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February 28, 2021

11 of 40

I dwell in Possibility —

A fairer House than Prose —

More numerous of Windows —

Superior — for Doors —

Of Chambers as the Cedars —

Impregnable of Eye —

And for an Everlasting Roof

The Gambrels of the Sky —

Of Visitors — the fairest —

For Occupation — This —

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise —

Emily Dickinson.

Words and homes. These are created by humans. Oh, the nest, the burrow, the ant hill or the cobweb are miracles, but they are only built by their builders. They were not designed by them. The same design follows through untold insects, birds, beavers.

Who designed them? And us?

Easiest to say no one. Things happen. Nothing to see here except surviving.

How do words help us to survive?

How does survival beyond the minimum give us reason for our collective exhaustion in this Year Of Lent? We have made truly great meals for two, had a fire and candles, music, even watched a movie on a screen. But it is just us. And we love each other, but we are just us. We are married, like the home and the words you see above, but without the world, something is lost in sequestration.

In all the screaming to make a place where we feel “safe”, I can say safety is inadequate. The nests and hives are homes, and they are beautiful to behold, but they are not beheld by their occupants and builders – they are made by the designer of the birds and the bees.

Our design, of words and homes and dinner, springs from the design of us. And we did not design ourselves. To say “intelligent design” belittles the designer of miracles. As Billions were forced to sniff the cup of mortality this year, we are freshly aware that each minute is a miracle, without explanation, let alone understanding.

When things like the home and the words above happen, they, too, spring from our design. The home is 10 years old, the words are 150 years old, and, well, they are the same to me. I am only intimate with one of them, but am in awe and love of the other.

Time binds. We will be through a mere year of extreme distortion, short of war, short of medieval plague, but we have been radically shaped,

But we are the same, because our design has not changed. We are virtually given life, we do not make it. We may build, cook, write, but those efforts are fully, completely, gifts.

The arcane, now seemingly silly Lent – when the whole world has experienced it for a year – does convey the silliness of us: God gave us everything, and we deny what we give ourselves to see God.

The denial is the joy of creation, whether we, or the world works to forget it, is folly. In the words, buildings and dinners those joys are from God, and, you would think connect us to something greater than ourselves. You would think.

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