Thursday, September 26, 2013


I do love Ray Bradbury and was thee favorite of my youth. (Bruckner references his adoration in an actual blog!) There is something about him that is absolutely magic and he captured Fall so perfectly- in it's haunting transcendence, passage of time and of youth in such a way that still makes me look at the wind and a full moon with a measure of awe and mischief. He names mystery so well, the small things that become extraordinary. The big things that must be something. Must break out his short stories and read them for October.

I think on that note I can talk about the ocean. It was a gaping yawning absence. Each time I viewed it an ache in my chest appeared, stranded, wincing as the last hope of rescue disappears from the horizon. The hand reflexively soothes the constriction in the muscle. Your face draws in to frown but you think, they wouldn't have seen you anyway. You feel oddly condemned. The hand knowing the tensing pull of the neck goes there also and ministers to it, before it flings itself down and tells you there is nothing more to be done, but that the legs, they should do something. Maybe take you from this tragic spot. But your legs reluctant fold instead so that you can stare fixed on the blue slashed horizon with the posture of someone who still hopes, and waits.

At this point there must be something to do. Smoke. Eat. Talk. Sleep. Tan. Something to fill that longing absence. Text. Anything to not be alone. Its the same condition that strikes us and leaves coffee houses filled at dusk, that restless nervous feeling of things done, of things undone. It's at this point I feel we are all without fully knowing, longing for eternity and fearful of death. We can sense that tenuous pull of the horizon and we wonder. We feel displaced and I think in ourselves we lose confidence, a slight unmooring, and erosion of our self-reliant existence.

Now this is not always true. But I began to see the juxtaposition of my heart when it went to the mountains and felt anchored with glory and not absent from it, as the monoliths all stretched heavenward and my eyes and soul with them. It seemed an obvious place for rejoicing, and not of lost wanderings in the heart. And then just as often I went to the vistas of water pulling out and threading fast into the infinite, and I felt the bottom drop, caught up with knowing God was God but feeling very far from him, and resenting him for it.

So naturally I move to an island, as I've said before, where my body plays out what it has felt and known all along, akin to my playing out my spiritual landscape ala volcano tours of yore. Water water everywhere and none of it to drink. I'm sure it's akin to a spiritual desert and daring God to show up. And God not to be outdone in my unconscious movements responds that in the vast and the deep he resides also, but not just from afar. But close enough to be caught up in his touch. So that now, as I had met him everyday for months on the desolate and windy shores of jeju, silent and tired of talking, trusted that he would be there even if I had very little to say, I find myself reconciled to him and the ocean too.

I've been a handful of times and I'm looking for it. That reflexive ache. It's not there any longer. I move freely. I rejoice. I say hello God, here you are. I'm here also. I'm not sure why the change was important. Except the Father cares very much that I know he is close to me, so that the little girl in me can feel bounded up by his love in a way that simply has never been. I find this coming towards Home too. Not feeling alone here. Not feeling absence but presence- so that these things are not merely projections or prayers thrown off a cliff but an exchange of words to someone who is sitting next to you on the couch. I don't know.

But place is important is it not?

xo, m.


Daniel Bruckner said...

You know, I've really been scratching my head on this one. Sometimes I think I'm a deep person, then I read something like this and I'm unable to make anything of it. Perhaps it's my lack of spiritual progress that prevents me from penetrating the meaning of this post. I don't know. It sort of reminds me of the time when one of my community college teachers [Mrs. Wharton (German)] held up a bumper sticker (for the life of me, I can't remember why). Anyway, the bumper sticker was one of those images that one person can stare at and see one thing and a second person can see another. She asked the class if we could make out an image. Everyone but me saw what it was. They saw it immediately. But, try as I might, I saw nothing. It got to the point where everyone turned around to look at me like I was putting them on. 'Come on, you've gotta see it.' But I honestly couldn't. Finally, the teacher gave up and told me what it was. It was an image of Jesus Christ.

m said...

Have you asked God a question yet?

Out of the attributes of story what is yours?

Daniel Bruckner said...

Have I asked God a question? I would say that I have. I'm sure on some desperate night(s) I've put in a query about what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Beyond that, I'm really not sure.

Out of the attributes of story what is mine? I'm not sure I grasp the question. Perhaps you can tell me yours and I will understand how to tell you mine :)

m said...

oh those sorts of questions are too general. you are suppose to be doing what you are doing. I think we need to get a tad more specific.

the elements of story in exposition- place, character, conflict, who what when where why- man vs. man, man vs. place, man vs. nature/society... mine is a story about place- my feelings of belonging, alienation or possession of place- categorically.

Daniel Bruckner said...

Hmmmm, I don't know that I have a story. All I do it read and write. Man vs. the alphabet?