Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fireworks and Fairytales on the Fourth

Yesterday was a beautiful day, cool winds and open windows on the Fourth of July (!!!), all due to Hurricane Arthur pulling the heat and humidity out to sea. 'Preciatecha, Arty.  A friend called late in the day and just needed to hang out awhile while his new Arthur-itis medication kicked in and kicked him around, so we ended up talking about living with crazy mothers (his, mine, his nephew's) and all the things you learn later after the storms have passed on thru. I think I said somewhere before that my mother was like a hurricane, she scrubbed the earth clean behind her, not a structure remained.

Earlier in the day I discovered podcasts by Malcolm Guite, a lecturer and chaplain at Cambridge - and a big C. S. Lewis fan, as am I! I think I listed to a couple of short podcasts, then came across this one. 

It's called TOUCHING THE WOUNDS, IN PRAISE OF 'DOUBTING' THOMAS. "Here is a poetry reading and accompanying sermon I have at St. Edward's Cambridge on the first Sunday after Easter. The traditional reading for his Sunday is John chapter 20: verses 24-end, which tells the story of how Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds. I am fond of Thomas, a man who dared to ask questions, and this poem and sermon are a celebration of his role in the gospels." . Listen first.

If you followed the link, you saw lots of typos. I like that. It tells me he puts up his podcasts himself. :)

After listening to that, I had this comment to add to my Facebook recommendation of it:

"(quoting Guite:)"[Thomas] knew it wouldn't be the same Jesus if he [Jesus] didn't come back with the same wounds"

That little insight says a lot about not only Jesus and his eternal union with us in his flesh, but the nature of our wounds and our flesh. We aren't spirits living in bodies, we are men (male and female) and we aren't really ourselves without our bodies. The chief indicator that Jesus had conquered death was the resurrection - the restoration of flesh joined to the soul - which tells me something I had never understood about the nature of death: it is the ripping apart of a human, the soul and his body separated and unable to repair the junction.
Wounds and doubts and resurrection and change... I think I'll listen again..."

It's the wounds and the scars that remain that have me.... that have me. I'll just stop there - they have me. Jesus the Healer is doing his Great Physician thing on me - the more I scream that he isn't doing enough, the more he does - and when He does, it's nearly no different than when I've had mere little "p" physicians take a bottle of antiseptic and a knife and carve out the infected flesh in the office. You can't numb infected flesh, so you might as well just get it the hell over with as fast and as skillfully as you can. (BEWARE doctors who don't know their knife skills!) Once the skin is cut open and the wound has been drained, you are left shaking and exhausted, but the relief is deep and it can be better than lying abed for ages hoping some pill will cure it instead.  

Somehow by the end of the day, I had found the song on the previous post, which is why I put it up last night. It's all part of being who I am, not what I might have been, "wishing only wounds the heart." I'm posting the song above today because the wounds and the doubt and the people who have changed us change us forever. We never get to go back to who we were or who we might have been, we are changed for good. We don't get the fairytale we want, we are the story that's still being written, and I'm a girl who won't read a story unless she knows it turns out alright. 

This story is very hard for me to keep to, but I am reading a little bit more every day.

As darkness fell last night, I was still doing scut work in the basement, shoveling weeds in the driveway as heavy fireworks boomed all over the city. For the first time ever, I could actually see some from my house. I'll leave you with a video that flies you thru the fireworks with the night sky all around. It's beautiful and scary and ....

(Originally, the music on this video was Con te patirĂ² as sung by Andrea Bocelli on his Romanza album. Youtube made them change the music to generic electropoop (a typo, but it's about right.) I bought Bocelli's album because of this video, they should have left it alone! Listen to Bocelli in one browser tab while you look at the video in the other. My  lousy paraphrase still follows below.)

"I'll Go With You"

When I am lonely, I dream.
I search the sky as far as eye can see,
And still the words won't come.

It's true, there is no light,
My sun has all gone dark
When you are not with me.
But outside my window, everyone sees,
My heart you set on fire.
Safe inside me is the light
We shared when we first met.

I'll fly to you in places I have never, ever been,
And live my truest days.
With you, I'll sail in ships on seas,
Deep waters passed, unknown.
Though never have I been this way,
With you, I'm sailing home.

When you are far away,
I dream and wait, for a word that's yet to come.
Even so, I know you still burn bright.
The moon, it shows me where you hide,
Fiery sun, in all your light.

I'll fly with you to lands I've never been,
And live their all with you.
With you, on ships I've never seen,
On seas that rise no more,
With you, I want to sail just once,
And once for evermore.

Translation of Con te patirĂ² via
Updated Sunday July 6, 2014
Lousy paraphrase by me alone. Rhyming is hell. All copyrights reserved.

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