Wednesday, January 17, 2007

unanswerable impressions

"Something quite unexpected has happened. It came this morning early. For various reasons, not in themselves all mysterious, my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks."

~ C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Even as the old spectres await my waking, as lance-bearing centurions keeping watch at my bedside and poised to pierce, things are suddenly different. In a homecoming, the winter freeze has taken hold, and under the frigid grip, I feel warmth burgeoning beneath. It is as though compression and the contractions of raw temperatures force a response, and that reaction is not a numb lifelessness, but instead a geothermal aspiration radiating through layers of ice.

You withheld sleep from my eyes, said the Psalmist, "I was troubled and could not speak." The writer of these words confessed that his soul actually refused to be consoled, as if there had been a choice. Sinking more profoundly into grief, remembrances of grace came to mind. The past right away became the dynamic present. Love has not vanished. The pondering of grandeur gives way to all the trust that is needed at this moment. This afternoon, faith means throwing on my wool coat, wrapping my scarf around, and going back to work. We are each needed. We are each awaited. Happy those who anticipate, for they are anticipated, too.

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