an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

. . . . . . .


But I have not been exacting enough. It makes little sense to speak of "religion" or of "Christianity" now or in Wordsworth's 19th century or in rural Arizona or in less rural Illinois, if you don't understand I am sorting personal sheep from goats, so to speak. --Not one Christianity from another, not nondenominational Evangelical Pentecostalism (in which already the internal complexities and tensions make sorting an impossible task, even within a single church community) from monastic Catholicism, but whatever it was that made the ten-year old mind shut down and off in such a way that I would allow it to make judgments for me long into adulthood, now.

Most of those judgments are distorted and informed by what the adult surely knows from having been 10, 12, 14, years old and drowning in a Jesus who was everybody's invisible personal friend and a Lord God who ruled with impetuous wrath. The ten year-old was a literalist surrounded by literalists: there was no reconciliation available, no possible way to choose belief in anything without first putting it to a skeptical litmus test in which most things under scrutiny will literally dissolve.

So, there is a little bit of irony in the fact that without the capacity to think figuratively, in me as well as in my community--without the poetry in the experience--I hadn't the ability to see beyond the strictest contradictory letters of the law nor the ability to feel anything but traumatized by it. It's only the poetry in it that begins to make faith possible; but it is also the poetry in it that insinuates it might only be a beautiful dream.

You see poetry is itself superstitious.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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