Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
The mountain peaks of journeys make me stare life in the face. Specifically, climbing down from the top.
If love, giving love, is what makes my heart break, then it is because of the wrecking before it. The heartache tinges the joy, sharpens the contrast like a knife. Leaving Community is what makes moving hard, because it tastes like Home. Leaving means staring the world in the face again, looking at hollow eyes and the ugly bruised scars tracing every man’s heel.
As the sparks fly, people stumble and fall. Dust, dust, shattering at blows and whirling out of reach to try and drown the sunlight. We swipe at it, brush it back, and it is true: clay cannot hold us, bind us, but things are not as they will be. Mud sucks at our heels. Dirt coats our weary, beaten feet; it runs in our beings like catacombs because this is a life running itself ragged, tearing itself muscle from muscle in an escape attempt into the arms of a glinting, madman grip.
We stare it in the face.
You make my heart break
You make my heart break, Love
Love is what makes my heart break, because being loved is so much bigger. It’s a torrential thunderstorm, drenching every pore, dripping down until it fills every single fingertip. It is the eye of the hurricane I can step into, instead of staring into the eyes of every wrecked life i don’t have the power to fix.
Being loved that deeply means that you’re seen, every layer and facet of your personality. There is no ability to make an excuse, no grounds for argument when you look at a love so large even the stars are swallowed in its depths.
There is no running from the earth your feet touch, or the stardust above our heads. Matter is something real, tangible, present. It is a broken record echo, far larger than our tiny hands, tiny eyes, large struggles.
are you myth?
are you legend?
have you come here straight from heaven?
if ashes are too much,
please return me dust to dust
-eric peters, dust to dust
We shake our fists in the night, in the dust storms, because we cannot see with invisible eyes. We see bone and flesh, not soul and mind, and try to capture motes spinning in a beam of sunlight as we cling to a similar-sized speck. The big picture is being woven far above our heads, and sometimes we are too small to glimpse it. And sometimes even the contrasts fade into a coating of grey Florida sand sweeping the parking lots and your feet.
Sometimes the size of cathedral beams and the night sky are too large, too diminishing. Large-scale seems less personal, because it inspires thunder-struck gazes. But dust was not first a grave for men, and it will not remain a grave.
Because that thunderstorm above the tapestry, furious and driving water across the glassy threads in crystalline waves, that thunderstorm set foot on the planet. Love that large, that unheard of, smiled at broken chunks of dust and stepped foot on this planet, in the tiniest form possible to meet us. (He had made details an extravagance before: take snowflakes, for instance.) And those dust flecks floating around in the dim haze of the early morning, like lost-along sparks in an airy sea, were struck by a shaft of light.
The sunrise has come, and the mountain tops and floating dust motes have the same light sharpening their edges.
And we dream in the night
Of a king and a kingdom
Where joy writes the songs
And the innocent sing them
For Further Reading
The Tapestry of Life – A. Andrew Joyce
Storm on the Mountain – Sarah Clarkson
Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl – N. D. Wilson
Flickering Lights – me
Loving Too Much – C. S. Lewis
To the Heart Through A Wound – Russ Ramsey