Thursday, January 24, 2013

universal solvent

I was never any good at science, but as I understand it, water is the closest chemical thing there is to being a "universal solvent."

Solvent ... a cleanser, a thinner, an eraser, a melter, a dissolver.

Am I wrong in thinking that spiritual life is often -- or is it always? -- a search for some universal solvent, some fixer, some overarching and magical touchstone that has the capacity to heal and restore what may be wounded and shattered? The nimble and savvy may say this is not the case, but nimble and savvy people invariably run out of steam: How many tall spires can any man erect? How many agreements can anyone reach before things become narrow and disagreeable and in need of some powerful solvent?

In chemistry, water is "closest."

But, as the old saying has it, "'close' only counts in horseshoes."

"Close" is never close enough when it comes to spiritual adventure, spiritual effort, spiritual games. "Close" is something that asserts and perceives distance and distinction and control ... stuff like belief and hope and ornate theology. It's close, maybe, but the human heart is unlikely to sit still for "close." "Close" doesn't heal or cleanse or melt or dissolve. "Close" always leaves a residue of shit to clean up.

I wonder if a cow, while standing in a herd, beseeches the heavens to find a herd.

I wonder if what is melted prays to melt.

I wonder if what is "gone" seeks to leave.

What will anyone do when everything is done -- when all agreement loses its footing and ....

Man, is it cold this morning!

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