Thursday, June 9, 2011

faster than lightning

As much as the next fellow, I can be a fan of the drug-induced stupor of television, but last night after a pretty hot day, the skies clouded up, winds rose and there was a lightning show that was devoid of advertising.

Its insistence and frequency drew me out to the porch. My son even caught one bolt of spidery light on his cell phone camera. The street lamp across the road, whose on-off cycles are guided by a light sensor, went out where others down the block did not.

There was no laugh track. There was no easy certainty that the bad guy would lose and the good guy would win or that the star-crossed lovers would ride into some harmonious sunset at the end of the hour. There was no philosophy or religion. Everything was unpredictable and bright and complete. As quickly as the lightning came, it was gone. Unbidden exclamations like "wow!" were already too late, already dwelling in a past that was simultaneously smug and self-absorbed and ridiculous.

On and on and on it went. It must have lasted an hour or more.

And in the simultaneously smug and self-absorbed and ridiculous past I can live in with confidence, perhaps I could call it all the "lightning teacher." Ain't that grand?! But the problem with such a cookie cutter salve is that the question remains unanswered and the peace that beckons remains unrealized. The question is...

What teacher?

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