Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the metamorphosis of Don Quixote

We must be ready dare to accept with joyful heart and without diminution, the foolishness of truth.
--Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Take a swath of velvet; keep the richness, depth, and mystery, but remove the softness.
Discard the docile nature of the malleable fabric.
Find a way to establish within the velvet the rigid strength of iron.
Retain the faint distant glimmer that appears when the fabric moves.
Now instead of a length of velvet in your hand, you are holding a corner of the night sky.
A December sky, terrifyingly pure.
Not a cloud dares to adulterate its stern cerulean glory during the day, and not even a hazy trace of nebulosity is visible between the crisp pin-points of light from infinitely distant suns.
The starlight is so sharp, if you could reach it, it would prick your fingertip.
A moon hangs in the sky, lazily, somehow untouched by the raw energy that flies through the air.
The cold electrifies each atom in the atmosphere, bringing it into more vivid life.
A life that hangs there, in the middle of the dark night air, frozen.
It's vivid life suspended in the cold as it awaits a thaw.

Two wanderers wander through the thick snowbanks.
The demure, fluffy snow of Christmas and cocoa and lovely gelid crystals is hidden under an formidable crust of ice.
Those who step lightly can walk over this carpet of ice, leaving only the tiniest impression where their foot has fallen.
The two wanderers step gingerly, tenderly; the vital motion of their step also suspended in the cold as they seek a stable spot to set their foot.
Laughter breaks the inertia of the hibernating wind.
A small gust rustles the pine needles on the trees, shaking the leafless branches of her deciduous neighbors.

Step-by-step, the two travelers wander through the world under the enchantment of the icy air and sparkling frozen ground.
It is on these silent nights, when there is no other sound than your heart pumping warm blood through your veins, your lungs turning the arctic oxygen into air of a breathable temperature, and your eyelids blinking, the gaze of any explorer turns inward.
Turns in on the turbulent landscape inside, away from the frozen desert of the tundra outside.
On these sorts of nights the inner world rises to the surface, a world that is usually covered by an impenetrable barrier, like the ice under your boots.
And there, the bracing cold strips the layers off your soul, exposing it, bare, to the elements.
In the radiant starlight, in the safety of the dark, you can examine your heart under a microscope, like a butterfly's wing.
From the light of the wintery sickle moon, you can see very plainly the hidden mysteries inside of yourself.
We are hardly experts at understanding ourselves; trekking through a frozen forest is simpler than navigating the confusing and mystifying labyrinth inside of us.

But, on clear nights like this velvet night, the haze of wine in our head evaporates into the dry air, and with it goes the flimsy bursts of passion.
Our tireless heart is warmed by our blood, and the colder corners of that organ are thawed into a quality resembling tenderness.
The velvet sky absorbs all the darkness, and what's left behind, if we will wake ourselves up a bit and brave the cold to see it is just one word.
One is enough.
Left behind, distilled and shining in the silver moonlight is our one simple word.
As it falls off of our lips, it harmonizes with the melody sung by the the wanderers above us in the vibrant, inky firmament.

Not only was darkness unable to defeat light; darkness never even understood the light. 
Here we are, twenty centuries later, and the darkness is as clueless as ever. All the great literature of the world, all the stories of self-surrender or self-risking which lift our heart and make us glad—darkness cannot understand them. 
--Rev. Victor Lee Austin, PhD

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