Monday, October 23, 2006

Sweet Desire

One of my earliest, and possibly my very earliest, recollections took place when I was small enough to be pushed in a stroller. We lived in Boise Idaho at the time so I would have been two or three years old. In the evening, Mom and Dad took me in the stroller to what I now understand to have been a park with lighted fountains in it. I remember looking on the fountain and, even though I obviously did not understand it at the time, it made an impression on my very young mind. The lights dancing on the water absolutely fascinated me to such a degree that I remember it even today.

Light has always fascinated me and it sometimes awakens in me feelings that cannot be considered biologicial. I am feel called to the sky by a clear starry night, the lights of a distant city, or even the slightly weird glow of a blacklight poster.

Often, when I lived in Lansing, San Diego, or Orlando, I would catch the lights of distant skyscrapers out of the corner of my eye and would see more than was actually there, but when I looked straight at it, it was gone.

As I got older an image began to form in my mind. With my mind's eye I could see a city acrossed the waters. Beneath far more stars than we would ever see on earth I could picture a city with buildings whose very substance was light. And people lived there. Life there had more meaning than life here, though I could not tell you why. It was such a strange vision yet it was burned into my mind and consciousness until it became part of how I look at the world.

I later read of others who had such ideas. There was the Celestial City in Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. There was the Twilight City in H. P. Lovecrafts The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath. There were the Western Islands in C.S. Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress. There was the awesome visions of the Muspel Fire in David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus.

There seems to be something that calls to people to raise themselves out of the ordinary into something that makes little sense from a purely biologicial viewpoint. Even some music such as this song which is sung by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie, and was also sung, much more beautifully, by Karen Carpenter (but wasn't released until a few years after she died.)

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that And someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell, We know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
Is it something that I'm supposed to be?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

(reprise from "The Muppet Movie"):
Why are there so many songs about rainbows?
That's part of what rainbows do.
Rainbows are memories, sweet dream reminders
-- What is it you'd like to do?
All of us watching and wishing we'd find it,
I know you're watching it, too.
Someday you'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and you!

When I was 21 I was at a friend's wedding reception and while we were doing some Polkas an eerie feeling came over me and I looked at the dancing people and it seemed as if it was two dimensional and I was standing apart from it and even though I was in the middle of, and taking part in a dance, I felt isolated. But it wasn't an isolation of loneliness or sorrow, but an isolation that included a triumphant feeling in my spirit. I truly understood that while I live in this world and am part of it, it is not my home. I went on dancing but I had in an instant changed my worldview.

Later I read C.S. Lewis's autobiography Suprised by Joy and he spoke of toy garden and a painting, that he loved as a child that told his heart of a perfect place. It awoke in him what he later called "The Sweet Desire". In other writings he told of others portraying the same sweet desire in art and literature and it ulitimately came to this: something on the edge of our consciousness that was telling us of Heaven and of our Heavenly Father Who waits for us there. (It is too bad that Lovecraft, who was an Atheist, and Lindsay, a Neo-Gnostic, could not understand that their lovely visions of perfection was God calling to their souls.)

I now understand it. When I was a mere baby, far too young to understand, God began to speak to my heart in the simple sight of light and water dancing together. The vision grew until adulthood when I understood that my home is somewhere else.

No matter what happens here, I need not despair for my true home is somewhere else. A home, that in one way or another, I have been told of all my life.

This world is not my Home, I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up, Somewhere beyond the blue
The Angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.


Blogger Gayle said...

What an utterly beautiful and meaningful post, Shoprat. I must apologize, I think words are failing me. They certainly aren't failing you; you write beautifully!

I have also often experienced this certainty of another place. I think everyone does but atheists block it out completely. Mine doesn't come to me in light or reflections of light on water though; it comes to me in another way. Here's an example:

Once Walt and I were driving on a busy city street when we crossed an intersection and a red convertable zoomed around on the passenger side of the car (my side) and cut in front of us, just missing our right fender by a couple of inches, and then braked suddenly. I yelled to Walt BRAKE! He didn't see anything but because I startled him he hit his brakes, and then the car zoomed around the right side of me again and it happened just as I had forseen it, but we didn't have an accident, because I was warned.

That sort of thing has happened to me many times. It tells me there is more than just "here". I also talked to my mother when she died (I was seven) because she came and said goodbye. I know that would sound crazy to many, but it's the truth. No one believed me, of course, not even when I told them an entire day before they found out. I was at a summer camp at the time she died in the hospital of cancer.

"There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

6:40 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

Great post, but they've always had me working so much, I haven't had much time for contemplation. I'm just really amazed you can remember that far back. My earliest memory is about 5 or 6 years old, building a fort in fiberglass insulation ... sheesh did I pay for that .. LOL

11:05 PM  
Blogger Skip said...

Wow!! I don't know what amazes me more, the depth of fome of your comments and thoughts, or the things you remember for your AGE hehehe
Seriously tho.... You should borrow some of our Sylvia Brown books (yes she is Gnostic) she has some insights on what you are talking about that has REALLY opened my eyes to a veiw

8:42 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Skip Thanks but I'll pass on Sylvie Brown, but if you think about it, you would probably be amazed at how far back your memory really goes.

abf My job is great for contemplation. You pay attention to what you're doing for about five minutes, your body slips into automatic and your mind slips free.

Gayle I find your experiences quite believable.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

That was an interesting post. I, too, have felt the presence of God touch me in a direct way.
Although one day we will all be together "up in the sky Lord, in the sky" (Johnny Cash), don't miss out on enjoying the gifts that God has laid on your table in this life!

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't much into religion until the first round 'dinked' off an amtrac that I was beside in Desert Storm...

Every since then I've always carried a wallet card with Psalms 91 on it, given to me by our Chaplin in Kuwait.

We had someone looking out for us that day for sure. I have no doubt. What a mess...

2:29 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

One day I'll try writing about stuff like but it's very hard. You did it really well. This life on earth is just a dream.

3:29 PM  

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