Just finished reading The Summer of the Great-Grandmother by Madeleine L'Engle, she with her fine mind, one that not everyone 'got' but a voice of her generation.
I will quote two passages that I quite liked, both stunning in their summation of this thing we live that I will call the 'human conditon'--we all live it, in varying degrees, on this revolving door planet we call earth, this little rock we spin around with.
"But I did feel, and passionately, that it wasn't fair of God to give us brains enough to ask the ultimate questions if he didn't intend to teach us the answers." p. 130
Fair enough--this is as close to a perfect thought, in my mind, as I'll ever get. The ultimate questions are what have plagued me for months, and I know I will never stop asking them. Part of that longing that is part and parcel of this human business, according to another brilliant mind--Abigail Thomas-- this longing for understanding of cruel death, under a loving God.
"The words which come out help to assure me that they may be God, after all. Perhaps whenever we have felt his presence for a while he must remove it, and by his absence force us to take the next step." p. 241
This assertion is something I've played around with in my mind not just since my Dad's shocking diagnosis and subsequent 'early' death, but since my friend Gerard left this earth, in my humble opinion, far too soon. I prayed and attended church very stridently after that time and around the time we first got the news about my father. It was the only place I could go to feel safe on ground that was becoming increasingly shaky.
I noticed my lack of attendance to church after my father died. I was busy internalizing it, trying to be close to his spirit, and in that way it took the form of sleep, of dream, of visiting him that way. I prayed here and there, prayed for the people around me, and I've prayed alot this week, too, for acceptance and guidance, and again, for those around me. To help them not falter.
But I did feel God very keenly for that number of months. Not that he isn't here now--I turned around to face the shoreline and there was the nudge of the rainbow that came out of nowhere--whipping out my camera to catch the image, one that can be so elusive on film, on 'reality'. Like all faith, courage, elusive sometimes, when the real stuff hits.
As Joan Didion recounts about her parents when there was a problem--the family policy was to go to the books, read about it, broaden your knowledge. And I do. I keep reading, getting information, gathering the signs.
I take the next step.
"and when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me...shine until tomorrow, let it be..."