the end. Faith had to be born to fight off despair and allow hope to remain, even against the odds. Even if it's not real.

Which is correct? How can they both be?

Tyger, did He who made the lamb make thee?

Something in me, wiser than the sum of my parts, knows that a complete truth embraces both the extremes, even if that's impossible to conceive of for our rational mind. There would not be a need for despair without all the abundance of hope, and love, even joy. Strange that it is so. One needs the other.

How can there be such great beauty in such a stern place as this world, a place that will obliterate your dreams? Either immediately, or slowly by force of erosion, your ideas of what you were here to do will all be washed away.

We were at the beach today and you can't deny the beauty there. It would make despair ache even worse, all that beauty just out of reach of the suffering mind. The vitality of the water, its soothing sound that almost can return us to the womb, it rocks us so with its endless energy. This is how eternity must sound. How it affects the landscape, which is so flat, worn down and worn smooth by the endless action of surf over years.

"Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;" Luke 3:5

It was a perfect fall day, the second day after a cool front when the wind had died down and the high was in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.

There were many dead jellyfish and cabbage heads, we call them (unscientifically, I'm sure). Death, death, death ... in the middle of vibrant life! When we pulled up, just beside the spot we had chosen was a pile of trash spread across yards of beach that was breathtaking to see. Beer bottles and cans, liquor bottles, a dirty diaper (not perhaps from the same gathering), endless cigarette butts and food wrappers. It's disheartening that a small group of people can so defile the beach so quickly. I couldn't stand to leave it that way and carefully cleaned up most of it, though there was still broken glass strewn around.  Maybe we were drawn to that very spot so that the mess would not remain unchallenged.

If you spend your life trying to clean up the little messes around you and trying to love others, does that make the world any less of a murderous place for the body and soul, I wonder. Seems like not too many people are thinking of making the world less murderous. It's just its nature. There is no changing of nature.

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