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Old 10-30-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Hurricane Sandy (the Afterlight - A Sermon)

“In the Afterlight I realize I am bound to the body I’ve been given, the bodies that have bound themselves to me, the eternal love of living I cannot shake.”


The bulbs in the ceiling and floor-lamps have been overloaded but their filaments shine like coals. Hurricane Sandy speaks in riddles through the rattling windowpanes and the silence in the estimated death count and innumerable amount of fiscal damages is filling every spare dark space. I have left just enough light around my ribs to breathe graceful, loving, happy breaths. I am staring out my New York City apartment window and watching the streets fill up with water.

Years ago I told you of the reverence I experienced when I sat on the couch in my mothers living room when it snowed. It was the same stillness of spirit as when you held me shirtless on the edge of my teenage bed and we watched the heavy winter storms tear like hooks into the Portland cityscape and rupture it wide. The absolute whiteness in the snow; the absolute desolation in the thunderheads. You told me about the sadness in the open fields of Iowa while we traced the wondrous reflection of our eyes in the glass. Outside, we bore witness to downtown streets flooding. Inside, we bore witness to peculiar warmth. Back then I did not have the language to point to why we felt wonder when placed face to face with the idea of the destruction of our great and limitless world. Now I am not sure I can do much better, but my spirit has compelled me to sit down and try.


As Sandy knocks on humanity’s door tonight she tears up boardwalks. The lives she takes are real lives, the suffering she causes is real suffering. In the wake of her magnificent power we succumb to fear of our own mortality. We give our light up willingly at first. We look out the window in literal and figurative darkness. We stare out from our mother’s house and say to ourselves “we, we are no match, we are no match for this great force.” We call it an external nature or a vicious and jealous God. At first we cannot help but hold Sandy as monstrous, deadly, unholy, and other.

But the more we stare face to face and sit with her power an odd transformation occurs. It starts with a morbid fascination. Without being conscious of it our souls begin to vibrate a cautious excitement. Before we know it our spirit has plunged, body perched still in the safe arms of a first love, plunged headfirst into a place where no electric light can function. We have bore witness, taken the storm up as our own, internalized the savage power, accepted death and life as a singular ceaseless perfect wheel. It is as if our chests are filled with the singing and consuming heat of a burning chalice. We suddenly; in the midst of the torrential rain, the three feet of snow, the ominous dusk, the deafening silence that has taken the air pressure hostage; we suddenly reach a knowing acceptance of the Afterlight. The moment of the Ark perched on the Mountain as the flood recedes; the awe of the bush eternally consumed by fire; the completed wheel; the absolute understanding and trust in divinity. Reverence for death in life and life in death. The Afterlight.


I’m hesitant to compare the ‘Afterlight moment’ to Nirvana or Absolute Knowing. The moment, to my estimation, is profoundly human. It is a singular glimpse of the wholeness of existence that can only be breached when put face to face with reflections of incomprehensible destruction. It is the moment when every distinction between light and darkness blurs to a universal declaration of goodness, not because a thing is good or bad but goodness as such, goodness simply because the thing is. “You are good”, the ‘Afterlight moment‘ says, “because you are... that you are, that is enough.”

Those of us blessed to sit behind the shaking windowpanes, to have the privilege to sit by candlelight and contemplate the infinite, our role in this world is to seek this moment constantly. We must not forget those whose mortal light will leave this world by force tonight at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. We must surround ourselves with the safety of the arms of a first love. We must stare face to face with open hearts the world that is so great, the world that raises rivers over the eye-line of our homes, the world that holds our hands still and lips closed, a world that gifts us on nights like these the momentary silence that may allow us to listen and bare witness to a great deluge. We must live as long as we can in that magnificent darkness, leaving just enough space and light for our ribs to breathe graceful, loving, happy breaths; taking just enough solace to be, simply allow ourselves to be, in the Afterlight. We must not be afraid to ask “where do we go?” and we must accept whatever answer we find.


I am not sure why I am writing you tonight. I am not sure if you will appreciate these words or if you will read them or if you will accept them as true. But I feel compelled tonight, watching the world fill with water from my small New York City apartment window; I feel compelled to bear witness to this fleeting moment of truthful faith, a chalice singing and consuming my chest; I feel compelled to offer myself in prayer.

In Faith,
Dylan
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Last edited by #1 synth : 10-30-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:44 AM   #2
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absolutely beautiful. There's really nothing else to say.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:12 AM   #3
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some killer stuff in here. there were moments that fell more flat than others, but i enjoyed it quite a bit. you're great. take care.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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... This reads like a cocaine-fueled auto-writing
Which is very good thing, actually. I don't know what else to say but that.
Great work
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #5
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Yes, I like it. Very personal.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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This is one of those things I feel you wrote more for yourself than to anybody else, so it's unfair to criticize it. I liked some parts, while others felt too preachy for my taste. I think the weakest parts of it are when you somewhat generalize some thoughts; when you leave your inner self (so to speak). But I wanted to drop a comment here mainly to wish you well Dylan, and I liked reading this.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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this is incredible.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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very nice, Dylan. there's a calm reflection in this that is lovely to see from you, very collected.
xxx
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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nice piece of writing here... very personal
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