This blog is an extension of IN-SPIRITED* with a particular contribution to make. It seeks to reflect on living and breathing; seeking life and being found by God; being on mission, being human and being holy; knowing one is already rooted in love and embodying more and more what one believes. And it does so, inspired by the image shared by Annie Dillard in The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
In this wonderful text, she describes the experience of being human as very much like the experience of walking in the fog. We see “tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity”. This is not disturbing, I believe. It simply is what is.
We human persons are bound by limits while stretched across horizons. Our energy, our field of vision, our perceptions and conceptions and misconceptions, our stories and histories, our connections and cultures and collaborations and isolations, our griefs and our joys, our experiences and our interpretations and ruminations – these communicate with the broadest strokes of reality. We are small and large – circumscribed and beyond definition. We have names, but no apt labels. We can analyze the composition of our bodies, count our heartbeats and breaths, and xray our structural make up – yet not capture the human heart or locate the individual spirit.
We are mystery, and we live in mystery. Yet we often forget this, because the mysterious of life is so very ordinary and concrete in our experience. It is the air we breathe, and we forget the wonder. We catch glimpses of what is most true. And the mystic and the artist and the prophet and the pray-er and the pilgrim among us describe these glimpses best through image and metaphor, color and light. They help us see the truth by hinting at it.
And so, this blog intends to play with images, glimpse and hint at truth, and see what tatters of clearness might emerge. It seeks to see, and necessarily will do so from where I am. Undoubtedly, like one of the blind men in the Gospels who is on the journey to sight, when I see my perception of what is before me is no doubt sometimes a bit “off”. The not-quite blind man saw people that looked like trees walking. My words can only hint at and serve my own vision and limits and gifts…. describing my own tree people… my own tatters of clearness through my own pervading obscurity. That’s fine. I have no illusion that I hold any total vision. This too is how we enrich each other – with shared visions and dialogue – and a portrait of the really real takes shape between us like a multi-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. The dialogue is a discovery, and a grace. And we build on the words and vision and descriptions of those before us – family and friends and saints and companions. Together we learn, while reverencing that what we experience of the whole is as limited as we are.
So the blog is not so much about meaning making, as a listening – an obedience (living with an open ear), and exploring mystery with myth and metaphor, images and creativity, word-art and willingness.
I look forward to conversations and reflections, new friends and dialogue partners, and depend – as ever – on the Spirit and the Spirit’s holy manner of working!
Joanne M. Cahoon