in Meeting

Magritte The Large FamilyIt seemed I was a fountain of Qi, my hands warm with it, my body enlivened. I felt present, noticing the beauty of the poinsettia and the azalea cutting, the length of its stamens and pistil, and the reflections in the glass lampshade.

Moment judging. Is this “centred down”? Is this better than that feeling two weeks ago, that I could not stop my mind racing,  and had to read because I felt so dry? It is, now. I am allowed to enjoy it, rather than merely be suspicious of it.

One of us is rocking. This is a stress symptom, a mental health symptom, and here is one of the few places it is welcomed. I think we are right, actually: it is a human reaction to a change or dissonance in a person’s way of thinking or feeling, which is a good thing, a precursor to growth if not growth itself. Another wipes a tear from her eye. Here is a place where we may be in touch with emotion, and be supported in it.

I spent time thinking of a beautiful memory of my father, in September this year, when he had surprised and delighted me, and missed him.

Strange that K’s ministry should answer Nick’s interpretation of judging so beautifully. I described Nick’s view of judgment in the afterword, and Peter said I had sounded like his father, a lawyer. The way of treating the words “then you will be able” as if it were a statute. Well, I am a lawyer, and I love the precise use of language to convey a particular meaning and that meaning alone- and the creative interpretation of the language to mean something else, when my case requires it- but I also dabble in poetry, and love language using allusion and paradox. I find Jesus’s sayings more like koans than statutes.

Speaking to people, face to face, who share my spiritual quest! I also spoke in afterword of the deflationary theory of truth, and how I can believe in God as The All. After, S emailed me this poem:

They call Him Emptiness who is the Truth of truths,
in Whom all truths are stored!
There within Him creation goes forward,
which is beyond all philosophy;
for philosophy cannot attain to Him:
There is an endless world,
O my Brother! and there is the Nameless Being,
of whom naught can be said.
Only he knows it who has reached that region:
it is other than all that is heard and said.
No form, no body, no length, no breadth is seen there:
how can I tell you that which it is?
— Kabir – Songs of Kabir – LXXVI  (transl. Rabindranath Tagore)

2 thoughts on “in Meeting

  1. I just finished reading this twice … it’s so interesting to me and so congruent with my own … well, feelings and issues. Like you, ” I love the precise use of language to convey a particular meaning and that meaning alone- and the creative interpretation of the language to mean something else, when my case requires it.” As a professional writer and translator I depend on precision to butter my bread (I chiefly translate film and television scripts from French to English). I don’t dare be too interpretive … though when I’m writing fiction, yes I also yield to the creative interpretation of words and phrases. Nice this.


    • One of the delights of the Companion to Proust are extracts from the original in French and English. I can puzzle my way through some of the sentences, my French is execrable, but comparing the English to the French I can see some of the translating issues. Fascinating.


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