A recent survey . . . showed how extreme our modern individualism and alienation are becoming. It showed how different individualism is from individuation—isolation from finding our true self, being in the crowd from being in community. [ . . .] Community is a place of trust—we know we are in it together. In the crowd, we compete, we threaten, and we trust no one. Crowds breed misery. When we are isolated and frightened, we are too scared to step outside of the pool of artificial light into the dark majesty which glows with the whole reality of life and meaning. The bigger our cities, the more lights we burn at night—lights that are visible to astronauts but which keep us in the dark. [ . . .] For us today, enmeshed in the addictive processes of consumer culture and blinded by materialist goals, meditation allows us the space to grow and the silence to hear who God is telling us we truly are. Once this call is heard, our own history of salvation and enlightenment has begun.
After meditation: “High Desert: New Mexico” by Kim Addonizio in NOW WE’RE GETTING SOMEWHERE (New York: Norton, 2021) p. 12.v
High Desert, New Mexico
Temple of the rattlesnake’s religion.
Deluge and heat surge. Creche of the atom’s
Rupture. Night blackens like a violin
and bright flour falls from the kitchens of heaven.
This is where the seams begin to loosen,
where you can walk for miles in any direction—
rabbit, lizard, raven, insect drone—
and almost forget the shame of being human.
Smoke tree. Sage. Not everything is broken.
Horses appear at this remote cabin
to stand outside and wait for you to come
with a single apple. Abandon
your despair, you who enter here forsaken.
The wind is saying something. Listen.