The Infinite In Every Moment
It has been one hundred sixty nine days since January 1, leaving one hundred ninety six until December 31. July 2 will be day one hundred eighty two, which is half way through the year. I thought the summer solstice, occurring on Saturday, was halfway through the year, but it’s two weeks yet until the actual halfway point. The longest day should be the midpoint, shouldn’t it? I made some initial queries online this morning, when I was trying to figure this out, but owing to time boundaries like getting to work and sending out this post, couldn’t dig any deeper.
I know that in the summer solstice the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer and that it always lines up with my grandfather‘s birthday and Father’s Day, but why it isn’t the exact halfway point of the year eludes me.
If you understand this, please let me know.
In my musings about it, however, I couldn’t help thinking “the virus can’t stop this.” The planet’s axis turns in its thick oil, no matter what we humans do, and nothing has ever changed that. It was reassuring. There is some bedrock to stand on. Then I thought that these are big astronomical thoughts requiring big words and I thought of Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, because I had just recommended the book to a friend. It made me get out my copy and look at my notes from several readings of it.
At one point, the author referred to the Tibetan Buddhist’s “crazy wisdom,” and of Camus’s “leap into the absurd” that occurs within a life of limitations. “The absurdity of a life,” Matthiessen wrote, “that may well end before one understands it does not relieve one of the duty (to that self which is inseparable from others) to live it through as bravely and generously as possible.
I feel great gratitude for being here, for being, rather, for there is no need to hie oneself to the snow mountains in order to feel free. I am not here to seek the ‘crazy wisdom,’ if I am, I shall never find it. I am here to be here, like these rocks and sky and snow, like this hail that is falling down out of the sun.”
I am here to just be here, as well, on this new day, whether I ever fully comprehend it. “The Universe itself,” as the author put it, “is the scripture of Zen, for which religion is no more and no less than the apprehension of the infinite in every moment.”