New Worlds from Dust

In his book, The Final Beast, Frederick Buechner writes of Nicolet who bangs an erratic rhythm and asks his friend, Denbigh if he could dance to it if it were the only music that could be heard.  Denbigh replies that he supposes he could, but he’s not quite sure what his friend is talking about.  Nicolet admits that he really doesn’t either.  

“But whatever this is we move around through. . .” He raked his hand slowly back and forth through the air.”  “Reality . . . the air we breathe . . . this emptiness . . . If you could get hold of it by the corner somewhere, just slip your fingernail underneath and peel it back enough to find what’s there behind it, I think you’d be—“

If only we could all write like Buechner.  

What would we find if we were to peel back the corner?  Buechner’s character leaves the door open to endless possibilities.  

Can we let go of the stories that we have inherited or created?  Can we be ok with what we see beneath?  We may just realize the people we thought we knew weren’t who we thought they were.  We may also find that we weren’t either.  Why hide from ourselves?  After all, all things come into the light eventually.

Reality should be held loosely.  For too long have we held on to our own versions of reality so tightly that we can feel it crack in our palms.  We create stories in our minds and tell ourselves that they are truth and not merely the musings of our fragile egos.  

I have known realities.  And I have seen them disappear like fog being cut by the sun.  I have held on to truths.  And I have felt them run through my fingers like sand while my fingernails dug into my palms.  

If our feet are planted so firmly on the ground and our fingers are locked in a death grip, then how can we take the hand of another and dance?  

Nicolet answers some of this sense of wonder after thinking briefly:

“I think the dance that must go on back there,” Nicolet began, “way down deep at the heart of space, where being comes from . . . There’s dancing there, Denbigh. My kids have dreamed it. Emptiness is dancing there. The angels are dancing. And their feet scatter new worlds like dust.” 

I wonder what these worlds would look like.  Walking away from the old ones makes room for the new, whatever that may be.  If only we could let go of being so sure and learn to embrace the mystery, we just might see these worlds take form before our very eyes and hear the gentle clack-clack of angels’ feet just beyond the ether.

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