Thunderstorms let loose this morning at 4:00 am. Now at 6:54, thunder rumbles at a distance, and the rain that lashed the windows and created lakes in the lawn is abating. The forecast suggests rain will continue until 9-something and then skies will clear. I’ll have to run at day’s end lest I be struck this morning by remnant lightning or a storm-blinded truck.
My morning tasks are completed. I have an hour-or-so before I must re-arrange my desk for work. My morning routine sets the tone for the day. Without the 4-mile run, I’m discombobulated, a little lost. So, I’ve spent my time since 4:00 researching odds-and-end subjects — how do I resurface the roof of a RV? Where do I find a rear windshield wiper blade for my hatchback? How does one make spinach lasagna in a slow cooker? The slow cooker brownies I made when the heating element burned out in the oven turned out great. I feel inspired. And what was the name of that flower I photographed Saturday? And how exactly did that poem by Tracy K. Smith go?
Like a wide wake, rippling
Infinitely into the distance, everything
That ever was still is, somewhere,
Floating near the surface, nursing
Its hunger for you and me
And the now we’ve named
And made a place of….
—Tracy K. Smith
I think often about the net of all experience. I do so refusing to frame these thoughts in the spiritual lingo of God-ness; instead, thinking of it more pragmatically as “nothing that has occurred disappears from experience.” I think of the “all-that-has-occurred” as a film, a strata, a living net, ever-near, ever-informing, ever-shaping the here-and-now, growing, pulsing. And when I am quiet, when I am alone walking or running or sitting with my thoughts, I am grateful that this repository, this net of all experience, is absorbing some of the heaviness that threatens my psyche. In my quietude I feel my weight diffused across the net of all-that-is-and-ever-has-been. And I am free once more to laugh and cry, imagine and play. I am free once more to breathe.
Smith, Tracy K. “Everything That Ever Was.” Life on Mars, 59. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2011.