Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Toward Freedom XXVII
Last week, a friend asked me why I write. "Why do you do sand sculpture, put these things out there for others to see?" Last December, another friend asked me to help her write by giving her assignments and then critiquing what she wrote. In the summer of 2009, a friend suggested that I talk about whatever I wanted to. By the fall of 1994, psychoanalysis was stuck in a series of silent sessions and I soon gave up trying to push words into the quiet. Sometime in 1977 a friend said "You can't really love another person unless you can love yourself." In 1972 I was learning to hear God's voice, but I had a hard time believing that and spent a lot of effort over the next 42 years working on intellectual justification of my life.
Intellect cannot spin a fine enough net to catch love. Telescopes can't see the bright binder of God's love holding his creation together. Atom smashers don't have the energy to detect God's particular touch that keeps repellent particles from seeking space.
Force won't end a war, as use of force is met with use of stronger force. A lawn mower will keep all things at the same height, but the uniformity is ugly and the cutting process painful. At the level of the intellect, the soul looks like a field and roughness is a threat. Love is more flexible; who is harmed by having dips and peaks, and free creatures nibbling here and there? There's a thump on my roof as a squirrel lands, after having cut a pine cone off the tree beside the house. Even in this year of drought both tree and squirrel have enough.
When one's objective is to end a long-running war--40 years is long enough--one gets tired and just wants it done. Look at history. In this case, though, some solutions are worse than the ongoing war because they produce conditions for an even worse war. Peace doesn't live under an iron lid.
For me, communication is something sneaked out through a door that is, most of the time, closed. If it opens a crack, move fast. Making things is something people do. God spread his hands and galaxies appeared. I go to the beach and stack sand in an act that is qualitatively an echo of the universe's creation, because that's how I'm made. Life is a chemical balancing act in support of the love that sang us all into our very existence. And then I spend most of my life using intellect to keep everything under control.
Control is what I grew up with. Figure things out, understand, use, produce. Writing is an oddity that I turned to because no one wanted to hear me talk, and few people read well enough to really see the story. Sand sculpture is tolerable because it soon disappears. I can be creative in expressing sensitivity because the works are temporary and go into a world that notices little.
Ever since October 18, 1971, God has been whispering to me, "Be loved." At first the ground was so hard that nearly all of that water beaded up and rolled off. As I started to soften, I got scared and spent about 30 years becoming harder, and I nearly died--soul, mind, body--in that.
Being loved is fine, so long as I don't notice it. Being asked to assign and critique some writing requires noticing what my friend really wants, and noticing my reactions to it. This project soon ran aground amidst the intellectual shoals. Yet, understanding is essential. Intellect and heart are also made in God's image and neither can be denied without doing great damage. Picture Jesus standing on the storm-thrashed sea and you'll see balance. He holds me, keeps me from destroying myself, and slowly his spirit interweaves himself through my hardened, imitation-stone, soul, This feels destructive, and it is to the old way, but it also feels lively.
Truly, all is grace.