The day was cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy, and then cloudy, then sunny, and when the sun went down, the night was cloudy, then the stars appeared, then they disappeared, now they’re back. A light breeze, lighter than it has been all day, stirs the branches.
I for whatever reason have been spurred to read. Not just a little, but the quantity of pages I read at busy times of graduate studies. Josephus made his way past my eyes, Milton lingered long, and with him visions of heaven, long ago and eternal, giving the terms heroic and grand renewed power of meaning. No tale climbs the heights of glory as do the middle chapters of Milton’s epic flight. Goethe made a first appearance, at least conversations long ago recorded did so. I suppose I should read his poetry first before learning of the man, but I find him more interesting as an artist on art, than as a poet on other themes right now. Philotheos of Sinai inspired my soul, accompanied by portions of Ilias the Presbyter.
All but Josephus gave me insight upon the top of a hill, surrounded by naught but forest and wind, while sitting balanced on a rock. Bees and bugs teased at times, but my venture out into relative solitude was worthwhile. This spot was closed for many a month, breaking a habit newly formed last fall. Back now, even with trees downed all around, I found new life blossoming amidst fallen pines.
That confusion of sorts continued throughout my repose did not disturb, for I was unaware, knowing only the billowing clouds moving past, and tales of the heights told by men who long ago climbed the winding path giving them cause and care to tell of their view.
Problems with the painters. Nothing terrible, only peculiar confusion as I was at the same moment throwing myself at the impasse.
Morning on the lake, day on the mountain. Seeking God, a renewed vision or a restoration of one once given. I know the words, expecting them even as I hear them anew: “Wait.” “For what?” There is no answer given. So, I wait, and ponder the mysteries of this present life, knowing the path winds upwards, eternally.
And so I walk it, finding that my greatest barrier is still the thoughts and opinions of others. Released from concern over hypothetical judgment, I think I could fly high indeed. But, that’s a barrier which is hard to break, especially if one does not want break the bond of community as well.
It comes down to learning to keep my eyes high, ever higher, focusing on the prize and the end until I really believe, in body and soul. That is why I am drawn to the visions and thoughts of the fuller reality. To overcome the impasse I must rise higher in heart and mind, becoming more in soul.
One can see the heights, even taste of them, without too much time involved. I did. But this taste, this visit to the place of light and peace is not a permanent residence, it is only a tease, a draw which captures the heart and ruins one for any other pursuit. The taste, what we think is the fullness, is only enough to draw us along the rising path to constant habitation. This transition, I am finding, takes a great deal of time, much more than I ever knew. But because of the previous visit, some of the sights are the same, the realizations renewed rather than new. The difference being that the reality becomes real rather than a vision, whole and regular rather than lofty flights into an epiphany.
Learning to visit can be addictive, enough for many. Learning to dwell is the call, and entails a long and winding road through the valley of the shadow of death into light and glory which has no compare.
May I continue to walk that path, where ever it leads, whether back into the valleys, or ever higher past the mists where the sun shines clear and warm.