It began with a rambling conversation written in my memory like electric script on an etch-a-sketch that nobody bothered to shake clean. We were unaware theologians looking for trouble walking the streets and talking about the origination of theMoreIt began with a rambling conversation written in my memory like electric script on an etch-a-sketch that nobody bothered to shake clean. We were unaware theologians looking for trouble walking the streets and talking about the origination of the universe. Schoolboys wearing Levis and P.F. Flyers, while Mungo Jerry sang, In the Summertime, on a street that looked like every white bread neighborhood between Santa Monica and Albany in 1970.
The world hadnt shrunk yet, it was still unfathomably huge, our neighborhood small, although everything we wanted was a short walk outside our door, bikes, woods and water, and girls. In the midst of that lush evening, when the entire world was at our beck and call, when we didnt know what hurt yet, we looked into the heavens. There were rockets in space, jets in the blue, and Chinese fire drills in the streets, and we had a gleam in our eyes with nothing yet to regret.
In the midst of a conversational lull, someone shattered the glass wall separating my church friends and my school friends with a question, Do you believe in God? These were my school buddies and we didnt go to church together. It was the first authentic conversation I had about transcendence, about a Creator, about what happens when we die. A meandering conversation unfiltered by adult oversight, transparent and wide-eyed, started with someone noticing the stars sparkling on the horizon, through the soft evening shadows, beautiful, worth noticing.
Hey, look at the stars! The sun isnt down yet and we can see them. We walked along for a while without speaking, looking at this beauty which we couldnt name, waiting for more signs. We didnt solve the metaphysical questions of the universe that evening, but it began a conversation that Ive since carried with me everywhere I go.
Its not an Einsteinian quest for a theory of everything, but rather a question about the intersection of space/time with the dirt we kick up walking around on earth. Do the planes of the Heavens intersect with the plains of Oklahoma, Calcutta, and Jerusalem? Ive been walking along trying to name the beauty of that evening ever since. This book is just another attempt to name those moments, brilliant points of illumination, the caressing beauty of heaven touching earth, and to feel the mysterious wonder of places with more dimensions than I can understand.
And sometimes, if Im really calm, I see it as clearly as twinkling stars, competing against the sun of a midsummers evening.