Saturday, 24 May 2008

The thin veil of solidity

I've often been drawn to this poem - no idea where I got it from.

It can be read on a number of levels. In the light of the recent events in China, we can't ignore its literal meaning - asking what kind of God could create a world so prone to such disasters.

I've always read it, though, metaphorically (maybe I'm reading into it) about those times when you realise the apparent certainties of life - those things you've built your life on - are not as secure or well-founded as was once imagined. I always thought about how God should have made the world and the Christian faith had he had a better mind - with no earthquakes and with clear, laid-down Christian dogmas and historically verifiable sacred texts. Yet, he didn't! Its all so much more vulnerable:

Though the mountains tremble:
and deep,deep, deep in the earth
rocks flow like water
in unimaginable heat that
changes their very nature
their molecular structure.
Below our feet. Below our
bended knees. One weakness
in the crust, the thin veil of
solidity, the illusion of soil and
rock. There is heat, flow,
currents of magnetism,
pulses of energy, while we
sleep and dream. One
weakness in the crust,
one fold, one slip, one fault,
and all that is solid melts into
itself, consumed by fire.
What world is this? Made
by what God, in what kind
of heaven enthroned?
The pulses stir, turn, twist
on themselves, seek weakness
meet resistence, move on.

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