Archive for August, 2017

A Wink From the Heavens

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2017 by michaelcogdill

This earth would fit inside the sun about a million times. The moon, so much smaller still. Yet distance will make a tiny rock seem to darken an enormous fire.

Seem is the word to hold onto here.

The ancients thought an eclipse a harbinger of doom. A blink of anger from the gods. The world gasping at its end.  The Greeks thought so.   So did those who used to bang on pots and pans to scare the sun-stealing demons away.  The Vikings thought a great wolf had made off with the sun.

It all seemed so very terrible.

Today what their brilliant ones did not know is now common schooling for a 10 year old.  The sun, the moon and the earth come, rarely, into a perfect alignment.

A time for pause, for thought — sacred and otherwise — as the moon’s shadow crosses the U.S at nearly 1,700 miles per hour.

Maybe this reminds us it’s all sacred, after all.

Science and faith are twins, growing up together. The eclipse proves that so well. A rare sign of common truth and reminder: We are small. Controllers of little. Ephemeral in the great cosmic day.

But more…

It’s an astronomical event with a simple explanation.  A logical wink from eternity. God’s reminder, in my view this rare day, that darkness is ephemeral. It won’t last. It won’t win. And that the light always comes down.

Thomas Merton reminds us that in the Eden story, God comes seeking Adam, not the other way around.  There is no escaping cosmic Love.  We can disown what’s holy, but it will not disown us.  The earth, the moon and the sun will align today and cast a shadow on the ground.  A fleeting fright to those who did not understand.  But even our ignorant forbears learned the sun will find us again, and soon.  A force so strong, we destroy our eyes to look at it.

But how very good it is to us, here in the dark.

The heavens throw us a wink today.  And we will bask in it.  Be ourselves in it. Perhaps make a new friend who is unlike us, and completely like us, in a field — someone wearing the same funny glasses, awing at the same sun.  To be found by it, sustained by it, reminded we are on a cosmic Mind far, far, far from here.  And yet feeling its warmth, so very near.

Things are not always what they seem.  They are usually far more beautiful.


AKA Strong 

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2017 by michaelcogdill

There are few things stronger than a truly gentle man. 

That paraphrases a line I wrote in a post here titled Untwisting Normal, The Power of Divorcing my Father.   It struck a chord I could not hear coming. People quote it back to me from around the world.  So simple,  it eludes even tell writer. 

I never fully understood why so many take comfort in it, until now,  maybe. 

We want peace.  

Even machismo craves it.  Peace is the goal of bravado, perhaps. Get the world around us to drop its weapons trained at our serenity, and we can just be, as we are.  A blowfish is a gentle creature, just trying to make peace.   Puff up so the world backs down. 
A gentle man, who could be otherwise, need not flex muscle to triumph.  Peace is the spine of his strength.  His leadership.  I get the resonance now.  It is a longing.  His peace doesn’t mask power.  It is its creator.  

During World War I, America and her allies proved the strength of this way of being.  A fight against tyranny in the name of peace. The veterans still reveal it to us, especially now that they’re leaving in such numbers each day. Ask a vet of Bastogne or Midway whether he prefers peace or war. Lean into the gentility of those men.  Feel their strength.  Feel the peace.  

Gentle is simply strength by another name.