Sunday, July 13, 2008

God and The Tree Frogs and The Heartbeat

I posted a couple of days ago about quantum theology, and got some help. Thank you, Jan! Later this week, I’ll start reading the book.

There were a couple of conversations that prompted me to ask now. It’s funny how these things start. In one, we were on the phone; he was outside; and I could hear the tiny tree frogs, singing like crazy. When I said so, he said that he’d wondered how they could be so little and so loud, and listened and found that when all the little trees frogs are together, their croaking synchronizes, and you hear one big croak. And I thought, “The Tree Frogs’ Heartbeat.” That there is a place, way down deep inside, where all the tree frogs are part of a larger, collective Tree Frog life or purpose – and it’s that larger Heartbeat that they synchronize to.

Then he said that someone had discovered centuries ago that two pendulum clocks on the same shelf will synchronize their ticking within half-an-hour. That would be vibration through the board, that’s what my ancient physics lessons tell me. But it’s working its way into my thoughts on Heartbeat – clocks have Heartbeat.

I said I know from experience that when women live together, their monthly cycles synchronize, and if they live where they are touched by moonlight regularly, the cycles synchronize and become moon cycles. Another friend said a couple of days later, that was true of her and her college roommate – they’d get their periods at the same time. And the room they lived in was tiny – they would wake up some mornings and find they’d dreamed of the same things.

That friend who lives with the tree frogs did advanced graduate studies in linguistics. He’s told me before – language didn’t develop out of our need to communicate (many species communicate without language); it developed out of semantics. There are huge variants in human language. Most of us are most familiar with languages with a subject-verb-object agreement. The subject performs an action, and the verb agrees with it in gender and number. He was talking about languages that originated in Australia, where the verb agrees with the object of the action. We learn language so early and it is rooted in and reflects and shapes our cultural realities. I am struggling with how to construct a sentence using that kind of structure. The important part is – all human language has certain deep parallels of structure, no matter how different they appear in use.

I was off the intertubes for a few weeks, because I was struggling with my own black dog. There are family issues – Dad’s not in crisis any more; they’re managing the symptoms that were causing the crisis. There were internal issues. Fear. Stubbornness. There was part of my life I thought God wasn’t going to help with, so I was trying to run it myself. (That’s been working out just about as well as you might expect, and was a big part of the arrival of the black dog.) I’ve been praying, thinking, writing and meditating about God – why I’d think I’d HAVE to deal with this on my own. What in my understanding of the God I grew up with led to that? Where I’m just plain wrong, and where I can find passages in the Bible and elsewhere that show me how wrong I am.

I’m back to trying to focus on God as The Singleness, and that we are all necessary and beloved parts of The Singleness. I’d been counseled, in my meditation, to focus on my breathing, and I’ve been doing that. Going inside to the important thing, the basis of life. Trying to listen to it. I've been starting with breath, and moving to my own heartbeat.

What I’ve been trying to listen FOR is The Heartbeat of the Singleness. I believe there is one. The beating of the Sacred Heart of God, God who loves us all. I believe it might be possible to hear it. I believe The Singleness manifests different ways – in the synchronized croaking of the frogs; in the clocks on a shelf; the commonalities of our language; the mysterious synchronization of moon cycles, for example. When I’m listening, I listen for how this that I hear could be a manifestation of The Heartbeat. Where I live, I hear a lot of traffic, and even in that, I listen for The Heartbeat. The world is never silent.

It’s difficult to post this, you know? Difficult to reveal what’s going on inside, to get nekkid in front of strangers who might drop in because they googled “Tree Frogs”. In some ways, more difficult with the not-strangers. But I’ll tell you something – if this is crazy, it still feels better than dealing with that big ol’ black dog.


FranIAm said...

Hmmm- you have said a lot here, I have to sit with it and pray with it.

So for now I will simply thank you deeply for saying it... for putting yourself out there, for sharing this, for being so generous.

Kate Morningstar said...

Fran -- I'm trying to put into words in a short space something that's taken a long time to get to. It's nowhere near done yet. I don't know how well I'm doing it -- I just know I'm going to keep doing it. Keep on reading and thinking about God in different ways, and praying, and meditating and listening.

And I still believe that just because I'm finite and God isn't, most of what I'm going to come to is going to be, maybe not wrong, but, inadequate? It's like the Psalm says -- His thoughts are more than the grains of sand and they are too much for me. What that means to me too, is that the things you and I fear, about being unemployed, for example, are possibly, even likely, wrong as well.