Thursday, May 9, 2019

yo soy el pan de vida

Oh I'm very tired—
so is the man on the subway with the guzzy beard and flannel shirt, who stares at the fluorescent tube world through dulled eyes, through the glaze of a screen.

I see the psalms printed on the page through a lens of tears on a cloudy morning—February's chilly gloom seeping into May—a seasonal carbon monoxide leak.

I stare at the talking body across from me through the lens of

boredom—I compose an email I have to send.

anxiety—What time is it? Has my boss called? Will I have time to go to mass?

curiosity—what's happening behind his eyes? What's going on on the inside? The part of him where this internal dialogue is happening inside of me? The part that nobody shows, except in intimacy?

fear and hurt I map onto him, as part of a specific category of person that have nothing to do with him, particularly—does this man, too, watch pornography? What does he see when he looks at me? Does he see nothing more than a bra and breasts? Is he struggling not to imagine me naked? Is he seeing me as I see myself in the mirror? My eyes, my smile, the wrinkle between my eyebrows? Curiosity?

I fidget in a conference cage: how did I get here? I moan. Why am I not in a monastery?

Well, I figure this might as well be. Boredom, anxiety, curiosity, fear, hurt, listening to people you don't want to, and the pain of porn exist in monasteries as well as here.

This could very well be the monastery—the only change you need to make is that part inside of you that nobody sees, except in intimacy and in prayer.

I stare at the talking body across from me through the lens of

Christ—

This person, miraculously forming sounds to words to light—is Christ. I watch him with awe, with curiosity, and with gratitude. This is where I've been called to: listening to him speak here in this room, there is nowhere else to be. Here is Christ, in our meeting. And this is eternal life.



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