Wed 2024-Apr-03

A Sacred Moment

Tagged: Beauty / MeaCulpa / Obscurantism / Religion / TheDivineMadness

Today I experienced a sacred moment. Do you want to know more (homage à John Varley’s “Press Enter”)?

A What Moment?

Yes, I am religious. (No, I won’t be in your face about it. Nor will I think less of you for feeling otherwise. You also are sacred, just as you are. It’s really, really ok if you disagree with me here.)

But… it’s a thing about me you need to understand if you want to understand me. (Though it’s perfectly reasonable and good if you don’t want to understand me. You’re still sacred.) (Hey… sincere question: is it weird when I have more things to say parenthetically than ex-parenthtically? I’m ok with weird, I just wanna know. It’s really how I experience thinking; I just ordinarily edit it out.)

This morning, as I was ensconced in my study engaged in the now-customary universal doom-scrolling, I happened to glance out the window. Yes, it’s always dangerous to engage with the world. No, none of us ever learn not to do that. It’s a thing:

“… there is a law written in the darkest of the Books of Life, and it is this: If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are [Pg 24] in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, p. 23-24.

I saw a harmless, beautiful thing: a couple, neighbors whom I love, walked up the street with their warm winter clothes and their very, very happy dog. (No, I didn’t take a picture. Yes, it would have made a better blog post… but it would have violated their privacy.)

It brought actual tears to my eyes:

  • They were, in extraordinary times, engaged relentlessly in ordinary life.
  • Their “ordinary” life was anything but morally ordinary: they were companionable, kind, and just… something one can expect as a part of being.
    • My personal vision of a perfect world is one where it’s reasonable to expect kindness as an ordinary condition of life.
  • They were together. They were happy. (Especially the dog. But the dog counts, too.)

This is what matters to me about religion. A numinous moment broke through into my quotidian world.

I witnessed a holy thing.

The Weekend Conclusion

It’s important to pay attention to the world. Otherwise we might miss the sacred, dangerous as it is (as Chesterton warned us, not at all parenthetically).

And of course, as always: Ceterum censeo, Trump incarcerandam esse.

Notes & References


Published Wed 2024-Apr-03

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