No Miracle Happens
IN DOSTOEVSKI’S NOVEL The Brothers Karamazov there is an extraordinary scene where the old monk Father Zossima dies. They lay him out in his coffin in the chapel, and all of the monks wait around to see a miracle—for the body to give off the fragrance of a rose, maybe, or his dead face to flicker with a holy light. But no miracle happens, and not only does no miracle happen, but as time goes by something else happens instead. After a while the body shows signs of decomposition, and gradually—though at first the monks try not to notice it—the chapel is filled with the stink of death. No miracle happens, but decay and death happen, the stench of dust returning to dust; and the one who loved the old man most—Alyosha, the youngest of the brothers—stands ready to give the whole thing up as a bad joke, to give up all hope of miracle, to give up his life, to give up if not God himself then the dusty world that hides God from our sight. Then he has this dream.
He is keeping vigil at the old man’s coffin while one of the monks reads the story of the Wedding at Cana over it, and when he falls asleep, the dream comes. It is a dream about Cana. There are the guests, there are the young couple sitting, the wise governor of the feast, and suddenly there is old Zossima too—a little thin old man with tiny wrinkles on his face, and of all the things he could be doing, what he is doing in that dream is laughing, laughing at that great feast like a child. And when Alyosha wakes up, he does something that he himself does not fully understand. He tears out of the chapel and rushes down into the monastery yard. He hears inside himself the words, “Water the earth with the tears of your joy and love those tears” and suddenly he gets down on all fours and kisses the earth with his lips; and when he gets up, he’s no longer a teary wreck of a boy but a “champion,” Dostoevski writes—some kind of crazy champion and hero.
– Originally published in A Room Called Remember by Frederick Buechner
here’s the deal that I’m currently experiencing as bottom-line…
Soft white shadows
of Trees on hills
Shades of white on white
Soft fog filling the world
I drive through this soft, thin place
the only edges
are cut mountain rocks
teaching me about life
teaching me about spirit
Softening my eyes
Filling my heart with a new holy
Softening my darkness
as hope slips in
under the closed door of my heart
I’m back at a new beginning and feel myself falling once again…
in love with this concept of simply be-ing human…
the ‘easy’ miracles we often don’t appreciate…
the miracle of the simple fact that our heart beats…
the beauty of life as it is right now…
the magical lettuce we grow right outside in our own patch of dirt…
veggies from my sister, Nancy’s [aka Non] garden
remember to remember…
I feel like I’ve been making things WAAAAY too complicated….
Tell me a story
End it with you getting that blood
out of your favorite yellow pants
Make me belly laugh with your mystery
captured from the mundane
the wounds of your humanity
Inspire me to rewrite my own boredom
my insane tragedies
into divine comedies to entertain myself
sing with me
La dee da dee da
save me from my inherent heaviness
allow me to enjoy my special fool within
until my effervescence bubbles for all to see
Lights flashing within me
all the colors of my own personal rainbow
Then I will raise my hands
and sigh with all this released cascading joy
as we all dance and yell to the moon, and beyond,
the greatest miracle may just simply be…
the final straws of our discontent….
the tears, smiles and laughter we experience each day we are granted beats…
we are full of beating love…
adventures await us as we gently step into our own unique rhythm…
I walk in clouds of messy grace
carry them with me wherever I go
I traverse the worlds of the dark and the light
allowing them both to be places I belong
I jump in puddles of deep infinity splashing stardust with my feet of clay
I sail my ship into the driest desert full sails catching the fine winds of new understanding
I climb the highest mountains
to see all the beauty found above and below me
I lay in the green grass of home to respect the very stuff that I am made of
I drop for 45 minutes into the center of the earth
to allow my stubbornness to burn away
I search the seas at midnight to find one open heart like nine
I am the night ocean
mysterious life. sparkling light-forms
I am the stable earth
wings of birds. creepy creeping things
I am the rain forest
rarest orchid. poison-est frog.
I am the hottest desert
stickiest cacti. smallest grain of sand.
I am the heavens
guarded by angels. home of God.
I am the word
spoken. written. thought.
we are possibles
be-ings. unlimited. infinite.
I am you
child. sibling. parent. friend.
as you are me
loving. lover. loved. beloved. love.