Monday, March 30, 2009
"To be free and be close to god"
I said those words, years ago, to a shrink who asked me what I wanted most in life. Reading it now, I realize it must have sounded very pompous or just phony, but it was what popped into my head at that moment and it was—is—the truth.
I suspect the phrase is one I read somewhere, a philosophy of life acquired secondhand from a poem or some self-help bible, but Googling it just now only got me a slew of instances of “close to god”—or rather, “close to God,” since most of the discourse on the ‘net concerns that god. Freedom never seems to appear in conjunction with him.
Wherever it comes from, my credo isn’t useful or warmhearted. It doesn’t preclude action or caring, but it doesn’t demand them either. I know I feel closest to fulfilling it when I am ambling along the trail and spot something beautiful and ordinary, like the little foamflowers in the picture above. They have just started opening up here in the past few days. The blooms are tiny and intricate, so perfect they are a little shocking.
The moment of perceiving common beauty is a sacred moment, and creates a sense of liberation I never know any other time. I stop feeling stranded in the psychic hinterlands, resenting the limitations of my flesh-and-bone prison, yearning for a knowledge that is beyond me. Every possibility condenses to the form and matter of a plant, a bird; and all of those possibilities are fulfilled. The experience of immanence contains flawless love of crude existence--a thrilling paradox.
For a virtual stroll through Tennessee wildflowers, go here and click on the "Wild Flowers" tab.
Photo of Tiarella cordifolia from Wikimedia Commons.