Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I mention leaves a lot in this one.

It's late, I have to work at 6am, and, as usual, I'm trying my best not to go to sleep. My mom said when I was a baby, I would literally slap myself to stay awake. I figured I couldn't sleep unless I blogged, so here it is. I could be reading my Bible or drinking a hot toddy or practicing my bgv's for Lauryn Peacock's CD release party in Philly, but here:

Lately, I've been taking walks and writing my scooter, both of which have made me a lot more aware of the world around me. I feel hot when it's hot. If something's wrong with your catalytic converter, I can smell it. Things that would normally just bounce off my windshield are now hitting me in the face-- like leaves, and wasps.

But lately, what I've noticed most are the trees. I've never given them much thought, except those awkward moments when I tried to be "inspired" and "earthy." This time, it just came naturally (pun intended). I finally understood why artists always painted landscapes: nature is the most perfect blend of spontaneity and form. No shape in nature is predictable. Every human being (or Canadian) knows the look of a leaf or a blade of grass, but no one can predict the shape of a cypress. Everything is built and shaped by slow growth, constant erosion, random accidents, eruptions, splatters, bones, wildfire. Trees knot. Badgers make holes. Leaves fall on the ground and curl up at the edges, surrounded by thousands of similar leaves, all uniquely bent and twisted. Cicadas scream their little heads off. The result is a multimedia presentation that we call "noise" and "underbrush." The end result is home.

This, apparently, is not enough. We know Home is eternal, so we invent our own eternity. We renovate our home and make up new absolutes-- like the Right Angle, the Perfect Circle, iambic pentameter, the "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-modulate-chorus-end" formula-- like we know what those should look like. But those things aren't native to our planet. God didn't make them. Maybe God's perfect circle is lopsided. Maybe all of Eternity is misshapen, and God says it is good. Maybe He says it in free verse.