Upon The Horizon
Intense cold air, my fingers slowly go from cold, to aching, to numb. Now, this is cold by Seattle standards (which means mine). A cold walk, wearing a sweater, wind-breaker, gloves and wool hat. Mist settles upon my glasses, slowly obscuring my view. The night’s darkness slowly morphs into a pointillist vision. Headlights and streetlights flare, much like a JJ Abrams film.
A bold act on my part, heading outdoors as a storm comes. Not much in the way of hints, signs of impending storminess. Most of the signs drift in upon media coverage, but a few heavy raindrops falls, and the wind hints at the impending bluster. Trees wiggle and bend, chimes melodiously announce the windy dance, pianissimo crescendoing, yet only to a mezzo-forte. We’re still in the prelude, uncertain of when the second movement begins.
Other storms exist. A friend, very recently diagnosed with cancer, trying to recover from a few small strokes, breathes his last this afternoon. This lands within a few other friends battling cancer. Reminders, really, of both my own fragility and of my own lucky blessedness. Fragility reinforced by my wrangling with pain, pulled muscles and sinus infections, which, of course, pale yet still inflict their own misery. Yet the expiration date of those issues, though murky, is in the near-term.
Strangely, as I get older, more look to me for guidance; age grants perspective, which provides me uncertainty. The more I learn, the more I see I don’t know. Uncertainty replaces my youthful self-assurance. Oddly, without adding disquiet.
Throughout my youth, my faith journey centered on seeking certainty; on KNOWING. I find now faith evolving into a relationship with the unknown, with uncertainty. “Which “faith” is right?”, for instance. Now I feel this unanswerable, or, perhaps better put, a phantom. All faith’s harbor validity, whether Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Atheism; I find truth within them all. A strange wisdom counterintuitive to my youthful visions.
Internal storms brought me here, to this place of understanding. Unwillingness to deny the truth I see in my friends of myriad background. With no two the same, how can I claim a transcendent truth? Or, at least, that I KNOW it. What I see that’s transcendent seems unviewable to the limited mind and body, much less knowable. Yet I still wrestle, seeking a deeper understanding of the un-understandable. I value this journey into, and through, knowledge. Clarity of vision grows, as the songs of life becoming sweeter, if more complex. Minor, diminished and augmented chords blending within cacophony, unexpected melodies growing. Seemingly hinting at storms approaching, hidden by clouds and night’s darkness. These winds, oddly, warm, freeing me of the numbing coldness within. A greater connection with all that is.