Sunday, October 30, 2016

Heaven Ghostly

I just got back from a trip to New York. Did I jot down some observations in a jotting book of precious jottings? You bet I did! But I'm not "blogging" anymore, so these jottings - never to be seen in their raw form by the likes of you! - will be fashioned into "short story material" through the miracle of "fiction writing." BUT! I have sparse and spare jottings left over and I guess this is the only place to put them. Did you know that I almost FILLED UP an entire jotting book in one trip? I don't believe I've ever done that before. The particular jotting book in which my jottings for this trip were jotted was a gift from Adam Muto, and an especially nice one considering the time he gently and rightly upbraided me for jotting too much and letting life pass me by. What meager jottings am I allowed to share as a committed non-"blogger"? My trip began in Upstate New York. Jim Whorton drove me past Shirley Jackson's childhood home! Couple of days later in New York City, Julia - prompted by Megan Abbott - came up with the title I.Q. 2: HIGHER I.Q. for a sequel to the film I.Q. So please contact us immediately if you want us to go forward with it. Soon Jimmy and I were in a bar talking about when God showed Julian of Norwich a hazelnut and then we moved on to the part of THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING about "heaven ghostly" being all around us. Jimmy has kindly emailed me the actual texts to which we had been alluding. "Also in this He shewed a littil thing the quantitye of an hesil nutt in the palme of my hand, and it was as round as a balle. I lokid there upon with eye of my understondyng and thowte, What may this be? And it was generally answered thus: It is all that is made. I mervellid how it might lesten, for methowte it might suddenly have fallen to nowte for littil. And I was answered in my understondyng, It lesteth and ever shall, for God loveth it; and so all thing hath the being be the love of God." And "For heaven ghostly is as nigh down as up, and up as down: behind as before, before as behind, on one side as other. Insomuch, that whoso had a true desire for to be at heaven, then that same time he were in heaven ghostly. For the high and the next way thither is run by desires, and not by paces of feet." On the way home, I was soundly, deeply asleep on the airplane when a voice startled me awake. It was some guy saying loudly in my ear "I see the sky and wonder why it's blue instead of red." I have to say it scared the hell out of me! But my earbuds were in, and it was Porter Wagoner doing like a spoken word thing. A pretty mellow song for Porter Wagoner, I don't know why it scared me so much, though he does get into the impenetrable silence of God later on in his recitation.