rosary & ashes – a flicker of doubt

hiding – unmasked under an avalanche of progress there was no saving the unsaved. until now it had escaped me, this mystery built within effervescent dreams. who was the dictator. who was the builder. a question mark fails to be for this isn’t about that, or this, it has to do with these blank verse visits that permeate a pinhole and bloom beautiful. cut thorns from those bandages. it was a green cargo box filled with dirt that promised salvation. thinking back, whose voice was it that kept me running.

Don’t ask…I’ve really no idea other than it is a snippet into a dream that kept me entertained sometime during sleep. It had escaped memory until I was reading Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality, just a bit ago. Curious, reading chapter 2, his thoughts on cancer and the futility of faith, and this dream resurfaces between lines regarding blasphemy and prayer (left hand of the page). Then it disappeared. Turn the page, it came back again, green plastic box – perhaps a cargo hold – hiding on the inside.

Hitchens, whom we all know has since left this life, was of a brilliant mind. His book chronicles without apology his bold refusal to die quietly under the comfort of a god’s blessing. He has me laughing. He has me crying. He has me remembering a sweet man whom could have written these matter-of-fact pages in the face of cancer’s spreading hand. He and I sparred religion until the bitter end. Funny how I’ve come full circle, no longer believing in written salvation. Sadly, he is not here to tell me how it all ends.

Pacing a surgery room recently – a Catholic, an atheist, a waffler, and a brother without declaration – we hashed the purpose of prayer. Poor souls seeking solace around us, no words were minced as I declared that there was no purpose of prayer if this life’s death is mapped before conception. Brother decried, “why, you’re a Calvinist!” Is that it, I thought it was an original thought of a realist…

Tonight, east winds howl through cheap windows as pinks start to add contrast. No matter how many times a match strikes, the flame fails to ignite insides. Somewhere there is another room with a window that explores a visage painted in black, illuminated in white. Someday it may open. I wonder if it will before midnight’s rosary and ashes meet. 

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  1. Poor souls seeking solace around us, no words were minced as I declared that there was no purpose of prayer if this life’s death is mapped before conception. Brother decried, “why, you’re a Calvinist!” Is that it, I thought it was an original thought of a realist…

    Don’t understand. Calvinist would say prayer in spite of this mapping, in spite that the Elect may be finite, in spite we do not change God’s mind through prayer.

    • Yes, the Calvinist did as well as Rome (from my Very base understanding) when it came to prayers for sale… My brother was just implying that I sounded like a Calvinist regarding my waxing poetic that there was no need to bother with prayer to save you from death since death was already inscribed in invisible ink across your forehead. Needless to say, my very Catholic mother was not amused! (esp, since we were waiting for my father to get out of surgery)

  2. I agree, prayer against fate is pointless towards changing the outcome; at best it augments the mind/spirit. The question that remains, then, is not one of assuaging death or circumstances but how to face them. If you are still alive then that’s a good start, now.

    Hope your father is recovering well!

  3. Nineteenfifteen

     /  2012/10/14

    “The Denial of Death” By Ernest Becker,

    -“This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression- and with all this yet to die”

    -“What man needs most is to feel secure in his self-esteem. But man is not just a blind glob of idling protoplasm, but a creature with a name who lives in a world of symbols and dreams and not merely matter. His sense of self-worth is constituted symbolically, his cherished narcissism feeds on symbols, on an abstract idea of his own worth, an idea composed of sounds, words, and images, in the air, in the mind, on paper. And this means that man’s natural yearning for organismic activity, the pleasures of incorporation and expansion, can be fed limitlessly in the domain of symbols and so into immortality. The single organism can expand into dimensions of worlds and times without moving a physical limb; it can take eternity into itself even as it gaspingly dies. In childhood we see the struggle for self-esteem at its least disguised. The child is unashamed about what he needs and wants most. His whole organism shouts the claims of his natural narcissism. And this claim can make childhood hellish for the adults concerned, especially when there are several children competing at once for the prerogatives of limitless self-extension, what we might call “cosmic significance.” The term is not meant to be taken lightly, it is too all-absorbing and relentless to be an aberration, it expresses the heart of the creature: the desire to stand out, to be the one in creation. When you combine natural narcissism with the basic need for self-esteem, you create a creature who has to feel himself an object of primary value: first in the universe, representing in himself all of life”


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