. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


27 March 2001

Miranda Envisioned

My dear friend Patty (aka Lumi) has bestowed one of the greatest honors on my literary self: she's going to create a painting of Of Cities and Deserts for a final project at the damn expensive school. I've seen a preliminary sketch that blew me away. Her vision of Miranda, though not technically accurate to the real Miranda, is accurate in a deeper sense, accurate in a way my memory could not be; the focus of her eyes, the subtle curve of her mouth and lips, her red hair and slightly aggressive eyebrows... it's as though she knew her without ever seeing her, she knows who Miranda is. And, I guess, when this painting's done, I'll see Miranda, in a very real way, for the first time.

a thousand miles

I could feel the irrational fear in my hands. It radiated from the monitor and through my arms, I began reflecting it, I began getting carried away by it. The fear pooled in three places, chest, stomach, and hands. My chest grew cloudy, cotton-packed; my stomach grew empty, vast and vacant; and in my hands the fear pooled and rattled, it shook violently like a criminal at a dead end: my hands could not release the fear pent up inside them. At 85 Hz, the monitor conveyed the message: You're no longer a safe zone, I'm going to go away, and I felt helpless to stop it. I had made a mistake that I couldn't begin to understand.

I know some of these things she said were said to hurt me, and hurt me they did... and I wanted to run away just as much. What value am I when I'm only a disappointment, when the words I say push her in the direction away from palliation? I was in the first stretch of the week-long day, and all I could feel was each and every one of the thousand miles between us, a measurable thing, it might have well been ten thousand, a million. But the unexpected thing happened: later that night she said she was sorry. In that moment, I reviewed how many times someone has apologized for hurting me, or, more precisely, how few times that has happened, and though the ache was still echoing through my hands and chest, I really felt better, and cared for.

She says "I will only hurt you." I say "I will only disappoint you." What if we're both right?

anonymous blessings

I talked with Jojo and Eddie into the small hours of Sunday morning, partly about the beautiful one, partly about God. At some point, Eddie bowed out for stamina reasons, needing to go home and sleep, and this left Jo and I to converse more on the second point. Who is God to me, and who had God been to me? His presence, I've noticed, can be overwhelming, an unmistakable connection to the transcendent, the numinous. But more often than not, I receive his blessings, day-to-day, in a small box on my doorstep, unsigned and addressed to "Occupant."

Is this the personal God who carries me when my legs give out? Is that even who God is? I have no doubt in my mind that He exists; I've heard his voice in the music I hear and play, I've seen His face before me when looking at a sunset through my dark-rose colored glasses. I've even seen Him in the fearsome math of my Astrophysical studies. He is certainly there.

Most days, I open the door, afraid that no box of new blessings awaits me, and most days I'm right. But one of those few other days, I opened it and saw a gem from a thousand miles away, return-addressed "The Almighty" and delivered to "Timothy A. Clark." Jojo and Eddie asked if I brought God into the situation (I wracked my brain and could find no better word.. friendship? something more than that... relationship? no, we've agreed it stops short of that.). My answer was a straight-faced "No." But I've thought about it more since then, and realize that it was God that has given me this blessing, this strain, this fear and this love.

Returning to the metaphor, I wonder why so many of these gifts I have (friends, loves, skills, situations) seem to arrive in unmarked boxes, unsigned and addressed to "Occupant." God is certainly there, but is he here?

musings of señor prod.

Doing the things The Revolution can.

03.23.01: The Experience Began on the Web, after a 40-hour day rife with unconfigured servers, last-minute changes (the 800-pound-gorilla effect), and the coup de grace, a URL change at 11am on 3/23 itself.


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-