June 7, 2013
It was cats-and-dogs outside all day, today; coming down much like it did exactly ten years before. The imposition They vaulted aeons ago through the middle of the deep even seemed to yield, creatively and in fleeting moments, to its prior non-existence.
Prophecy had not been spoken before They switched light on–before earth gathered beneath the brand new distance. It would have done no good anyway to stand there, palms up and mouths wide open, because there’s no such thing as rain before the fall: before wisdom knows an object. There was nothing to lose and no one to lose it. No faith to be tried, but neither was there any heart to be held, blameless. Job had not yet been invented; his children not yet murdered, nor his companions filled with doubt. Things simply weren’t before the rain. But in time, heaven welled up, proud–its chest full of promise–and of a sudden, fell all of that distance.
This is how we know of those first seeds sown into earth, in secret: by their fruits. And prophecy surrounds each shoot as a flux, lending energy its location, because only very strange and impossibly vague stories unfold nowhere. Instead of this, heaven burst with… purpose? Rains fall, we drink our fill, and we make our own food with no casual orientation to the light. We persit, transfixed at the echo of the promise, and hopeful (how strange to be hopeful!) of a transfiguration entangled alluringly in the rumor of imagination.
Ten years ago this day–before the cats–there was still a dog to bear witness, as must all, useful prophets. He felt heaven fall the same as we but rolled his eyes at how earnestly, impetuously we threw down our roots: as though the beginningless pride which breached that ancient vault would ever be exhausted! “Come back down to earth,” he said, “where you all began. Let the rain do its falling without trying to catch it. As long as you are open, you can’t help but soak it up.” Then he peed a long pee on something, illustratively.
When I am open, I can’t help but be infused with heaven’s pride. The process of gratitude begins and as I painstakingly seek to orient myself to the light, I find I am miraculously making my own food… except that I am not; not really. I mean, I am, but not in seclusion. Undertaking this process in habitual seclusion is making nutrition, not food. Food is sustaining, flavorful and creative. It offers enjoyment to those making it in various capacities, together; it is the coveted leftovers, once nutrition has died. Often, I find I have spent more energy in the making than I acquired through digestion and therein, perhaps, lies the sole, shaky foothold for human reason on the great, arching hope of transfiguration: sweat and bleed until I die, and who knows?… a banquet might await, with a place already prepared for me.
Beyond reason, however, is where we will fix our collective gaze come Sunday. That which two have made will be broken apart, shared with many. It is enacted in obedience, towards the transfiguration of all. He who worked only half a day, if at all, will receive a wage indistinguishable from hers, who toiled all the hot day long.
Why toil at all? Is it to “pay it forward”? Impossible, since paying things forward makes perfect sense. This offering being made is a tithe calculated from within the mysterious flux of things foretold and which, without a second thought, goes far beyond that which law requires. Its risk is immeasurable, its return implausible. It is a thirsting man in an expansive desert, abandoning his last spot of water for a fountain rumored to lie at desert’s far edge. But then again, it was cats-and-dogs outside all day, today.