Since we are always bumping up against
the limits of what we can and cannot see,
we must admit this discipline is sore,
a horse hair shirt drawn tight against the skin,
a flagellation of the lonely mind.
Perhaps if we could glimpse the lovely face,
a beatific vision of the God
whose thoughts we strain to comprehend, just for
a blink of time, we might surpass the soul’s
captivity and apprehend the Truth.
But none can see the face of God and live,
so our sacred scriptures say. Perhaps the
scribe who first put this to parchment knew too
well the contemplative frame. Perhaps he
wished to warn us off, to make us close the book.
Yet here we are before the mysteries,
straining to reconcile opposing thoughts,
making careful distinctions with our words,
as though our language were the substance — the
ousia, to be smart — of our subject.
No, our subject hides like a mythic beast,
a Behemoth rumored to inhabit
these seas, who swallows the universe whole.
We are in his belly without knowing
we have been consumed, stewed, and digested.
Still, a hint of beauty draws us out, past
our subjectivity, something glimmering
in the peripheral field of vision,
where sight is most sensitive in darkness
to movement and the light from distant stars.