Friday, 28 March 2014

The Mists of Unknowing

It's on days like today that we transfer our morning time Pouring-Out of Beakers to Foggy Bottom.  Foggy Bottom has earned its name. For when it's misty anywhere else, it's foggy in Foggy Bottom.

Foggy Bottom is a place where the edges are blurred, outlines become vague, the  grand meta-narratives of modernism and crypto-narratives of post-modernism lose their sharpness.

As we stand shivering in the damp air, the flickering horn-effect perspex-windowed lanterns take us - not so much back in time, as into Anytime. We think of clouds of glory, of Mists of Unknowing. Is the gray figure flitting through the gloom the Piper at the Gates of Dawn, come to bring fear and wonder to the woodland? Woden seeking wisdom? Or is it Diana the Huntress? As it happens, no. It was Burton Dasset, blundering around trying to find us. And the splashing we hear is him stumbling into the leaf-bedecked, mossy pond, not a couple of hardy nymphs splashing around in Dryad's Wood.

You see what I've done there? I've resolved the quantum uncertainty of the thin place, and substituted it with the cold water of the Real in which we all drown.  None of us are better off for this attempt at so called reality - least of all Burton, whom we leave to flounder as a punishment for ruining our reverie.

And so that is my message for this morning. Let us eschew certainty. Certainty is for left - brained people - Calvinists and accountants and Java programmers and such-like - who still delude themselves that there are fights worth fighting, great dreams worth imposing on other people, trouble worth taking.

Whereas we - in a half-lit, badly-drained hollow in Bedfordshire - we are in the presence of the fading folk memories of our peoples, of saints and holy ones, and all the innumerable host of heaven. We have taken time to loose ourselves from the demands of Time.

We'll save the world later, once the mist has cleared.  And we've rescued Burton from the pond. His whimpering is really starting to interfere with the sense of holy awe and expectation now.

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