Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


Secret Subversives

Over the plains and through the terminals and oh my goodness, I'm home. Fourth conference in five weeks. Bed, my bed, is looking good tonight.

I should probably have something theological or spiritual to say after such an intense weekend. At the moment, I have only sheer, spluttering exhaustion. I did however, jot down a few odd thoughts several days back, and think I'll go ahead and post them now with the pictures that came of them:

The sealike navy of the gigantic hotel lake in Las Colinas turned a placid face to me the first, sun smitten afternoon of my stay. Our rooms were blessed with the strangely home-like feature of low, deep windowseats. I dragged the plumpest sham from my bed into the corner, pulled the curtains close beside me and simply looked. The lake fills the whole window here. I love that in the very heart of business-loving, freeway-framed, concrete-cornered Dallas I can curl into this space and see only lake and sky at their banter. Ducks traced calligraphy onto the water, the curlicues entirely out of place next to the fifteen-story office complexes, but oh, so lovely. And free.

I am always a little shocked by the way nature claims the crevices of this place. The lake, and green swards and trees were, I'm sure, landscaped in just like the sidewalk for aesthetic appeal. But they didn't stay in the five square feet allotted. Water is its wild self wherever you put it. It keeps a face both bright and inscrutable, a laugh or grumble ever in its eyes.

Wherever water is, there is some door into a land beyond; you can see the soul's depths in a puddle, but also the heights. A penny's worth of rain is enough to reflect a star. Sky and water... brothers. Wind...the laughter between them. And there they all were, free as God made them the first day of the universe, right in the middle of Dallas.

And the trees. The veiny hands of old vines were at the very throats of the high rises and overpasses. A few of the wintered trees, their muscles roped and bare, looked as if they would grab modernity and yank it up by the roots, like a band of real Ents straight out of Middle Earth. But not yet. That was part of the wonder murmuring as I watched this world from my fifteenth floor perch, then walked it later on. It's a secret. Leaf by leaf, branch by branch, drip by drop, the fierce beauty of the earth creeps into the modern corners of this place. Creeps into my sight.

Someday it will overcome. It's this live, brave force of creation that will not be boxed or defined or contained. This primal creativity straight from the heart of God that cannot be stopped or stunted. I love the way it overwhelms the workaday world of hotel and conference. It's slightly shocking. I carried it with me all weekend.