June 3, 2005

stairwell accompaniment:RADIOHEAD

Joy and I were flying over California a month or so ago. We were nearly landed in LA and flying low over the tightly packed neighborhoods. We were musing over the tiny cars, the countless houses, the shopping centers and the overwhelming bustle of life below us. Our reactions to this frenzy of civilization were much different. He expressed disappointment in the overdeveloped land of industry and concrete. My reaction reflected wonder at the number of individual lives our eyes were able to look upon. Every one of those clustered houses enclosed its own life. Millions of people in their own world and I can see a second of it. That in every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of chests there is a secret! The beauty that every one of us is something that the other is not–and therefore knows something that no one else knows!
I am taken lately by my community and my deep desire to…commune. Is it true that if we all do, in fact, have some unique treasure in each of us, we have the obligation to give our portion to the rest? I’ve wondered why the angels Isaiah sees flying around the throne of God are crying “holy, holy, holy,” but NOT to God! “To one another”(6:3). It seems that they are calling out to one another to see what they see in the beauty of God so that their joy may be increased as they celebrate together! I feel this so deeply sometimes. In the midst of some wonderful moment I long to have a loved one near. I’ve found that every experience of delight takes on such a fuller dimension when I can share it.

Better my heart, three personed God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend.
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new,
I, like an usurped town, to another due,
Labor to admit you, but, oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend;
But is captive and proves weak and untrue.

Yet dearly I love you and would be loved fain;
But am betrothed unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Not ever chaste, except you ravish me.
-John Donne, “Batter My Heart”


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