Sunday, August 25th, 2013
THE MIRACLE OF THE ACTUAL
I wish I could claim that phrase. It’s from the novel TransAtlantic by Colum McCann. Those words wrapped around my neck when I read it and held me tight.
I have been in two exaggerated states of mind all day. Focused on the insanity of our world right now (and maybe always).
Grotesque kidnappings, murder out of boredom, blowing ancient cultures to smithereens in hysterical violence, nature showing who’s boss. You name it and I was wallowing in it.
OR I was trying to counter that negativity by determined optimism and effort.
Hey let’s do it.
Life is better than it is! Just dream it, do it, have it.
What’s wrong with you Joyce? Think big. Live large. Goading myself.
Not satisfying on a day of no obligation. White space to use as I wanted.
And I was making myself nuts.
So I went to the porch and to my default. A book. Can’t figure out life? Read.
Mad at the world? Read. Itchy but not wanting to do anything? Read.
So I did. And there was that phrase–the miracle of the actual.
And I dropped into it. Just like Alice in Wonderland. There it was.
The lawn dappled with late afternoon shade.
The Adirondack chairs lit by sun — white white on the green grass.
The window boxes on the porch happy and still Summer healthy–a hallucinogenic purple in the shadows.
The forty foot spruce bouncing its long graceful grande dame like arms.
Coffee hot on the side table.
The air light and startling clear.
Kids shouting at cars to stop for a car wash — an adolescent descant.
Farmer’s market flowers on the table.
A crow scolding
A white candle drooped from sun melt.
All note perfect.
I’m chilly. I hold still.
I sit with my hands clasped under my nose, not wanting to move to the moment when I’ll slide out of the miracle of the actual. Everything OK just as it is. No need to edit. No flaws, no tasks. I hold the moment.
I mean, the universe laughed at me and held up a mirror to my belly-aching through plain perfect beauty.