Fusions in the Void #15

Rich and Poor: A living community.

I’ve been writing about community in another series, this piece sort of crosses over with that one.

The Fusions in the Void concept begins with the idea that when all seems dark and we’re not even sure where our next step will be, we feel that our world is falling apart, God is fusing things together.

One thing God fuses is riches and poverty into a living community. God’s confusing in this way. Some preachers notice that God has all material wealth in his hand, and so teach you prayers that manipulate God to give you stuff. On the other hand, there’s some truth to having a mentality of abundance and what your mentality can bring about in your life. It’s a subtle paradox.

God spends a lot of time in Scripture letting us know how much he loves poor people and poor things.

When I was in Thailand this spring, one missionary remarked that Jesus said: you will always have the poor with you. Another missionary immediately replied, “yes, but that doesn’t mean they have to go hungry.”

Scripture warns against giving the best seat in a banquet to the richest guy who shows up. Instead, Jesus suggests that you give the seat of honor to a poor person.

The first rich person who pops into my head is Donald Trump. You really can’t go anywhere in cyberspace without running into this really rich guy. And for the many who think what he says is golden, there are many more who despise him for his obnoxious and offensive ways. He’s a prime example of the hubris the United States far too often embraces.

In the Void, hubris goes out the window. The void is a lot like one of those swirling money machines where you have to grab as much cash as you can in one minute and then get out, but the air is blowing through so hard the bills swirl in such a way that makes grabbing hold of any of it nearly impossible. The air is full of resources, yet the void experience makes them all completely unattainable.

Yet, in the Void, God controls all those resources. God fuses the wealth with our spiritual poverty to make a wholeness within us so that we’re mature enough to be part of a thriving community. Rich as one may be, one needs a community to survive in this brutal world. So it doesn’t always mean money. A community, however, is a network of mutual support. There may be money exchanged, or there may be relationships which come together to propel you forward as you exit the void, but whatever God is doing, he’s putting rich and poor together for sustainability for His children.

Fusions in the Void, Part 13. East and West: Children Of a Different Culture

In the most challenging moments of our lives, when that void is at its most vast point…

When we’ve leapt from the one side of the cliff, willing ourselves across the chasm and find ourselves suspended between, hanging for a moment like Wile E. Coyote, recognizing that no amount of Acme Rocket Fuel will get us across …

When we try to connect with a culture that isn’t our own and our fingers stretch out to find some sort of purchase, not even a grip or handhold, but even something to touch…

And we don’t feel anything, we don’t feel ourselves connecting with anything, the void is deepest between ourselves and even those we’ve always known, the people who have loved us as best they know how

Yet there is a gap between East and West …

We become the bridge across the gorge. We become the one to whom others can connect.

A third-culture child never does truly reach the other side, because at some point in their youth, there was a Void, and God created something out of nothing there. God said, let there be West and let there be East and somehow in flight between the two we never quite left and never quite arrived. Instead, in that void, God did something new. God fused East and West in us, and made children of a different culture.

I perhaps a bit vainly say that this third culture is really the culture that most mirrors Heaven. If we believe that Jesus was both God and man, 100% each, somehow a 200% being, which I cannot really explain, then we have to believe that somehow Jesus also made a perfect bridge. So those of us who are in that painful, vacuous spot and see nothing, feel nothing at our fingertips, are being invited to connect in the same way. Cultures are not static. So when you are part of the formation of a new culture, you’re on the dynamic cutting edge of culture itself.

When God makes something out of nothing, it’s significant. God makes things every day. New Chinese babies, new Brazilian babies, New Palestinian and Israeli babies. New American babies. New babies with fine, soft skin of every race, of every creature. New butterflies, new rainbows, new sunsets, new unicorns.

Well, not the unicorns, but if God did, then he’d be making something out of nothing, and that’s what’s extra special about being in the void itself: you get to see what God will make in a vacuum. The point is that when God fuses something like East and West to create something Central, God has done something new in the void.

Fusions in the Void, Part 12. Summer and Winter: A new spring

Fitting that this blog is set to release on December 1. I know that winter officially begins later, but December 1 is that day you wake up and say, “Well, I can’t fool myself any longer into thinking it’s fall.” I love autumn, I never really want it to go away. I don’t particularly like winter:

get out your shovel and dig
get out your shovel and dig…

There are days I don’t like summer, either. Our house doesn’t have air conditioning, but by controlling when the windows are open or shut we can keep it fairly cool, around 72 degrees, except for on the really hot and humid days we suffer one or two weeks of every August. Then, I sit in my office with drops of perspiration rolling down my back and wish for October to come again.

Natural cycles are like this. Even in the desert the rain comes, just enough to sustain cacti or lizards. Then, times and places change, nothing’s ever static. There are places in the world where drought is this unexpected thing. Australia and California are prime examples of places that were breadbaskets but are struggling for water.

In the Void, nothing seems to be happening. It’s emotionally and spiritually dry like summer, or dead and cold like winter, never quite what you wish it was. That’s the definition of being in the void, or in a valley experience. The imagery is palpable when you feel this way; you can’t function even in what you know you can do well because your locks are frozen, the air hurts your lungs (And Christians sing “this is the air I breathe/ your holy presence, living in me”). But what if it’s painful to inhale anything? What if you feel like you’re sweating?

In the void, God is fusing summer and winter to create a new spring. Even though fall is what I like best– fall seems like a less rainy springtime– we all hunger for spring. New growth, new life. Looking back at the beginning of this series, we talked about that passage in Genesis 1:2 where the spirit of God is hovering over the waters. The Spirit is calculating the perfect blend for us: a sun just far enough away that in winter we have a tolerable temperature, but in summer as well. On average, the temperature of springtime, we have a perfect blend of hot and cold, summer and winter, that gives us the spring time needed for new growth.

When it’s hot, or cold, in a spiritual or emotional way, it’s our invitation to remember that spring is delicately balanced as the world tilts so that things will grow. Hang on to that reminder. Summer, you can sweat it out. Winter can’t last forever. Spring will come again, because God knows how to Fuse stuff in the Void of your life.

(this series began October 3– see the archives in the left-hand toolbar to work your way back to the beginning.)

Fusions in the Void, Number 11. Music and Silence.

If you could fuse music and silence, what would it sound like?

The quietest place on earth is a studio at Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota, with a negative decibel reading. It would actually drive you crazy: nobody’s been able to stay inside it longer than 45 minutes. Most people duck out in just a few seconds. You think you want peace and quiet? You really want peace.

In contrast, one of the noisiest places on earth is CenturyLink field in Seattle on a day when Seattle’s beloved home team, the Seahawks, plays football there. It’s so loud the crowd is thought of as a twelfth man, essentially their job is disruption of the opponent’s offensive plays. And it works.

In the Void, the dark night of the soul of our lives, there comes a restlessness. In the Old Testament, King Saul enjoyed hearing a young shepherd named David play his harp. It eased Saul’s troubled spirit (but not so much after he realized David was turning into a rival). On the other hand, Elijah went through a variety of very loud storms (fire, earthquake, wind) and finally in the stillness heard the small voice of God.

If God’s voice is still and small, but God’s words can rock your world so deeply, as though you were in a mosh pit, then there’s some sort of fusion only God can do. It’s a fusion between music and silence. Something spiritually resonant. That’s what you’re looking for when you say you want some peace and quiet, but it’s also what you want when you say you want to listen to some “old time rock and roll, the kind of music that soothes the soul.”

In that void of Genesis before time, God fused all kinds of things as God’s spirit hovered over the water. Now, when your life is dry like desert, you may feel that you’re in the quietest room in the world, about to go crazy, or in the loudest stadium, unable to block out the sound, but somewhere, somehow in the void God fuses music and silence to create a resonating peace. You may feel more like Saul or more like Elijah (neither of them were having their happiest days) but your results are driven by what you’re listening to.

Now, I’m not saying don’t listen to dark, depressing music. And I’m not saying you now have to go find a quiet spot. I’m not entirely sure what I think any random person ought to do. All I’m suggesting is that you may want to be aware that God can create a fusion while you’re in the void. I cannot say how you will or might find it. (You would come up with your own ideas if I was coaching you). All I know is that it is there. It is hearable — or perhaps I should say, it is experience-able, because it is half-silent. You might well hear it while listening to music. You might well hear it practicing and embracing times of silence. If you’re used to doing one, try the other, and look for it. A still small voice, a fusion between music and silence which brings resonating peace.

Fusions in the Void, Number 10. Hot and Cold: The Eye of a Storm

Tornadoes suck. (Why not start with a bad pun?)

Cyclones, eddies, hurricanes, tempests, tornadoes, twisters, typhoons, vortices, and whirlwinds: In the middle there’s a void. A vacuum.

When they begin in the air, it’s with a clash of hot and cold systems. The cold shoves itself under the hot; the hot leapfrogs over the cold. Their push-of-war creates a rush, a cycle, a spin like a washing machine, spinning to the point that centrivical force takes over. High winds. Destruction in its wake.

And yet, in the center that void. That calm in the eye. In this case the void is a place where calm reigns in the midst of hot and cold. Hot and cold fuse not in the void but around it. It is said that one of the most frightening moments in a hurricane is the eye. Everything gets calm– too calm. Eerily calm.

What’s good in this? Where is the hope I’ve talked about so many times? First of all, in the eye, you’re midway through. If you’ve identified yourself in a Void Season (dark night of the soul or valley experience) then you’re already half done.

Jesus said that we should either be hot or cold, that if we’re lukewarm he’d spit us out. It’s true whether we’re talking about a cold  drink of water or hot tea, either way we sort of want our beverages to refresh us by either cooling us off or warming us up. The void arises when hot and cold attempt to mix. You can’t slam them together and have lukewarm air without a fight, without something getting knocked about. Eventually the environment in a single place is going to get a shift. You will have a change as the storm moves through. If it was humid and hot, now it will be drier and cooler, or vice versa. Things won’t stay the same. Whatever life was like, when the storm passes, it will be different. There’s no avoiding it. In the Void experiences in life, we have this moment were everything is still. We don’t face choices — not yet. We will come out the other side of the storm with decisions to make, and those decisions will be made well if we embrace who we’re becoming while we’re in the middle. Or, at least, embrace that we’re becoming something new.

If you don’t embrace the idea that you’re changing after the store is over, that a shift is coming, you’re liable to pick up your folding chair and try to take it along with you wherever the eye of the storm moves. In other words, you stay in the place of limbo longer, rather than accepting the idea that you’ve got to get through another half of this storm before you can proceed. Once the storm passes, you’ll take stock of your surroundings. Perhaps some things will be left untouched. Other things will be knocked down, some of them unrecognizable. It’s a chance to start fresh. I’m not saying it’s not scary. I know it’s terrifying! But the only way to find out what the landscape looks like and how that’s going to change your life is to move through the second half.

The Void can last a long time. Sometimes people prolong it by trying to stay in the middle of the Eye. Counter-intuitive as it may sound, it’s really quite comfortable in spite of its emptiness and eeriness. At least, in the Eye, we don’t have to face the future too much.

What’s God doing in the Void, in the Eye? He’s fusing hot and cold. Because eventually they will mix together. Not so that you can be lukewarm, but the storm doesn’t last. Storms play out. The hot and cold mixed, things settle down. God’s fusing things we can’t see while we sit in the middle of a crazy wind and listen.

In fact, God is in the Void with us, as Elijah discovered:

“Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:12)

Elijah then catalogs his feats. And God ignores them. All the instructions Elijah gets from God at this point involve sweeping reform. He’s instructed to crown two new kings and his successor is selected. What was God doing in the middle of all that storm? He was shuffling the deck. And He didn’t particularly care what Elijah’s track record was. It was time for something new.

We expect that in the Void God is out there throwing earthquakes around, when really he’s sitting right inside it watching to see whom we’re becoming. And He’s shuffling the deck. Be ready to have your track record ignored. It’s not because we serve an unloving God, it’s just that change is inevitable after the Void. Embrace that. A new day is coming.

Fusions in the Void, Part 9. Iron Hand and Carbon Heart: Steeled Resolve

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.

— Louis Nizer, 1948 (often misattributed to St. Francis of Assisi) 

The longer title here is “Iron Hand and Carbon Heart: A Steeled Resolve”

Steel is made of iron and carbon (and small amounts of other elements). Adding chromium-oxide gets you stainless steel.

The Iron Age began around 1200 B.C. in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) and steel came along roughly eight hundred years later in China. Iron is convertible to steel and becomes strong because of its excess of ductility –meaning it has properties which allow it to be stretched into wire. In other words, if you take a cylinder of iron and pull from either end, it will stretch a bit before it breaks. You can add carbon without losing structural integrity, and it makes the entire thing harder.

So what do I mean by the phrase “iron hand and carbon heart”? First of all, I’m not talking about the old cliche ruling with an iron fist. The work we do has to have a certain strength. The control we exert via our hands includes a measure of strength, but also skill, dexterity, flexibility and malleability. When we close our hand up into a fist, we become unreceptive to other influences. We think we’re getting harder, but really we’re getting weaker. More breakable. Cooler heads will prevail: the goal in keeping our heads cool is that we must remember that our hands really do have an excess of ductility. Something really could be added to what we do. Effort alone won’t get us where we hope to go, and we have to keep our hand open and extended to take hold of it.

Who would think you could add something as organic as carbon to make iron harder? It must have been discovered by accident! But this is our heart. This is the human component. Empathy and passion, things of the heart, things of carbon, must be added to our strength, skill, dexterity, etc., if we are to work as artists at whatever we do. This is no accident, but it’s also no easy task.

In the Void we experience this pain as though we were being stretched into a wire. Twisted, spun out, narrowed. What’s happening in our hearts here is that we’re finding out what we’re really made of. I read a secular coach’s blog once in which he asked the question regarding finding purpose in life: “What sort of sh*t sandwich are you willing to eat?” In the Void, you’re finding that out. You’re finding out just how far you can stretch, and you’re also mixing in your carbon. The minute you can’t take it anymore, you quit, you break. But if you can take it, and mix the carbon of your heart in with the skills you’ve learned, then you’re right on top of this fusion. The iron of your hand and the carbon of your heart. They come together in the Void to leave you with a steeled resolve. When you emerge from the void, you’re (mostly) impervious to the ill effects of success. Instant success means you didn’t get the fusion, you didn’t get steel. People who have instant success don’t have an appreciation for it, and they don’t maintain their stainless resolve to continue doing excellent work the way someone who has a steeled resolve will do. They know that the success isn’t about them, it’s about what happened in the Void. It’s about a fusion they fought for.

Paper beats rock, and steel beats iron.

Fusions in the Void, Part 8. Spirit and Body: A True Being

The ancient Greeks liked to separate the body and soul. It’s a nice idea: holiness is for the spirit, while the body is designed for pleasure.

But the dividends of a lifestyle geared for pleasing the body as a separate entity from the spirit are lackluster at best. That’s an interesting word, lackluster, meaning without a shine or polish. Life, for those who throw everything into bodily pleasure, ends up being dull. You can see it in addicts’ hair and eyes, their skin tone. Dullness. So, right, we all know what it is to be a little bit addicted at least. Maybe a video game had your attention to the detriment of your grades, or booze had a hold on you. I’ve been there too, and it’s not fun or easy to break out of.

When we become reactionaries at a fundamental level to this, we end up denying ourselves any pleasures at all. Various religious societies have encouraged people not to have sex, even when married, unless they are intentionally procreating. They have encouraged people never to drink a drop, or to not enjoy a sporting event, or whatever it may be. Perhaps you’ve been there too, a place where the pursuit of holiness has made you a complete puritan. I submit that the same thing happens. Our life takes on a lackluster quality, we eat beans because some people in the world are poor, we never dance because it might awaken something within our hearts, we eschew anything which might lead to lust or covetousness or what have you. And we grow dull.

In the Void, God’s Spirit hovered over the waters, making fusions of Godself, perfect spirit, with the mud, the earth, forming heavenly bodies in both the literal sense as well as the figurative (pick-up-line) sense. If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me? But there’s a reason we call bodies “heavenly” in this sense too. They reflect the goodness of the Truest Being.

I promoted fasting in my last blog on Fire and rain — purity. Today I promote also a step towards the sensual. Even in the depression and sadness of a void, or desert time in our lives, when we hurt spiritually and psychologically and hope and hunger for righteousness, we can get a lot out of a healthy, balanced enjoyment of physical pleasures. Jesus came out of the desert, where he’d been fasting, and performed his first miracle: he turned water into wine (how’s that for some fusion)! Even then, he said it wasn’t his time yet – he was still in many ways coming out of that desert experience, but he made time and gave energy to a party. So. Make love with your spouse. Find some good wine and cheese and share it with someone. Run until you break through the pain and find that “second wind” or runner’s high. Find a part of life that’s pleasing to your body and watch how it fuses with your spirit. It doesn’t mean the Void is over. I’m not suggesting wallowing in an addiction, and I certainly don’t think that doing these things will pull you “out of a funk” but sometimes we get so down in our spiritual quest that we forget to do something that just feels good. Let God fuse something within us; our bodies with our spirit, as we, too, become truer beings.

Previous sections of this series were published on these dates: #7 Fire and Rain on Oct 27, #6 Stone and Water on Oct 20, #5 Sword and Flesh on Oct 17, #4 Distance and Closeness on Oct 13, #3 Resting and Motion on Oct 10, #2 God and Darkness on Oct 6, #1 Fusions in the Void on Oct 3. See October archives on adamgfleming.com.

Fusions in the Void, Number 7. Fire and Rain: Purity

There are several ways to detoxify the physical body, and perhaps they serve either as a metaphor or even quite literally also for other ways of looking at the body, such as the spiritual, emotional or psychological body.

In the void experience, everything’s adrift. Laws such as gravity don’t even seem to work. I’m talking about those times in life when we feel like we’re in a spiritual vacuum.

The physical body gets rid of toxins via fasting and by sweat. Either way, for the body to reset it needs to stop ingesting so that it can focus on evacuation for a time. When fire and rain fuse, you get steam. Steaming out the toxins in a sweat lodge is a great way to experience fusion in the void. Spiritually, what do fire and rain mean as a metaphor? If you’re in a void, what do you bring together to create spiritual steam, to heat it up and eliminate toxins? Exercise, fasting, all these things are known to assist not only the physical body but also nourish the spiritual body as well.

Steam. In the water, toxins are trapped and evaporate through the skin. In the void God does provide fusion. It’s not a fusion to move forward, yet. It’s a fusion designed for a purification process. You can take a proactive engagement with this particular fusion. It requires little effort. In fact, in some ways it takes more effort to eat than to fast. (Cook, sit down for a meal, wash your dishes.) In some ways it takes more energy to be unfit, to not sweat, than it does to get out and walk for an hour, or to go to a sauna. (Certainly not at first).

I am not advocating a lifestyle where you never eat and also run ten miles a day. All things in balance. Fire and rain fuses in the void for purity.

Fusions in the Void, Number 6. Stone and Water-In-Motion: A Polish

In the early 1990s, Albert LaFleur used to tell me, every day, that he loved his pebble “from Nova Scotia. It pleases me more than the Rock of Gibraltar.”

This pebble fit in the palm of his hand: it was flat and smooth and had been worn down over many years to a smoothness that was pleasing to the touch. Albert was blind; there wasn’t much he hadn’t seen in his 95 years, but there was still something comforting in that pebble. Although his face wasn’t smooth, his heart was. What was wrong with the Rock of Gibraltar, I asked him. “It’s dark and craggy, ugly.” I realized later that the Rock of Gibraltar was the last stopping point before Mr. LaFleur went into the thick of World War One. The Rock of Gibraltar was a metaphor for another time in life, a time when the polishing didn’t happen gently, when the rocks of war clashed with one another, when men were left broken rather than polished.

We don’t think of water as “hard” (unless you’re that guy who installs water filters) but we do think of rocks as hard. Yet water against rock over time equals polish. Colors pop: reds and greens, subtler hues of gray and black. The rock, by itself, doesn’t become polished. Nor is it polished by something hard. In fact, if you take a hard rock and smack it against another hard rock, one is going to break, or at least bruise. Water in motion, on the other hand, when coming in waves as the moon circles the earth, can softly polish the rock.

In the Void it’s very easy for our hearts to feel like rocks. They sit inside our chests and, at least spiritually and psychologically speaking, they don’t even feel like they’re beating. Cold, solid, un-moving and unmoved. To experience a fusion in the void, we need water in motion. In fact, we need a tidal bore.

The Bay of Fundy creates a unique tide pattern daily. Most tides go up and down with a normal amount of highs and lows. The unique shape of the Bay of Fundy creates a phenomenon a bit like the sloshing of water back and forth in a long, narrow bathtub. That is to say, when the tides come in at the end of that bathtub, they come in really high, even pushing water upriver into the tributary. When the tide goes out in Truro, Nova Scotia, you can ride the river down as though it was whitewater. The rest of the day, the river is just a normal lazy river flowing into the Bay, but when the tide comes in or goes out, you get a quarter-hour or so of excitement.

So, if we are like rocks during the Void experience, it seems that a polishing is happening TO us, and this isn’t something we can strive for. It will just happen over time as though we were a boulder situated on the beach at the eastern end of the Bay of Fundy. The polishing is not something we can really see or feel happening, but God is there like the tide, in and out, water in motion. God pushes us, then pulls, then pushes again. In the Void, our rocky hearts fuse with the water God bathes us in. One day you will see, even if you are blind like old Mr. LaFleur — I invite you to have hope in this —  that this rock from Nova Scotia you’ve become is more pleasing than the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s happening. Even — especially when it isn’t noticeable.

If you want to read a fictitious rendering of the life of Albert LaFleur, pick up my novel, White Buffalo Gold. 

Fusions in the Void, Part 5. Sword and Flesh: A Word that Pierces

In the Void things Fuse for the sake of Hope.

Unless you have a strong stomach, don’t google ‘swords and tongues images’. I thought about posting a featured image but really these two things just don’t mix. You get swords coming out of mouths, going into mouths, people cutting their own tongues, and none of it’s pretty. This is a fusion of relatively incompatible neighbors. It’s bad enough when swords come out of fists, a la Wolverine.

Here, a Polish-French Canadian performance artist named Kinga Araya uses a sort of prosthetic sword in a piece called Orthoepic as she explores issues of identity/ group belonging. It’s one of the least weird visuals even remotely related to the topic, and this is a performance artist we’re talking about!

The Bible is full of imagery of tongues and swords. Hebrews 4:12, for example, is linguistically somewhat complicated and speaks of “the word of God [which] is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword”.

Without too much detail, commentaries suggest that this usage of the word “Word” do not refer to the written word (Bible) nor exactly to the person of Jesus (the word made flesh), but rather it makes a broader reference to a word of judgement, what we would call a clearly stated or unanimous verdict in a court case. Isaiah 11 and other prophecies in the Old Testament pay tribute to the idea that this is a word which proceeds from Jesus’ mouth. It’s a razor-thin line which leaves no grey area when all is said and done, “piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thought and intentions of the heart.” It’s a fusion which began in the Void, a fusion of sharpness (the Word) and of flesh (that soft mushy tongue, so sensual, dangerous and versatile).

So first of all this is usually quoted with the (incorrect) assumption that the passage is talking about the written down words of the Bible. Second, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone talk about what precedes it — the context. And all the way back to the beginning of chapter three, the author is speaking of one thing: Entering Rest.

In the “void” of the creation story the work begins in a timeless moment, but the act of creation not only begins in this Void, but ends in Rest — perhaps a mirror-like reflection of the Void for all practical purposes. Dig in to the earlier part of Hebrews 4 a little bit and you’ll see that there are two sort of moments for rest. One is Today, and the other is Another Day.

“Let us strive to enter that Rest” (verse 11) becomes this beautiful paradox; the sword-flesh knows our thoughts, carves us up. “Today”, we can enter it, (as modern writers might say, “In the Moment” or “Living in the Present”) and “Another Day” as well. We can observe a Sabbath, we can embrace moments or years or decades of the Void for the sheer restfulness they offer, and we wait as well for Another Day.

This fusion begins in the void, and it ends on Another Day. I suspect that the best way to “Strive” to enter it is really just to observe Rest on a more continual basis than simply the Sabbath (as a construct) and to live Sabbath all week long. I’ve written before about finding “Hedgerow” time, time to walk along the edges of the fields, to pick fruit that only comes to us wild, uncultivated, to embrace the possibility that in resting we find our source of sustenance rather than in work.

This is all a rather difficult thing to pursue. My point is not particularly to do a completely in depth study. It’s to look for where things may be fusing in the void, so that if you’re in one of those dry, desert, Dark Night of the Soul type places, I want to encourage you to find that for Today rest is enough. I know the restlessness that happens in that place, how difficult it is to focus our thoughts, intents and desires on Rest, but I know that as the sword and flesh fuse Today we can see the Void that was and Another Day to come reflected equally. The razor’s edge is the light striking the mirror, or the prism of our hearts, breaking things into colors, showing us where Rest is available and where it isn’t. Let the word that pierces and dissects and gives a verdict show you the way to Rest.

As I read back over this whole thing I realize the tone is pretty mystical. I’d say it strikes the right chord for such a paradoxical fusion! If it all feels rather nebulous today, I hope that the previous articles on Fusions in the Void, and the articles to follow, will surround and support the ideas here. In other words, I don’t think that this particular article stands on its own but as a continuation of the flow of other thoughts. So read those too, and see if they don’t provide a skeleton for this fleshy piece of writing.