Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31: Trumpets of Praise, Peace in the Middle East, Acceptance and Love

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Emerson saw it.  "I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether, and I saw this world floating also not far off, but diminished to the size of an apple.  Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to me and said, 'This must thou eat.'  And I ate the world."  All of it.  All of it intricate, specked, gnawed, fringed, and free.  Israel's priests offered the wave breast and the heave shoulder together, freely, in full knowledge, for thanksgiving.  They waved, they heaved, and neither gesture was whole without the other, and both meant a wide-eyed and knee-eyed thanks.  Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, said the bell.  A sixteenth-century alchemist wrote of the philosopher's stone:  "One finds it in the open country, in the village and in the town.  It is in everything which God created.  Maids throw it on the street.  Children play with it."  The giant water bug ate the world.  And like Billy Bray I go my way, and my left foot says "Glory," and my right foot says "Amen":  in and out of Shadow Creek, upstream and down, exultant, in a daze, dancing, to the twin silver trumpets of praise.

I thought it was fitting to end the year of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek with its final paragraph, which is a beautiful call to praise and thanksgiving, to embracing all of the world's great, intricate, messy blessings.  And it's a fitting paragraph for New Year's Eve, when we all, hopefully, can offer up prayers of praise and thanksgiving for the closing year.

I will be ringing in 2017 as I do every year, with my family--eating pizza, playing board games, arguing, kibitzing, loving, and then eating some more.  Since January 1st falls on a Sunday this year, I will also be playing the organ for Mass this evening.  Another opportunity for praise and thanksgiving.

Tomorrow morning will dawn, cold and white.  Newness in the midst of oldness.  Of course, I hope for great things in the coming year.  Health and happiness.  Peace in the Middle East.  Impeachment of Donald Trump.  You know, the things that all good people hope for.  Sure, I want to lose weight.  Exercise more.  Publish more.  Be named the next Poet Laureate of the U. P.  All that would be good, as well.

But, above all, I think the prayer I will send up at the stroke of midnight this evening is for acceptance and love, which I think has been in short supply in the world--and especially in the United States--in 2016.

So, may all your lives be filled with unconditional love--Jew or Muslim or Christian or atheist or refugee or Democrat or Republican or gay or straight.  Peace and amen.

Please vote for Saint Marty (Martin Achatz):

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