“The thick darkness where God was”

This is what must first be given to the painting, a harmonious warmth, an abyss into which the eye sinks, a voiceless germination…
(Paul Cézanne)

How often is he shown with those horns of light,
as though his head were itself full
of the brightest luminescence and
two cracks, two holes
had formed inside his skull to let
escape all that light, kept
invisibly, impossibly, inside.

Yet for Rembrandt see
how darkness grabs the eye much more
than all the plainness of that face,
how even those two tablets seem
as black as all the dark to which
we’re told that he drew near, while all
of Israel stood just far enough
away to not be safe.

And when El Greco takes
the striking forms of Sinai as
his text, the darkness is
in every shadow-line beneath
the redness of the clouds, around
those rocky pillars, rising from
the chalky, sketchy ground.

Not darkness, but light, shone forth
from those two tablets when
the light-horned Moses brought them down.
Yet light like that we must squint to see.
When fear declares that only man
is safe, that we can’t bear to hear
the voice that struck the tablets’ side:
O let us step, like Moses, to
that darkness without human horns
where only in that absence
of human sight can all Your light
be ever fully seen.

Go!

FullSizeRender

               Go!
into the world
                  and find!
the overlays
                    that blind
your eyes from what surrounds.
                              Go out. Decide
the lens through which to see your world.
                                        Behind
your chosen screen
                      is light
that shines wherever you may walk.
                                   Be light.
The world has many interfaces;
                              see
the face before you. Look into
                                 the eye
of truth, the way, the life,
                for this
                            is life -
no interface, but face-to-face
                                and bright,
transforming knowledge.
                       (Nothing here can hide.)

20 Contemplations #20: Enlighten

All_Saints_I_1911
Wassily Kandinsky, “All Saints”

Arise, shine, for your light has come…
(Isaiah 60:1a)

Then the Glory opens up, and the exposition begins…after the sheaves of night, the spirals of anxiety, here the triumph of love and the tears of joy – all the passion of our arms around the Invisible!…
(Olivier Messiaen)

Do you see a star unlike the others?
Have you watched through the ages, longing to see
this revelation, this epiphany?
To some without eyes, the night smothers;
and now, true, it lurks behind covers
of dark. But others, it beckons vividly:
those who press on through the dark, finally
to see the Morning resting yet nonethe-
less glorious, soon to shine all its Day
on mankind, those once far and those once near…
The silence is over; the patience yawns
for the fruits of dawn in sparkling array.
Be still before Him, newborn sons of dawn,
transfigured together, history made clear.

 

2o Contemplations #17:

Silent Harmony Painting by Wassily Kandinsky; Silent Harmony Art Print for sale
Wassily Kandinsky, “Silent Harmony”

…the music seems to come out of the silence like the colors come out of the night…
(Olivier Messiaen)

After such a climax, what reflection?
Light refracts from His glory; sun and moon
bow. Let all mortal flesh keep silent. Soon,
very soon, we shall see His intention
erupt in purposed rapture. Explosion
of brightness dancing will colour His tune:
now mauve, now gold, now rose, now violet-bloom,
more radiant than mind’s widest conception.
So stop. Silence best befits a king
when all our lips are broken, our tongues split.
Let the Word be our only word. Let Light
illuminate the dark of our speaking.
What crowns we weave for Him can never fit;
all space dances around Him, bursting, bright.

 

Doxa

White though simple carries every colour.
Glory – small word – is manifold.
Break apart light and find prismatic wonder.
None of this has words.

What then? What sounds can be made to stir hearts?
The Word – singular yet many pleats,
Many rooms – beams and breathes from beginning.
How can we reveal?

We cannot. Only delight. The revealing is done
So revel, marvel. Stand back in amaze.
No tweet. In an instant, a gram of this can be lost
Yet Glory’s weight compels.

Throw off light and momentary. Minds explode with triune truth.
Saying is simple; sound has many ripples.
Light waves and darts and ruins categories.
Your first and only crime was to ignore true Glory.
Stop. Be blown away.

Christmas Candle: Christmas is Light

image

The day comes and goes: families meet; food’s eaten;
As tradition has it, rain comes at night.
What then? Police patrol the festive season;
Roads are blocked in case the Christmas sprite
Has rendered some of us unsafe to drive.
So wait. The moment passes, and too soon
The chance will leave as quick as it arrived.
Within the scheduled week there still is room,
Yet hearts congeal and work expands like gas
When holidays are done. No holy days?
Each moment hides deep grace; and though it pass
The pregnant hope of things will have its way.
Open eyes to see the swelling joy
Of light and life amidst our vacant noise.

Too Much Light 6: Prepare Your Crowns

Come,

let us

walk

in the light

of the

 

 

                        Lord:

the light is blinding   and

the days are long; the sun

confuses us, the bustle deafens.

 

Lord:

let us walk.

 

Let’s leave our cars, our homes, our days

and walk.

The Son has stories brighter than noon,

pavilions for the rising of the brightest morning,

and ways that feet must slow to learn.

 

But come.

Prepare your crowns, prepare

your heads to bow before

His crown.

 

Prepare the day, to slow, to greet

this child,

bright as Day.