To wake up in a city that doesn’t exist anymore …
to wander familiar streets
that don’t take you where they’re supposed to anymore …
to find the mall where you can’t find what you need …
to peruse a store where you can see what you want,
but where what you get never turns out to be what you want,
and where does that all change?
To run by the bank to discover all you’ve saved isn’t worth having …
to get to work to discover all you’ve done isn’t remembered …
to be at church and God’s no more there than anywhere …
to know you’re at home, but to feel—nothing ….
Land isn’t marked anymore …
no longer defined by what it should be in relation to,
and you go somewhere and it takes you all of two minutes,
but the return trip is interminable …
you get there and can’t find your way back ….
And a child tells you he doesn’t expect to be alive at twenty-five …
and a child tells you her childrens’ names:
“These are my people,” “Why pity us?”
and “What’s God got to do with anything anyway?”
And your friends and your family are present
like people on the patio seen from the bottom of the pool ….
It’s the vague but persistent memory
of something significant that should be here and isn’t ….
It’s the opposite of the Bible—
the hymns we sang in the church that’s not there anymore …
I used to see and now am blind …
was found and now am lost ….
And what lent meaning and order doesn’t anymore.
And it’s more than I was young and now am older … isn’t it?
It’s more than the past is past; the present is all now.
There are, after all,
trapped back in time—
and what of such memories cannot be confined to a particular space—
a particular time,
we meet again in time present—time to come.
It’s not living in the past—
nor is it being bound by our past.
It’s finding a consistency in our being—
our timeless being.
So we settle in—
sink in to who we are—
and create a neighborhood—
create streets—create relationships—
and create an image and a desire
for a place we may not know,
but long for—
that we remember
not because we’ve necessarily experienced it before—
not because we know it,
but because it’s imbedded deep within.
And we describe it with the particular excitement that is hope,
so that maybe one day we’ll recognize it.
We know only in part,
but of that part we have constructed an unimaginable whole
with something deep within us that defies identification—
something that believes in what can’t be seen—
And I wake up to see my life determined by eternity
within my time and space—
celebrating the sense of every now and then,
standing on eternal ground—