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March 13, 2023

17 of 40

A nearness to Tremendousness —
An Agony procures —
Affliction ranges Boundlessness —
Vicinity to Laws

Contentment’s quiet Suburb
Affliction cannot stay
In Acres — Its Location
Is Illocality —

Emily Dickinson

Some people watch the Oscars in search of “Tremendousness.” The staged importance centered on staged importance that stages life in the middle of life has irony. Like the Pritzker Prize in architecture or awards for literature, small groups confer value on the efforts of others.

Honors in sport have stats to justify them. Prizes in sciences honor huge achievements, defining just how huge a small group think they are.

I have lost hundreds of competitions where a small group determines my relative inadequacy. But I am entering three projects in two weeks in another competition, again, with low hope of anything being deemed better than the other entrants.

But I enter. Emily Dickinson published 10 poems, and she, like all who are published, see editors change what you had intended to share.

Because that is sharing.

What you do is not what others may think it is. The watchers of the Oscars take tiny efforts of a small group and turn them into soundbites of laud and derision. The winners have a “Tremendousness” they, somehow, did not have before they were focused upon.

I judged a competition a few decades ago, and an entrant was special to me. I pled my love to the other jurors and they were OK with it. It was the fifth, and last, time that project could be judged – and the first time that architect won anything. He has gone on to win scores more, probably more than I have.

Did that award make him?

No, no award makes anything, despite the laud. No rejection defines anything except a misfit. We are seen, or we are not seen.

But some watch the Oscars in search of “Tremendousness.”

Emily’s room was where she lived. The words from her were to end with her, they were to be burned. But they were not. Now they are ecstatic in revelation of the thoughts of one human. But not of the author. We do not, can not, know the sacred reality of creation.

We can try to build tabernacles of laud, we who do not do these things. But tabernacles are not valued in their creation but by those who had nothing to do with them, but simply experience them. And what they worship.

Like Emily’s words.

Like the few, fully macerated words that Jesus spoke. Said, remembered, recorded, translated, interpreted, retranslated, reinterpreted, and on. Beauty is just there. Some reveal it, others try to simulate it.

But things we create are just what we make. The things we reveal are from a larger place. “Tremendousness” that we cannot know, but can apprehend.

It is in the rituals like the Oscars, Emily’s words, the Bible, that humans try to capture what God has given us. Impossible, sad really, but it is all we have beyond love.

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