So I bet we’ve all had these moments, moments where you are so present, so focused, that everything else sort of blurs. I know that I’ve had a few, some were amazing experiences, some I’d never want to experience again.
I remember when I was in the actual pushing faze, giving birth to Birdie. All I could see was the clock high up on the wall in front of me, all I could hear was the whoosh in my ears as my heart pounded. The delivery doctor took Case aside after and apologized for being “so mean” to me, he told him he knew I was one of those people who just needed to be really pissed off to get the job done. In a way that is correct, but I don’t remember.
There was the time I rolled my poor Tahoe with my girls in the backseat. The rear end broke loose and she started to fish tail. I swear to you I fought that vehicle for almost a half mile. And there was transcendence then. I was only dimly aware of oncoming headlights, of my children in the backseat begging me to make it stop, of The Band Perry wailing. I’d walk through fire for you, walk through barbed wire for you, I’d walk miles its true, just to be with you… and then it all sort of went dark and the next second there were my children, some insane nightmare of Alice in Wonderland, hanging upside down in the backseat, hair streaming down, totally silent while the sky lightened all around us and I blinked glass out of my eyes and the sleet continued to fall.
Last Saturday the West Michigan Diocese consecrated our ninth bishop. Let me tell you, that was a long day. Heels were not appropriate footwear, man, even my underwear were wrong and travelling all over the place; constantly being yanked into shape when no one (hopefully) was looking. And yet. I robed. I got in line. I then filed into Van Noord Arena and looked about me. On every side there were robes, robes and more robes. More than 150 robes to be exact. Now I’ve listened to the first piece that we sang over and over since it was announced that it would be part of the service. “I was glad” by Charles Parry (see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8GJ2CWjQSc) was used during the coronation service of Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her 86.2 flower girls to this song. But hearing it on TV, standing in the early morning and dense heat of Jamaica while watching a royal wedding, or hearing it in my car on the drawbridge into Grand Haven are just not the same. We rose at our cue, the brass played their opening bars, and then, 150 voices sang out, I was glad! Holy shit. That was like nothing I have ever heard before. And it honestly took me a few bars to recover myself, so hopefully the cameras were zoomed right in on the front row and me being all verklempt. And then it was just joy, my friends. I forgot about my aching feet and shifting underpants and just sang. Sang for the absolute and pure delight of it, sang with a choir so loud I couldn’t hear myself, or my neighbor, or anything else. All I could see were bright lights and this long string of notes floating out over the arena.
What moments have you had, where there is nothing else, only the absolute present?
I would say that I wish I could have more experiences like that, but honestly, I don’t think I can create them; they just sort of happen. A special surprise, a ravishment, a joy.
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