monday, september 11, 2006
yes, this anniversary. it seems obvious that an american angel would have to be curious about this. but, right now, this morning, the sun shining on amsterdam, the gregorian chant coming from under these appearing letters on my mac, i must pause, let these things come to me as they will. so much forcing in my life, always so much forcing. the loneliness and solitude of an angel.
this is the thing that i am fighting. this is the thing that is the reality of my life right now in amsterdam. the heartbreak of my life back in new york. “the mysterious distance between a man and a woman.”
cassiel – the angel of solitude and tears who “shows forth the unity of the eternal kingdom.” sometimes he appears as the angel of temperance.
the impotence of my emails to my father. the printer broken at St. John of God’s. he’s not receiving them. i just found out he spent the last week in a kind of delirium in cedars sinai hospital. bleeding from his colon. my beautiful sisters so lovingly there for him. God is good.
angels are at one with the truth of this. they are the messengers. this is the message; God is good. they do not see “darkly as through a mirror”. they see God face to face and thus sing God’s goodness. they are enthusiastic. they wish to inspire with this message; God is good.
“a man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. but God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper to creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces. if we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God – though it maybe the nearest approximation to God which our thought and fantasy can attain. yet the call is not only to prostration and awe; it is to a reflection of the Divine life, a creaturely participation in the Divine attributes which is far beyond our present desires. We are bidden to ‘put on Christ’, to become like God. that is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little. . .
God gives what He has, not what He has not: He gives the happiness that there is, not the happiness that is not. 1) – to be God 2) – to be like God and to share His goodness in creaturely response 3) – to be miserable – these are the only three alternatives. if we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows – the only food that any possible universe ever can grow – then we must starve eternally.”
-c.s. lewis THE PROBLEMS OF PAIN
the stones said the same thing; “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need.”
and the angel as a creature of God, a pure Spirit messenger (yet a creature that our play and tradition teaches us has free will) can choose one of the alternatives that lewis talks about. to be God (what lucifer wanted), to be like God and to share his goodness in creaturely response (to sing and dance His praise eternally as an angel does) or to be miserable. or to perhaps depart from lewis; to follow his misery toward union with God.
damiel, as our play begins is miserable, exhausted, sick of it. he wants more. unhappy with his impotence. he wants to be human. he wants what Christ had. believing that the difficult path to union with God is by becoming human. by the attempt at human love.
i believe, damiel’s quest is not some selfish sensual journey but it is toward God. it may, on the surface, appear that an angel wishing to become human is running away from God. but this play shouts out the contrary.
damiel acts out of love. acts for the sake of Love. therefore for the sake of God. damiel wants to be what he’s supposed to be. a messenger of light. an effective messenger of God’s love. it’s like rutger hauer’s last line in BLADE RUNNER; “i want more life, fucker.” this is a sacred and holy request. it is the story of man. it is a saga of peace. man’s saga of peace is a story of war.
and on this 5th anniversary of the twin towers trembling and falling, disappearing down, the smoke rising so thick above lower manhattan, and with the smoke the spirits of the beautiful dutch preachers and pirates and prostitutes that first brought the messy world to this messy world of the manahatta indians. . . . .an invitation to remember. every day. every day an invitation to share in the telling of the story. every day an invitation to be an angel, an invitation to fall to be human and move closer toward God.
it’s 10:30, i gots to get my ass to rehearsal. i’m late.
God bless us all today, God bless our memories,