Friday Flashback — Ontology in the Bathtub

Oct 5, 2012

Years before I had this blog, I kept a (mostly) friends-locked diary at Livejournal. I was teaching high school back then and thus had lots of stress to vent, but I also had occasional moments of joy and triumph to celebrate.

I still blog at Livejournal, and very occasionally I go back and read old entries. Many of them are silly, and sometimes a bit too angsty, but a few entries still make me smile. I miss that old Sonia sometimes.

With that in mind, I decided it might be fun to occasionally resurrect particular entries for “Friday Flashback.” Yes this is self-indulgent, but it may be the only way to save favorite entries if/when Livejournal bites the dust for good. And again, there’s the smile factor. I need more of these.

So . . . let’s take the Wayback Machine to: MARCH 23, 2005!

I just had to write about this moment I experienced recently — a spiritual, transcendant sort of moment. I had one of those flashes of pure joy, during which I felt this overwhelming sense of connectedness, of awareness, of beingness. (It made me think of Madeleine L’Engle’s discussions of “ontology” in A Circle of Quiet.) It was gorgeous. But here’s the kicker. Do you wanna know where this experience took place?

*drum roll*

It happened when I was in the BATHTUB.

Seriously, though, the water was the perfect temperature, the bubbles smelled wonderful and were piled as high as my chin, and I was listening to the Mansfield Park soundtrack, which is just . . . so . . . amazing. And this burst of joy flooded over me.

It reminded me of a poem by Emily Dickinson. I’ve always adored this piece because it speaks of the holiness of our daily surroundings, the divinity of nature, the possibility of a direct connection to God, in a completely accessible and non-preachy way. And it always reminds me of that moment in the movie Black Robe, when the poor Jesuit priest, struggling to survive in the wild woods of the New World, suddenly perceives how the tree branches are forming a cathedral-like arched canopy. Oh, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it all (and I’m not what you would call conventionally religious).

The poem:

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.


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