Juvenile loons

Loons are seafaring birds, a member of the Gavia family, indicating that they are awkward on land. They resemble a large duck, with webbing between their toes. In general they are black and white, with a little grey on their heads & necks and white bellies. They feed by swimming across a lake, spot their lunch by sight, and suddenly up-end, diving under to grab their prey. Juvenile loons have a distinct call they make to signal other Loons, especially those of the opposite sex. It sounds like this—

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Loons.ogg

There isn’t anything quite like sitting on a dock on a New Hampshire lake, listening to the evening cry of the Loon. It calms the soul and draws one back to a simpler time where the sounds and movements of the natural world held such restful, tranquil majesty.

By contrast, a number of people with whom I have crossed paths could also be designated as juvenile loons. They have never quite grown up. It is not their playfulness or zest for life at issue; those characteristics are wonderful. It is a sense that they do not want to grow up. They only want to play; their life is split between earning just enough money so that they can play, or throw themselves into gaming, or collect things they cannot afford. They have never quite owned up to the responsibility they need embrace for their own lives. This is especially catastrophic when others must pay the price—parents, spouses, and children. Being a unremitting juvenile is not a life option.

The word Loon is a North American derivative from the Olde English lumme, meaning lummox, clumsy, or awkward. We have all crossed paths with people who just don’t seem to fit in, or who are obviously uncomfortable in social situations— proverbial bulls in a china shop. These people unsettle others, making conversation seem forced. Their lives seem to be a series of mishaps, one after another.

Some of these clumsy misfits can be retrained to be more socially appropriate:  some cannot.

The real issue is whether we can learn to honor and accept them as fellow human beings. This is no simple matter. It involves relinquishing condemnation, and forging a love out of loathsomeness. It means realizing that this juvenile could become a voice for justice: and this Loon a future leader.

All of us are at different levels, social strata’s, at different phases of our ability to contribute to the common good. This is how God would have us be— involved in the juveniles and loons of our society, while raising their status before God and men.

Have a nice week,

Gary

lilting opacity

Light. It illuminates whatever it touches…, mostly. [It can burn too.] Light clarifies, brightens, melts the cold, and pierces the darkness. Light is necessary for sight to work. It is necessary for organic life to grow on the surface of this small planet, dangling in space. Light shines! And it soothes all those basking in it to its radiance and warmth.

Solid objects block light— buildings, window shades, trees, and definitely mountains (unless you are standing on top of one, of course). Some people block light too. They block light coming into them— dense. They block light issuing from them— dark. There is something about them that dims the light around them and grows darker the closer we approach. To know them intimately is not to know them at all—their true self lies veiled somewhere within their shroud of darkness. They do little to shed light on the truth, on others, and even on themselves.

Opacity describes the capacity to block light or to allow it to shine through. Opacity diffuses intense light into a spectrum of gentleness that is soft to the touch, soothing the eyes, and caressing the beholder. It may be how the Lord God actually veils himself to us, protecting us from his grandeur. Lilting describes the ability of a musical score, a breeze, or a swaying motion, to lift the spirit, to grant it fleeting lightness and a whimsical feeling of soaring. It is the bearable lightness of being. Melding these two images into one presents us a visage of our ability to become vessels of light, lifting the spirits of others to pass through whatever darkness they may reside and to grasp the hope needed to rise above their personal mire, loss, pain, or emptiness.

We have a choice, you and I— to cloak the light granted to us in inner darkness, or to rise above our bitterness, grief, and regret, to allow that Light, infused within us by the Lord God Creator, to glow through every crevice of our being, thus drawing other people out of their own dark night of the soul. A note of warning:  light does have the power to burn as well. It may sear you to let your light so shine. So make sure that the source of your light is a friendly one. The Light may still singe you as it glitters and grows brighter; but, then again, some things have need to be burned away to make a way for the clear light to shine through.

Have a nice week,

Gary