I am a little exhausted at the moment. I had little time to relax (unless you count dozing off in the auditorium during dance rehearsals). Five days of work await me. I have a feeling that it's going to be a very long week. My only consolation is that tomorrow will be a relatively quiet day at my new job, and I will be working by myself. Solitude.
Tonight, however, I will be watching the Tony Awards to see Lin-Manuel Miranda take home a boatload of prizes for Hamilton. And I will be eating Scoop Fritos and cheese dip (it's sort of a tradition for me). It will be a good night, full of people breaking into spontaneous songs on television.
The episode of Classic Saint Marty I have chosen to share today is only about a year old. It was written during a time when there was still hope for my sister's recovery from brain lymphoma. In fact, I don't think she'd received that diagnosis yet. I was thinking a lot about miracles at the time and the need for them in my life.
June 16, 2015: Weeping Building, Miracles, Sally Wen Mao, "Monstera Deliciosa"
In one slip of a second, anything seemed possible--had the moon risen and started to sing, had pyramids appeared over the Chrysler building weeping, Ives would have been no more surprised.
Ives has just had a near death experience. As he walks the streets of Manhattan, he starts having visions of God's goodness. Four colored winds spinning in the sky. The sun, glowing red and huge. Car horns sounding like celestial trumpets. As the above passage says, anything seems possible.
I've been contemplating miracles recently. Ives thinks of his near-death experiences as some kind of divine vision granted to him. I'm not so sure that's accurate. I think most people go through their days with blinders on. Ives' blinders have simply been removed for a little while. He's seeing the world from a God's-eye-view.
I think I'm a lot like the blindered Ives. Driving to work, talking to patients, eating lunch, walking to my car at the end of the day, I probably miss more miracles than contained in the gospels. For instance, near the medical center where I work, there's a bike path in the woods. I know there are albino deer in that forest. One night, as I was leaving the university after teaching an evening class, I drove by a cemetery. Near the cemetery fence was a family of deer. When the headlights of my car spotlighted them, the deer leaped into the darkness, hurdling headstones and hedges like souls racing to heaven.
Everyday miracles. I need to open my eyes and look around more often. Maybe I'll see the moon singing or the university clock tower weeping. Who knows? The whole world is full of wonder. Sure, I'm sort of stuck in a swamp of worry right now. But I know that my very existence--my lungs' habit of breathing, my heart's habit of beating, my pores' habit of sweating--all of the things that keep me alive are impossible miracles of creation.
Sally Wen Mao's poem for tonight is about one of those miracles of nature that most people don't even stop to notice.
Saint Marty is taking some time tonight to give thanks for miracles.
by: Sally Wen Mao
I'm a monster because I poison the children.
They dance around me and my fronds flutter
with holes. They invite: Eat my fanged fruit.
Each scale will peel off easy, but if you eat it
unripe, it will steal your voice. Your gums
will blister little stars. You'll vomit, swell, tremble.
When ripe, it is sublime. Better than banana,
soft mango, sweeter than wild yellow rambutan
coated in syrup. It only takes one year. Bite.