Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Wealth Redistribution by Hurricane

They were arguing about God and death on the radio today. "How could God...", fill in your own whichever worst case. This man, having overcome " his lifelong distrust of white people and setting his life on a new course..." may have only good to say about hurricane Katrina. Is he wrong? Will the cynics and race hustlers work to convince him otherwise? "How dare you think/feel that way! Would God kill hundreds of people, destroy thousands of homes just to bring you to Him?" Well, maybe He would. Though that presumption, and the question preceding has crashed greater minds than mine, going back to Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, and all the other Leagues of Religious Thinkers.

I have a little answer. God is larger than death. I don't share this very often, but I will with you two. I once had a small mystical experience. Lasted two minutes. I see it clear as rain. Right now, and anytime. I can see the street onto which I would have gone to my knees for the intense sense of the Sacredness of Everything, except that it would have attracted attention. Along with that sense of an The Intense Sacredness of Everything, immediately(!!) this thought: had I been in Aushwitz, being beaten to death, it would not have mattered. The Sacredness would have overwhelmed something as trivial as brutal violence.

And then it was gone.

No, I don't have that feeling anymore. It has not persisted. It came... and then it un-came. I can see the street, my Orange Toyota SRT-100 longbed pickup, the flashing theatre marquee, theatre-bulbs and neon yellow-orange, people on the sidewalks in my peripheral vision, all, atany moment I like. And recall what I heard, ...thought...felt. It is not something I believe, but, as Jung said, something I know. I know there is an overwhelming Sacredness to, in, of, for...Everything. Making trivial death, and suffering. Yet not really trivial. But then again, maybe. I do still feel it, in memory.

Suffering. He was joking, but Jung also said life is a disease with a very poor prognosis. It lingers on for years and eventually ends in death.

In his poem, Lapis Lazuli, Yeats wrote:

All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That's Ophelia, that Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.

More grimly funny, Brother Clint said, "Kid, we've all got it comin."

I have no answers about suffering. Dylan Thomas most memorable line is probably "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light", but he also called life "The race towards ruin I must run." (Hunt around the poetry link for those on your own. Yes, I'm making you suffer.)

The resdistribution of wealth in the country is because of suffering. Our countrymen are suffering. We want to help. We're Americans. Last syllable there, "I can." Some people are complaining. Some in D.C. are setting up for organized finger pointing. Non political of course. Unseemly otherwise while bodies lie unmourned in attics. Others go on TV with leaky boats. (Will Sean Penn be the next Skipper? Mr. Howell? He's not the Professor. Gilligan would have known about the drain plug. I suppose it leaves Mrs. Howell. I sidetrack.)

A lot of people are praying. ( No atheists in a flood? ) It is just the natural response. When we have donated to our capacity and need to do more, we pray. When we cannot give boats, only toothbrushes, prayer buoys us up, and, we hope, believe, maybe know, buoys up our fellow Mississippians, Louisianians and Alabamans. The South will rise again, but only after many more than three days. We, after all, are the hands and feet of God on earth. God is suffering from hurricane Katrina then...? Don't know. Wouldn't want to presume. The syllogism proclaims maybe. I'd pray on that one too. What else you gonna do but try talking back? The small quiet voice talking back to God. "God, I'm...we're in way over our heads here, literally. You still there?"

Silence. And that flashing movie marquee.

Yep, still there.

No comments: