‘If that’s what he means,’ says the student to the poetry teacher, ‘why doesn’t he just say it?’ ‘If God is real,’ says the parishioner to the preacher, ‘why doesn’t he simply storm into our lives and convince us?’ The questions are vastly different in scale and relative importance, but their answers are similar. A poem, if it’s a real one, in some fundamental sense means no more and no less than the moment of its singular music and lightning insight; it is its own code to its own absolute and irreducible clarity. A god, if it’s a living one, is not outside of reality but in it, of it, though in ways it takes patience and imagination to perceive. Thus the uses and necessities of metaphor, which can flash us past our plodding resistance and habits into strange new truths. Thus the very practical effects of music, myth, and image, which tease us not out of reality, but deeper and more completely into it.”—Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer
This morning I breathe in God’s poetry, stepping “deeper and more completely into” my reality. My boys, my loves, still sleep upstairs and there is nothing more beautiful than a quiet house to oneself. The candle is lit, Bonnie is here with me, and I have been reading—slowly. Such extravagance. A day like today, slowly unfolding, is a reminder that all is holy, each plodding second of it. We mingle in and out of the divine, living poems, breathing masterpieces.
Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I only need answer that question day by day. Minute by minute. One second at a time. To live this way is to fall in love with God over and over again.