Saturday, September 06, 2014

At the quarry (or, Thoughts on our mutual foregone conclusions)

Which way up? Photo by Marlon Malabanan, Flickr

"I tell students who want to major in English, 'You're majoring in death.' This is why I'm not a guidance counselor." -- Billy Collins

We cannot see the bottom. Long ago,
men mined this pit for pittance. Who was it
who spotted pleasure in the void, who softened
thuggish crags with borrowed water, docks,
and rope swings? Doesn't matter. We float now,
white legs astride our Skittle-hued noodles
that pop the choppy surface leagues away
from scars of arcing picks and dynamite.

Our conversation turns to space. "How big
is it?" one asks. "What lies beyond its edge?"
another says. "If it's expanding, then
what in?" a third pipes up. In unison,
we shake our heads and cluck. None of us knows.
Besides, the rays are warm. The water cools.
The rope swing sways. We know the bottom's there.


Prayer #278: The Clock Puncher's Lament

The sensation that comes from contemplating nothingness is orgasmic -- a torrid rush of abandon and abandonment, of being wrung out and draped yet not pinned enough to the clothesline to stay on in the twisting breeze. The prevailing winds will carry me with or without my consent, so I'd prefer to leave with grace and dignity intact, perhaps even with a spirit of adventure.

But I'm not there yet. I am merely a void-gazer in danger of becoming a clock puncher, a drone too preoccupied with the end result to optimize the process.

God of a beyond I haven't breached, ground me in my own existence. Let my heartbeat underscore me, my sentience gird me. Catch my timecard in Your breath and whisk it far beyond my reach, so that I chase You, not it.

Amen.