Talking to God. Who never talks back. Just a receptivity, a ceaseless openness.
I don’t know how to write about this – the thing that’s always happening, the most real thing, what saturates awareness more than anything else, day in and day out. Yet no possibility of articulation, putting this into the container of words.
If this isn’t describable, what’s the point of writing at all? Writing about something sayable is like looking under the streetlamp for the lost keys, because that’s where it’s see-able, even though you know the keys were dropped elsewhere.
This is what we’re meant to know: the ordinary miracle of the felt moment.
It’s dark here. Not lonely dark, not bereft dark. Not scary. Just wordless. Full of wonder.
The talking to God doesn’t happen with words, not mostly. Although sometimes I can’t help it. Sometimes the pressure becomes enough that ripening wants that ordinary kind of outlet, that oh-so-human one. “Thank you” will escape my lips, and sometimes “How can this be?”
Walking out the door the first time in a morning, the moist air, the smell of green, the body in fresh receptivity. As if none of it has ever happened before, or been seen, appreciated (the first time since yesterday), the words come out the mouth: “It’s still happening!” The cat cradled in my arms takes the breath and the made sounds into his fragrant, sleepy body. I have lowered my lips to the fur at the back of his neck. I am praying to the cat, who is praying to the crook of my arm, where his nostrils are burrowed.
I don’t ask God for anything. Not for myself, anyway. Sometimes I say Bless my children.
But for myself, there is nothing to ask for. It wouldn’t occur to me.
What goes on is more like a mostly unspoken acknowledgement, a recognition of a presence. There isn’t anywhere the presence isn’t. It’s not like me-and-God. It’s just . . . God. Everywhere and always. And yet . . . yes, there is a recognition, a noticing. Something is here that’s capable of awareness. There is an intelligence that notices. A receptivity. A gratitude. A stunned amazement.
Because there is memory of another way. And the mind does a comparison: how it was then, how it is now. Also, how it is in my experience and how it seems to be for others, who are as I have been. Lost in the mind. Unable to notice, or to linger there – to disappear into what gets called God. To be like a little child, or a cat. To not miss the beloved thing.
Here I am, still trying to write about God, about talking to God. God as the smell of a horse, as the feel of olive oil on the fingers, as the softness of the bed when the body is exhausted.
Tear down all the churches, burn the damn scriptures, forget what’s in the canons. Don’t get bogged down in all that, if it isn’t washing you in light. When you take a drink of water, when you’ve been especially thirsty, make note of the cool, the sensation of traveling over the mysterious interior, the delicious relief. The silence between words. The slick of soap over the skin in the shower. This is what we’re meant to know: the ordinary miracle of the felt moment. The sensation of aliveness. If this isn’t God, well, I don’t know. Yes, and even the creaking joints on the stairs. The breaking heart. The ticking of the clock in a room where people are waiting.
All of it.