The road curved to the left, then right. Headlights flashed by; white heat flitting across the rain-specked windshield. She was present as well, the gloom of the night provoking my pain, the glare of her image a rod in my periphery.
The land was mesmerizing in those early years of existence: Father drove our family down through the land, my mom quiet and peaceful in front of me, my sister wedged up against me, head occasionally resting upon my shoulder as she nodded off, eventually joining the twilight that my other sister leaning against the window had long ago entered. The land was almost too spread out, barely able to cover the horizon, stretched thin and breaking in places. As we hurtled along, vast fields lay barren, newly formed, while leviathan-like mounds of trees heaped together at odd angles and lit on fire. Their smoke could be seen far off and the smell permeated my senses, stitching family and environment in one time-laden tapestry accessible decades after anytime that smell of wood-burning crisply entered me. I was new upon the earth, my sisters newer still. They would awaken, doughy with sleep and we would gaze out upon houses long-abandoned, sagging with time and obscured by trees, trees who knew no conflict with time but sat unperturbed as their roots crept beneath man-made foundations and drew forth branches to slough off shingles in wind.
Guardrails and shrubs now guard us from that naked degradation replete with unfathomable questions and soulful yearnings. Guardrails flashing along, continuous infinite, the same.
As then, now.
Light drips down the dashboard, shadows contort and flee backwards. Rain patters ahead, guardrails are yellow in the streetlight. A deep dissonance arose in me, fomenting rebellion in unintelligible whispers pregnant with malevolence. I shook it off, trying to do what I always only could do, tamp out the embers and kick the can down the road. Why oh consciousness were you so heavy upon my shoulders. The world is Eden already if only I could vomit up the seeds of discontent implanted by Eve at the first dawn. The infinite glitters upon the water as I sag in sadness at the alternation of hope and rejection. If only I could see that light is light and that dawn has already broken and peace was already proclaimed eons before my birth. My birth. I have proceeded apace with time and space since my inception into the human race. Their endeavors are lost upon the waters, gloominess descends upon the mountaintop built by man.
What does it matter if that is gone, replaced with untold amounts of concrete and empty slogans? The infinite has already broken through and shines all around us, if only we knew how to see it.
Those vast fields filled with empty wonder and dead trees consummating their existence with smoke and fire—a sacrifice, but to whom?—are now only a living memory in my aged consciousness. That pagan sacrifice has been supraordinated by idols of flesh; airbrushed beauty, curves of sterile splendor gaze down upon their creation. The absence of wild life with all its vulnerabilities and deep oneness is our sacrifice to the modern age. The sacred and emptiness of a field has been scrubbed clean, its dimensions reduced so that a one-dimensional sameness can flourish. No wonder ideologies plague our consciousness—totality has been achieved and found wanting for lack of mystery.
At least in the old days, gods were (wo)men; no matter how crafted their narrative or convincing their performance, they still were men; they died and were thus only embodiments of the divine. Havoc was wreaked but contained. Now, though, the gods are ideas and they dwell among us. They are drunk with the power their own narratives afford them. We are the possessed, and the uni-dimensional contorts our being to its rigid dictums. Victim and oppressor, black and white, male and female—some of the most basic categories in life are elevated and placed as The Category of Categories to be worshiped in all its shameful glory. That which can adequately describe an infinitesimal fragment of waking reality is given license to rule over and subdue the conscious earth.
A breath, space…
Rippling waves of glory flood through desolate parched plains. The Son glistens upon the living waters. All is love; all is shining forth. Even darkness is light for there is nowhere for it to hide. Seeds are planted in fertile plains watched over by the Protector and Provider. Vivid green and vibrant blue, all praising You, oh Lord.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?” Isaiah 40:21