Transcendence: A Poem About Becoming More Fully and Authentically Human

Why do we sometimes practice religion
Even when it means,
At times,
Substituting and sacrificing
In its name
A beautiful vision?

Immanence
All around
Immense,
And profound.
People and
Color and
Surprise and
Laughter and
Drinks and
Food and
Family and
Friends and
Romance,
50 years long
Rocking in a chair
Holding softly wrinkled hands.

Maybe suffering,
Limits,
Haunting each moment of happiness
Here and now,
Show us
That this world, by itself,
With all pleasure felt
Is not enough.
Blurred dreams of fullness.
Dreams that can’t seem to become
What we think or want.
Mine anyway have not.

So we turn
And look;
through, beyond,
Higher, deeper.
To Transcendence.

Transcendence.
Not numbing novocaine
For people who are afraid of pain.
But beautiful strings
Vibrating
In harmony
Dancing over
Drawing out
With beauty
From a battered, bounded
Earth
Or mind.
Holy.
With hope.

Transcendence
Is the reason
For humble work
Tilling soil
Teaching children
Washing dishes
Watering gardens
Sweat
And tired bodies.

Transcendence
Is why a life
Of simple, unadorned labor
Done with grace
Obtains God’s favor.

Transcendence
Is giving up immediate instincts,
To build a fire
With sooty hands
An arched back
And stinging eyes
Because you know
A miracle will happen.
Lighting
And heating the whole house.

Transcendence
Does not demand retribution
For fairness’ sake.
It forgives
When even survival is at stake, which,
For the life of me,
I can’t make sense of
Except if my own wellbeing
Isn’t the most important,
Which,
I can’t make sense of
Except if another holds me
Beyond me. 

Everything is elevated
To a tremendous plain,
So close,
But beyond any image
Of a sunny sky,
Pearly gates,
Clouds and angels.

I do not know how far
This all will go.

-//-

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

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