Sky, People, Road


Driving home around the edge of the city, I balance these three at once...the sky at sunset, the cityscape ahead, and the lane I'm driving in. I’m aware that most of life is this, holding the three together and allowing what I understand of them to shape my course.

The fantastical cloud formations out here in the midwest remind me that transcendent moments are here for those who want them, and helpful, and I do believe in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. In beauty that can’t be contained or quantified. In reality that is marvelous within the scope of our comprehension and without. In mystery that invites us in and opens us up.

Land, water, sky.

Daffodils, low tide, black holes.

The universe, mammoth and outward-moving, swallows my small self and her ambitions and concerns. We are unique, and also...there's nothing new under the sun. My life makes its mark and is absorbed.

And still we keep wanting to make that mark, don't we? However temporary, because we can’t shake the sense that Love expands our experience of time into something eternal.

"Eternity in a grain of sand." That makes all the sense in the world to me.

But front and center are the ones we love, the structures we inhabit, and the communities into which we gather ourselves. I love my people. I love them so much I think I might split in two.  Always and ever in my line of sight.

Friends and strangers.

You can hardly find 10 square feet on earth not filled with the songs of our aspirations, expectations, disappointment, celebration, worship, doubt, our hilarity. Can you imagine hovering just beyond our atmosphere and waving a microphone slowly over the earth, like Ed Sheeran enjoying the sing-along voices of his audience? 

I hear Dr. Seuss saying, “Oh, the voices you’ll hear!” Oh, the stories. Oh, the anguish. Oh, the laughter.

And now and then, silence.

But here I am. On this particular road beneath the whirring wheels of my car. I might see as far as I want to see, but I’m still very much right here on the edge of Nashville at this precise moment, heading in the direction of a small brick ranch on the east side. I’m mappable.  And so are you, wherever you are. Planted. Rooted, or trying to be.

We're obligated to make a choice and take a next turn. Live the one life we've got. Obligated might be too strong. Privileged?

The sky becomes a gift not by giving us an excuse to escape and stay gone. Its good is in giving us a sense of awe, perspective, and humility. In teaching us to pay attention--here on this very unfiltered piece of earth. It's the artist's job and the universal privilege of all of us humans.

I'm thinking aloud. I'm not sure what it all means. I guess I'm just still looking for how to best hold this one life, all the parts of it, together, and not let my vision be obscured by worthless things.

I'm trying to find my way to make something of my road that connects with people and points us to the sky, and back.