Monday, January 05, 2009

Cones, Pinpricks, and Ripples

Ah. A bit of quiet in the morning hour. The struggle to turn these lazy habits of vacation and partying around. Inching back the hand on the alarm clock bit by bit. I love it. Tomorrow will be a half hour earlier still until I'm back in my 5am "rise and shine" groove. At this rate I'll get there by Thursday. Coddling myself, I suppose. But I learned some time ago that I'm better off taking it slow and succeeding than biting off more than I can chew. So half hour increments for me.

And I find myself in yet another spot in the house. Every season seems to find me relocating to some different nook. Last winter it was the family room. Spring found me in the dining room. Summer leads me outdoors to my porch. And the early mornings of the fall/Christmas season found me in the sitting room. Today? Here I sit, curled up on my salmon colored loveseat in the corner of my music room. I like it. Guess my sanguine tendencies are showing, eh?

I'm reading a book called Brothers and Keepers by John Wideman. I can't recommend it to everyone. The language is rough, nitty-gritty, streetwise, telling of places and cultures unfamiliar to me. Not pretty. But I'm catching a glimpse of life in a different place, yet right around the corner. And as usual, I'm finding that Jesus is the only answer. It seems that in every place, at all times, whether I'm discovering history or exploring a new friendship, Jesus is always relevant, needed, and true.

Here's an excerpt from this book, the authors meditation on heritage. Where do we come from, how did we get here? Who in the world could have mastered such a plan? I know -- do you?

The strong survive. The ones who are strong and lucky. You can take that back as far as you want to go. Everybody needs one father, two grandfathers, four great grandfathers, eight great-great-grandfathers, sixteen great-great-great-grandfathers, then thirty-two, then sixty-for, and that's only eight generations backward in time, eight generations linked directly, intimately with what you are. Less than 150 years ago, 128 men made love to 128 women, not all in the same hotel or on the same day but within a relatively short expanse of time, say 20 years, in places as distant as Igboland, New Amsterdam, and South Carolina. Unknown to each other, probably never even coming face to face in their lifetimes, each of these couples was part of the grand conspiracy to produce you. Think of a pyramid placed on one of its points, a vast cone of light whose sides flare outward, vectors of force like the slanted lines kids draw to show a star's shining. You once were a pinprick of light, a spark whose radiance momentarily upheld the design, stabalized the ever-expanding V that opens to infinity. At some inconceivable distance the light bends, curves back on itself like a ram's horn or conch shell, spiraling towards its greatest compass but simultaneously narrowing to that needle's eye it must enter in order to flow forth bounteously again. You hovered at that nexus, took your turn through that open door.

Pretty amazing stuff to contemplate. Could leave your head swimming or your mind reeling or your emotions confused and overwhelmed. For me, it leads to Christ. He created me. And my part in future generations is His plan, my privilege -- and something I need to take seriously. I do believe I will answer for my impact on this generation and the next. And the next as well. The ripples will continue long after I'm gone, the inverted pyramid growing larger. May grace and mercy, holiness and truth, love and justice mingle in the circles I leave behind; may Godly substance fill that continuous cone of light.


Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

love your writing!
you have much to say.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your writing as well Darlene. I'm praying for you during this time of vocal silence. Modern technology is great at times, especially like this, isn't it? Love you lots.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Author !
In my opinion it is very interesting theme. Give with you we will communicate in PM.

6:01 AM  

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