Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Ocean of Light

Mathieu sat looking dumbfounded as the red liquid seeped out on the wood of the cafe table.

In Jean-Paul Sartre's classic novel Age of Reason, the main character Mathieu suddenly comes to a shocking nadir of awareness--his own "age of reason"-- realizing how much of what he has thought, perceived, and done that is all so delusionary (as will most humans shortly because it is 1938 and only months before the Nazis launch humankind's own nadir, one of absurd unreason).

So suddenly, Mathieu, shocked with this personal awareness of the existential, stabs a knife through the palm of his hand daggering it to the scarred wood of the cafe table in Paris. And looks confounded as his blood seeps out while his friends look on bewildered.

I've encountered my own nadirs, and that's how I've felt, metaphorically, like a knife jabbed through me.

Would you like me to get melodramatic;-)?

Despite his pierced hand, Mathieu is no christ (he's getting his mistress to have an abortion).

And neither am I like Christ...though I seek to be, though I yearn to be.

I've been reflecting back through my recent posts of the last few months--times of deep spiritual crisis where I've lost my spiritual home, discovered I've been living in religious illusion. And now realize anew, I spend way too much time ruminating on and grieving over the "no" and "the ocean of darkness," and not nearly enough time on the "Yes" and "the Infinite Ocean of Light."

So here's a few of my Lightful lines:

Perception in Late Night

I work the graveyard shift in ‘67
Stock shelves of Marlboro ‘Country’
For California slickers, tubes of
Ultra Brite ‘sex appeal’
Brushed by grim oldsters,
And Olympia, ‘it’s the water’
For partying young adults;

I close the flashy cooler,
Pick up the empty card boxes,
Crumple and dump them in the trash bin;
Across the street a Texaco filling station
Slogans forth still, “Trust you car to the man
Who wears the star,’ but its ‘vacant for lease’ sign
Came from the only auto to ford
Those shallow words.

I lean on a metal stool behind
The counter, no customers; its past
The midnight hour; so I
Close my tired eyes,
Rub my warm forehead,
The feel of bone so arched like a vault,
My skull under skin
Almost Neanderthal,
And my sense of self in that inner cave
Of stored ads, memories and procedures;
What will be left in the finite end?

Suddenly like a lighted tidal wave
Overwhelming self and night,
Wide a w a r e n e s s
Oceans deep--
Awash in God.


The Mythic Mask

The vast kaleidoscoped cosmos
On black velvet background
Galactic star swirls,
One great masked Chagall
Above us in infinite light years,
Visioning vivid rose and royal blue,
We cover the earth,
Weeping colors of bowed rain
In this troubled world’s lastness,
From the very beforeness,
Out from
The great cosmic Blast,
A hooded violet trope
That hurtled
Us into the question
Before the asking;

Our distraught masks
Yes, we turn our
Stained-glassed faces
Away from the harshness
Of wintered survival rage
To stare at the flaming sun,
Ruby, emerald, and sapphire
Gleaming through,
Not mindfully blind
Behind metaphor’s
Translucent veil,
Seeing the True Face,
Ever-becoming visually real.
One finally white endless strobe
Of the brightness of becoming,
Unlimited strophe of the Masque
Of all Dancing.

In the Ocean of Light,

Daniel Wilcox


Hystery said...

I wish I had something more to say here than "beautiful". The images in your poetry stay with me and deepen my appreciation of your friendship, including the way you keep pushing and challenging me to think and grow beyond fear. You have made a difference beyond anything I can express in prose or verse.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Hystery,

Thanks for comment and your encouragement. And I see that you left me a warm comment on my "pinball" post back in early August. I've just come across your note there too.

I would appreciate if you would hold me in the Light. I've been saddened by hurtful words and am feeling very down right now.



Hystery said...

Daniel, I am holding you in the light and you very often in my thoughts. Perhaps the hurtful words came through the internet. That happens too often and I fear may be a consequence of the technology which allows instant communication yet alienates words from our bodies. It is difficult to convey warmth and laughter or to modify meaning with a glance, a half smile, a fluttering hand movement, a sigh. It too easy to write when we cannot see pain on another human face.

One of my very favorite things about you is your ability to push a person intellectually even as you hold them with respect and love. Even in the areas where I find the most difference with you, you do not present yourself as an adversary but as a friend who is truly interested in my journey. We should all develop your skill.

Please feel better soon.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Hystery,

Thanks for the words of Light.

The hurtful words and behavior were from another Quaker. I don't understand why some people attack one's motives and person rather than try and listen to a different view. Oh well, I need to realize that the other Friend probably has hurts out of which he is speaking.
And even when I try, I sometimes don't speak completely within the Holy Spirit's way.

Hope you are having a good week and that your quest is going better.

In the Light,