And yet here I’ve been invited to contribute to the Babelsphere and further disturb the peace—only allow me, please, not “posts,” but meditations. Musings made in the wee hours, between two and four in the morning, daily for a week.
Seven days: but what is “seven” and what are “days”? Already I’m a subject of the sun, the moon, the currents of creation.
Seven meditations on creation, then. Let them begin.
My theme is creation. “In the beginning was the word” isn’t Genesis, it’s John. “In the beginning,” writes the poet Moses, “God said, ‘Let there be light.’” Well, after all, what good is the word if it’s too damn dark to read?
So here I sit in a pool of it at my kitchen table, five 60W 12V Westinghouse bulbs marked CHINA, made less glaring by the grace of a dimmer in the switch. Seven feet away, on the other side of the window glass, the night’s black ink spills for a thousand miles, ten thousand, a billion. I write in light, my laptop my Lite-Brite. Up a little comes the mind’s heavy curtain. It is impossible not to feel holy and uncertain.
Yesterday my wife says she read some report: six in ten kids say they don’t believe the earth will be around by the time they reach adulthood.
What a failure of imagination is this. Or worse. A failure of discipline.
Not theirs, of course, but ours. What a great noisy doom-saying din we’ve raised for our children, and what has the doing undone? We have become so literal, so scientific, and so prescriptive about what we tell children that we’ve effectively rid the world of wonder. A child must love the world in order to want to save it.
I have two kids myself, one nine, one a month from seven. They go to a Waldorf school where computers aren’t allowed in the classroom. And what’s wrong with that? The poem, too, is a low-tech education.
A poem—and maybe a life—is good if the gleam of creation can be seen in its light.
And by now already my inner dimmer is calling me to bed.