Whatever had happened, it reinforced his feelings that a God existed . . . and yet? Weighing the possible meaning of what he had experienced that Christmas season [he had his mystical vision], he believed that he had been privy to the inner workings of God. He was not crazy and had not come easily to that conclusion, his route having been circuitous and riddled with doubts and terrifying thoughts . . .
Ives struggles with his mystical vision of colored winds above Madison Avenue and the sun spinning in the heavens. Sometimes he doubts he even experienced it. He questions his sanity, searches for answers in books and religious tracts and spiritual presentations. In the end, he comes to the belief that whatever he saw was a glimpse of the divine machinery of the universe. A God's-eye-view of humanity.
As you can tell by last night's posts, I struggle a lot with doubts and fears and worries. When I should feel confident and calm as a believer, I don't. I take the other route. I question, get angry, and doubt. It's a matter of control. I want to be in control of my life, to avoid dangers and catastrophes. And God has this irritating habit of throwing deer in the path of my car (sometimes literally), just to remind me Who's in charge.
Somehow, I have survived every crisis in my life so far, not because of anything I've done. I contemplated suicide one night, and I saw the morning. I was at the brink of a divorce, and love reasserted itself. My wife suffered a pulmonary embolism after our son's birth, and she survived. I was forced out of a job I'd held for close to 15 years, and I found another job.
Yet, I still panic in the face of great adversity. Instead of turning to prayer and meditation, I turn to brooding and Cheetos. I have had over twelve hours to recover from yesterday evening's little surprise in the mail. I have gained perspective. Taken some deep breaths.
I still have a whopping bill to pay, but now it doesn't seem like an insurmountable obstacle. It's a pretty steep climb, but, eventually, I will reach the summit. I just needed to remind myself of the inner workings of God.
Saint Marty knows God's check is in the mail. Metaphorically, of course. Although he wouldn't turn down a little monetary miracle.
by: Gregory Pardlo
It belongs to the guy who used to cut
our lawn and has become by now my math tutor,
my sitter, my ersatz uncle--I call him Chief.
A sometime grad student and sometime sub
at Levitt Junior High. He seems to be polishing it, flaring
the angles of his stroke. He webs the table with his
mind's dotted lines. Beneath the Old Milwaukee
Tiffany Lamp it smells of Thai stick and talcum.
Its felt as green as fresco hills spins English clean off the cue.
He strings together combinations hinged and whimsical
like flinty syllables playing with emphasis and breath
as he lectures me on the errorless vectors, velocity.
The spheres vanish like field mice as he runs the table
then lances one of the smoke rings shimmying like jellyfish
toward the dropped ceiling's popcorn panels
in his father's basement. He hikes himself up on
the rail, and sparks the dimming ember of his spliff
while I corral a spectrum in the field
of my embrace, arrange a bouquet of solids, stripes, each
numbered iris for Chief again to scatter the fragments
before my eyes like asteroids in an arcade game.
He claps a cloud of powder while he calls the four cross-
side, and then he calls me Grasshopper, tells me soon
I'm going to grasp all this like a pebble from his hand.
Confessions of Saint Marty