Speaking of thaws, yesterday I was reminded that every now and then beauty intrudes, catching our attention in the most mundane of locations. We were grocery shopping when, as we wandered through the local super market, still not picking up everything we needed, or even what was on the list held securely in my pocket, I became aware that in the moment those ridiculously inane rows of shelving were heartrendingly beautiful, and that sometimes the world is almost unendurably precious.
Today I wonder how do mind and heart align to give us such unanticipated offerings? How often, in the moment, do we transcend our society’s deep patterning and realize life is a mystery and a gift? How do these opportunities to know that everything is alive, conscious, and sacred, perhaps even that can of soup that beckons from the third shelf from the floor, come about?
Growing up Pentecostal and a polio survivor, I found myself experiencing life as endless striving for salvation in both the spiritual and mundane worlds. Still, every so often, in moments of epiphany and grace, I became aware that everything is sacred and there is nothing to be gained from one’s endless laboring, that grace is already, always present.
Later on I discovered the mystics, Christian, Native, and otherwise, who insisted that everything is just as it needs to be, that all is awake, and that the only real tasks are to love and to “stop the world created by our distracted minds” so we see the breathtaking beauty of the universe.
How different this is from the late capitalism’s universe devoid of awakening or meaning! What, I wonder, would Calvin and his ilk have made of all that?