Anything can happen; any pattern of speckles may appear in a world ceaselessly bawling with newness. I see red blood stream in shimmering dots inside a goldfish's tail; I see the stout, extensible lip of a dragonfly nymph that can pierce and clasp a goldfish; and I see the clotted snarls of bright algae that snare and starve the nymph. I see engorged, motionless ants regurgitate pap to a colony of pawing workers, and I see sharks limned in light twist in a raised and emerald wave.
It's a paragraph about miracles, about the infinite possibilities that exist in the universe. Everything is full of wonder, from a tiny drop of blood in the tail of a fish to a curl of an ocean wave swarmed with shark shadow. Dillard seems to encounter grace in the very dust bunnies beneath her bed. I can imagine her writing about the skin and dirt and dust that tumbleweed together in the shadows under her box spring to make those creatures of neglect.
I am trying to see wonder tonight. I have placed myself in a situation for the next few days that makes me uncomfortable. I've compromised, and I'm not sure it was a good compromise. But I'm stuck and can do nothing to change the course of my weekend. Thus, I'm on the hunt for grace and wonder.
The closest I can come tonight is a planned vacation that I will be taking in about two weeks. It's just going to be a long weekend at a resort in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It's a large complex with restaurants and a water park. In the evenings, there's usually campfires and performers (magicians and jugglers and artists). I've been down there once or twice before. It's beautiful and disconnected from all of the dust bunnies of my life. I suppose there's grace and wonder in that.
I also have not had one argument with my daughter this evening. That's not grace. That's a bona fide miracle on par with the raising of Lazarus or the feeding of the multitudes with the loaves and fishes. There were no screaming matches between her and her seven-year-old brother, and she has not once made me feel like the dictator of a small, Eastern European country. Blessing and grace and wonder in all of that.
The neighbors are setting off fireworks right now. Leftovers from the Fourth of July perhaps. I hear hissing and crackling, followed by steady concussions. Boom. Boom. Boom. Sssssss. Boom. Boom. Sssss. Darkness is falling. There's a beer in the fridge. A leftover from when my book club met last week. Perhaps I will crack that open after I'm done with this post. Grace in leftovers.
Saint Marty will take grace any way he can.