On these dark days of midwinter I have found myself hungry, ravenous, for light. The seasonal depression seems to be especially dark this year, and so I use my camera as a weapon, an eye that can help me see in moments of clarity.
Tonight, clutching for something to hold on to, I took a book from my shelf that I have not opened in years. It is a collection of quotations, one for each day of the year, by the novelist/preacher/philosopher Frederich Buechner, who hails from nearby Vermont. I discovered this book in high school, when I was in the midst of my first bought with depression. It is called "Listening To Your Life" which was at the time, and still remains, a staggering challenge. Listen? To my life? What might I hear if I really did that in good faith?
Flipping open to "January 1" I found this passage:
I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such a limited and limiting life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up onto extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day's work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him [or her] or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly. . . If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: tough, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
I like that. "All moments are key moments..." I guess if any of them really matter, then all of them matter. Life itself is grace, mystery, holy and hidden. Yes.