From Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel:
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement…
Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way
That takes nothing for granted.
Everything is phenomenal;
Everything is incredible;
Never treat life casually;
To be spiritual is to be amazed.
I stole this line from a friend whom I have actually never met (there are a lot of you), she reads what I write and sends notes now and then. I had recommended Brian Doyle’s Book of Uncommon Prayer and she sent me back this thought as a thank you.
I need this today, don’t you? I believe that in these insane times on all fronts– moral, environmental, political, cultural– we have to remember how wonderful our world is, and why it is worth fighting for, and I don’t know about you, but cursing and scowling, wailing and gnashing of teeth, don’t move me half as much toward fighting the good fight as a walk on the beach, a family dinner, a poem, sun, snow, clean sheets, good people, and even the pink and red carnations (now all which way) on my table ( I am more of a butter yellow tulip person) that Doris at Bell’s Flowers picked out of her cooler on Friday when I decided I needed something other than balloons for Lani’s seventh birthday party since there would be babies, and what if one popped, and woke the one-month old or made the dogs bark, or worse, was swallowed by hound or child– or even blew out the door you left open and years from now killed a bird or fish and became more plastic type stuff in tiny particles in the ocean…
Anyway, I bought the pink and red carnations instead from Doris and her three-legged old dog, because we agreed the little girls, all cousins, would like them best, and they did. Doris swaddled them in green tissue paper and then stuck an old grocery sack over the top when she learned I’d walked a few blocks from where I’d left my car, to protect them from a thrashing as I leaned into the cold gritty wind smoking down Main Street in a brown wall of all the road sand from the winter it seemed. It was like the Dust Bowl, a real twister Dorothy.
And yes, there is no place like home, and yes, Rabbi, everything is phenomenal, and dear Lord I will try not to treat life casually this week at least, and I will be amazed, in a good way, for let’s say part of each of the next seven days. That’s not too much to ask, is it?