Between God and Creation


“We may be in the universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning at all.” —William James

The Infinite a sudden Guest
Has been assumed to be —
But how can that stupendous come
Which never went away?
—Emily Dickinson

We grasp reality as moments: the purposeful flutter of a Canadian tiger swallowtail, red monarda to white lily, the house finch perched on a blue nepata stem, bobbing under the weight, picking at a marigold gone to seed, motion inside motion, scent of impending rain, sky darkening, chickadees descending in a flock, storm wind in grass, thunder.

In the garden, I remember, return to direct experience, looking, seeing past words: the flash of purple clematis hanging in heavy vines from the trellis in softly falling rain, golden calendula, day lily trumpets, no ideas.

It is good, I know, in the same way I know at a glance the geranium is red, in the strange togetherness of presence, the interpenetrating witness.