Even This Late It Happens

1.9.2022. An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB in “Stages of Faith: Illumination” in FIRST SIGHT (London: Continuum, 2011), pp. 61-62.
Winter leaves

Meditation reunites the pure beam of light that is fragmented by the prism of the ego. It leads to a new way of seeing, a way of perception that merges the daily practice of meditation with daily life and work, as an integrated way of faith. When we see something, as a child, for the first time we are amazed. The world is teeming with undiscovered wonders and we cannot understand why our elders seems so unimpressed. I was waiting once for my bags to appear on the carousel at an airport terminal. It seemed an interminable wait and I just wanted to get out into the fresh air. Then I noticed a small boy staring at the carousel with transfigured attention. When the light flashed and the bell rang to announce the bags his excitement escalated. When his own bags appeared he shouted the news to his father with an unbearable joy and wonder. I was just pleased my bags had not got lost again. Whoever loved that loved not at first sight? Whoever did not see the world for the first time and fall in love with it? But we gradually forget this first-sight thrill as life becomes routine and stress filters out the joy and wonder. But the first sight experience is recoverable at another level of perception. If it is not recovered, we fail to develop. Faith is the capacity to see again for the first time.

After meditation: “The Coming of Light” by Mark Strand in COLLECTED POEMS (New York: Knoph, 2014), p. 183.

The Coming of Light

Even this late it happens:

the coming of love, the coming of light.

You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,

stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,

sending up warm bouquets of air. 

Even this late the bones of the body shine

and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath. 

Image by Pasja1000, Pixabay

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