Can You Imagine?
For example, what the trees do
not only in lightening storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking. Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.
© Mary Oliver
Can you imagine beyond the words, into midrash? Can you imagine beyond Sabbath, into eternity? Can you imagine beyond law, into gospel? Can you imagine beyond what you think you know about God, into what you think you know about yourself?
And then, can you imagine, as Hafiz asks, begging Reason to come outside and play?
But trees can’t dance! I’m not like God! Flowers don’t bloom in winter! That’s just the way I was brought up! There’s nothing good comes out of Nazareth!
Close your eyes and discover the fields of color lying between the black and white boundaries to which you’ve confined yourself. Close your eyes and listen to the ten thousand songs being sung by your heart instead of the rules and regulations being recited and repeated by your intellect. Stop keeping God in that rough little box that is so awkward to carry around; take the lid and say this,
“Play with me, God. You’re it! Run with me! Beat you to that tree! Rock, Paper, Scissors- ha! I win! You wanna go to the store with me and get a Coke? Where do you live anyway? Oh, look at that dog..and those cats..and the birds up in the air! What’s your real name, God?”
Close your eyes, now. And listen for the answers..
© David Weber