The sun rises, then sets; the moon bleaches the undulating surfaces of an oblivious sea; a newborn roe fawn, graceful and ethereal, is eaten by lion. All this time, we ask, ‘what is this for?’ What is its deeper meaning? Perhaps we are blinded by our addiction to reasons, we are done in by presupposing that things must have reasons behind them – guided by a sure hand, a resolute truth, a stern law, a cosmic debt, an abiding promise. Everything must be used up, taken in – nothing left to waste. Each day, however, in my struggles for authenticity, I am reminded that the world is larger than my capacity to be purposeful or useful; I am reminded that ‘nature’ is extravagant, awkward, irreverent – spawning species, only to ingest them again – and not in service of some larger plot, but in its own radical hospitality, sacred hypocrisy and wanton spontaneity.
‘Why’ becomes a chain that tethers me to the familiar, instead of a first unsure step into the thick. Don’t misunderstand me: I want to hold my reasons close; I want to hug them and nestle my face in theirs. But sometimes I want to lose them in the distance – and be part of a song that knows no lyric, no crescendo, no paradigm, no dramatic selah, no panting stop. I want to be lost in a bokeh of playful lights, with no sharp boundaries or specificity. I want to be unhinged from my slow circuitry around the gravitational pull of purpose. I want to dance to an incongruous stirring of noise and sunset, and know – if only for a moment – that what happened has no explanation. Or need not have one.