â€śthis deep dread . . . is a great gift from God for it is the precise point of our encounter with his fullness.â€ť â€”Thomas Merton
The old slough appears in this dream,mudded, shallow, and with leeches gatheredin the overhanging grass along the banks.The barricaded overpass floats forty feetabove the water, closed to buses, cars, and trucks.It seems the briefest fall to an observeron the shore. But new awareness comeswhen the plunge protracts, weightedlike the purple-orange air of the Grand Canyondusk murmured up its eastern wall.As I fall, time dissolves into something differentfrom eternity. I surrender to the dreadand to the peace of being and oblivion.Death is merely incidental in this dream.I watch my body as I feel bones crunchagainst the earth, and hear my breath pass out of meby a sort of mystical ventriloquy.Sprawled on spongy ground beside the overhanging grassas some vast something brushes past, dangerousand gentle, I wait with patience to be devouredor to be given second birth.
Sara Miles on Ash Wednesday in the streets, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson on the WCC and Pentecostals, Heidi Neumark on bedbugs at a pageant.
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