Yarrow (angelweed) wrote,

This is what I see

The world is sacred. This is not a comfort, just a truth: horror is as sacred as joy. The wasp who stings the spider and walls it up paralyzed is sacred; and her children who hatch and eat the spider still alive, carefully saving the vital organs until the end, they are sacred too. The Goddess, if she loves, loves unconditionally, and that is a fearsome thing.

Like the wasp, we are embedded in the struggle for life; but our struggle is not the wasp's. Not just to live, not just to reproduce, but to find perfection. For one, a world where evil is perfectly punished. For another, a heart where love is perfectly achieved.

Even for the wasp, there is no end to the search. For each spider, an egg; for each egg the search for another spider. How much more so for us, whose spiders never yield to the stinging. I have never loved perfectly, not once, not one human being, no cat or god or devil or tree. I have loved enough, some times, enough to be present for my loves, enough to treasure in memory, enough to know how much more there is to love than my poor heart can hold or theirs. Sometimes enough is enough; and sometimes the stretch between my love and perfect love is a howling hungry vacuum in my belly.

That hunger for perfection is treacherous: it would be so tempting to think I've found it. Most of us know we'll never find perfection in ourselves, nor in our beloveds, nor even in wisest ones and best of one generation; but surely the Ancients long ago were perfect, or the saints in Heaven to come. And if not them, then God, for God's sake, surely God Herself is perfect?

Maybe she's perfect and maybe she's not. She does love that damn wasp, after all. My own thought is that she is the wasp, and the spider, and you and me, humans and cats and cattle and other peoples, rocks and rivers and plants. That much is enough. Maybe she knows herself whole, in some way that we small ones cannot. That is so much more than enough that I can't speak it. Maybe she is even more than that; maybe impossible perfection is possible, for her.

She may be perfect, then. But I am not. To act on the basis of God's perfection is to act on a lie, on the pretense that an image I project from my imperfect heart is perfection itself.

Not to act is also a lie, for she is there, they are there, something is there, something to which we owe a duty.

There are two cases: the divine ones exist before us, and create us, and so we owe them the honor due our creators; or we exist before the divine, and create it from our desperate longing, and so we owe it the care due to a child. Or a third case: we and the Goddess create each other, and so we owe her the love and care due a friend.

It's too big, too big. Love and care for the Goddess? How much pain must she be in, who loves the spider and the wasp, who loves the fighters as they kill each other? She who loves in me my strength and striving and my carelessness and complacency and fear, she who loves every pain of every heart and every numbness too: what comfort can there be for her? And yet she laughs. She sees more beauty in a second of this world than I could add to it in all my life, but still she takes the gift I have to give.

So I will not cease from this crazy search for perfection, for all the danger of thinking I've found it. I will stumble and fall and laugh and swear and get up again, and look if I can with fresh eyes at this dreadful holy imperfect lovely world.

"It is not incumbent upon us to finish the task, but neither are we free to refrain from beginning it." -- Pirke Avot
Tags: the sacred

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