Song of Miracles: being here is enough

We each have a song that is our own and that needs protecting from the clang and falseness of the world. When the noise is too loud we cannot hear our own melody, our violins, triangle, bassoon, our cello providing the soul-filled bass.

Many of us idealize the pastoral life, the convent, the walk in the woods – places where we can not only hear ourselves think but can hear our own song, consciously or not. We are refreshed and returned to our inner harmonies through the quiet of meditation.

Some people’s songs are strong enough to hold their own against the roar of the crowd. They even change the melody of the collective. We trust these songs. They inspire us, enlighten and lift us up to actions. They reveal underlying truths of inclusion and caring.

Yet, other people have songs that are also powerful but call us towards prejudice, harm, and power. I don’t believe these are true inner harmonies. They are sirens that cajole us to fear and lure us to greed and exclusion.

Discerning the difference between the song and the siren is harder for some of us than others. It is, perhaps for all of us, the most important struggle of our lives. It determines how we experience life and what we create. It forms our morals, ethics, and beliefs.

Do we recognize truth from fantasy? Generosity from greed? Joy from self-aggrandizement? Love from power?

My own song is delicate these days, a thing of lutes, flutes, and countertenors – a circumstance of physical and emotional issues.

I rest, see new doctors, take new medicines, and contemplate limits. If I listen, I hear my melody again.

Such times make us re-evaluate our history, our friends, our priorities, how kind we are, what we expect of life, if we are doing what we are meant to do, if we care and love adequately.

They make us examine our long-held beliefs, whether of God or personal strength, and prompt us to divest of anything that may be false. I have a ferocious need to strip down to what is, to shed what I may wish, hope, and fantasize. I want to touch rock.

In the process of losing much, some long-held beliefs remain. These include:

Black loam is the stuff of life. Ask any crow diving for worms behind a plow.

Betrayal and abandonment may on rare occasion be necessary, but they are always sins. Whether or not there is a God.

Education should be free as a right of all humans. Brains require the light of knowledge.

People with perfect color-pitch exist just as do people with perfect tone-pitch. And these people suffer when colors clash as much as people with perfect tone-pitch suffer when something is off-key.  

Parking angels exist. But you must believe and must say “thank you.”

No god exists that cares if you believe in Him, Her, It, The. It only matters to you.

Nothing can be explained. Though some things can be known.

Forgiveness requires that you ask less of others than you do of yourself. Annoying, but there it is. No choice.

Everything is energy. From thoughts to stones.

People who died a couple generations back are pretty much forgotten. You are fodder to the future.

There is value in doing good even though you will be forgotten. Love really is the way, the truth, and the light.

Each person is many people. Talk to other’s best selves.

Universal love has great power. But crazy fundamentalists often operate on a different frequency.

Prejudice relies on being willing to lie to yourself. As do a lot of lesser things.

Life is a larger miracle than any God we imagine.

That’s my bottom line: life is a larger miracle than any God we imagine.

Sensing there is a miracle somewhere, we construct an exterior God that watches from someplace else – a God small enough to contain inside our imaginations when the truth is that existence itself is the miracle. This is it. This is the rock that lives.

I want to relish what is right here right now, no fantasies, no compromises, beyond comprehension. I celebrate that perhaps the most I can know of what is beyond me is the song inside me. Ah, yes, where does that come from?

 

“. . . for unto us a child is born” or what constitutes a miracle?

Gold, frankincense, myrrh. Three wise men from the Orient on camels followed a star that led them to a manger in Jerusalem. There, a newborn lay in the arms of his virgin mother surrounded by animals – most likely cows, sheep, and a donkey.

RH-Wisemen2We do not know definitely where the men came from or even if they were only three. Most Biblical scholars say they would have come from Persia (Iran) and been followers of Zoroastrianism. As wise men, i.e. magi, they would have been of an educated class steeped in the belief that a person of holy origin was on his way. It was a widespread belief of the time. People were on the alert.

Since only three gifts were mentioned – glorious as they were! – it is usually assumed only three men came to the manger even though more learned men would have been in the region and vigilant for the arrival of a baby of the highest importance.

1-icon-of-the-nativity-juliet-venterShepherds also came to the manger, but they were from nearby fields where they were “keeping watch over their sheep by night.” An angel appeared to them and told them not to be afraid, but instead to rejoice for “This day in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is the messiah, the Lord.”

The shepherds went to Jerusalem where they found a babe lying in a manger, just as the angels told them they would.

I sense a timing issue. The shepherds were nearby, but for the wise men to arrive while Jesus was still in the manger, they either started following the star before he was born, or were, in fact, just over in the next village, or were beamed up. Given the appearance of angels, beaming up seems possible, as in “Beam me up, Scotty.”

It is a beautiful story of hope and wonder, one laden with miracles.

One star guided the way of three men 2000 years ago in a cosmos of more than 100 billion galaxies with an estimated 300 billion stars in the Milky Way alone, which is a relatively small galaxy but the one from which we can observe a universe with a radius of 13.7 billion light years expanding at an accelerating rate of 46 miles per second per megaparsec* and laden with black holes that attract anything near them into them, including galaxies, to potentially parallel cosmos that we cannot see but that, like ours, move through folding time warps and space twists, all of which is made of atoms that mimic really wild solar systems but are too infinitesimal to measure, further complicated by that atoms behave in uncertain ways influenced by the expectations of their observers and that atoms are made of even smaller elements called hadrons that are made of quarks that are divided into categories named up, down, strange, bottom, top, and charm, which may indicate quarks are made of even smaller elements, and in any case we know that quarks have been here since the beginning of everything 13.8 billion years ago when a single point exploded in a big bang and, from quarks to cosmos, all of it is held together by unseen forces named the strong force and the weak force that hold quarks together to make neutrons and protons that make atom nuclei, while magnetic and gravitation forces hold the earth together and hold humans on it.

Beaming up is a piece of cake in comparison.

cosmos

Yet, so far as we know the cosmos doesn’t deal with human feelings of hope, joy, fear, guilt, or wonder. It does not ponder itself except possibly through entities like us, and surely it has no need for miracles, being itself beyond comprehension.

It is we who require miracles and long for what is just beyond our comprehension. Just beyond. We like our miracles guiding star-size, manger-size, angel-size, virgin-birth size. We like our miracles to bring joy and create wonder. That is an observable truth, and it is a fine truth, and it is a start. We should all be guided more often by the stars.

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*A megaparsec is the distance of 3 million light years. Hence, every distance of 3 million light years in the cosmos expands by approximately 46 miles every second.