Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Sacred & Profane Meet the Gopher Dance

"I ought to say," explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, "that it isn't just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it's a Boat, and sometimes it's more of an Accident. It all depends." "Depends on what?""On whether I'm on the top of it or underneath it."
[A.C. Milne, Winnie the Pooh, “Chapter 9 In Which Piglet Is Surrounded by Water.”

      Sometimes it feels like I am straddling two parallel universes. Or, perhaps, I’m at my beloved Gulf Shores and I’m standing on two different banana boat floats, riding the waves with two very different minds . Unlike Gumby, my legs are only so short.
      There are moments of absolute blazing clarity and mindfulness where everything I touch, do, hear or see creates a connection from within myself to the world, those I love, Life, God or to feeling alive. There I am in a time/space where my heart is a sponge absorbing life and at the same time I am twisting and turning the sponge pouring it back upon the world. Suddenly, without warning, whoooosshhh … there goes the other banana boat float. I suspect that the best gymnast in the world could not handle that split. Ouch.
      Theologians, philosophers, anthropologists and writers have long pondered this sacred and profane relationship. In our attempt to reconcile these worlds, people have run off to live in caves, communes and let’s not forget my 60’s Flower Power and Love movements. It’s not so much that we want to leave one world for another. It is the desire or hope that we don’t have to sacrifice the ‘sacred’ when we walk upon the dusty path of life.
      As I was wrestling with this two day old philosophical bunion of frustration an email popped up on my screen. No, not an email, an answered prayer, computer screen type that exuded joy and happiness and a warrior’s bravery rewarded. I caught myself doing the Caddy Shack gopher’s dance. I read and re-read the email. I danced some more, little arms and hands dancing and my feet dangling from the couch. I closed the email and this post in progress continued to stare at me. Glared at me. Mocked me.
      “Ha!” I declared, “I do not have an answer so there!” With that retort Pooh’s words floated into my own little brain and I laughed. Perhaps you have figured it out, if so, please share. But for now, I’m taking Pooh’s advice and if I should find myself underneath one of the banana boats, I shall dance my way back on top and continue to float. Of the many ways people would describe me, dancer is not one of them. I’m sure I’ll struggle again with these banana boats. But for tonight, the sacred has set me atop and my boat is no accident. Neither is the answered prayer.

(also posted on my blog)