“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue

16 January 2014: East Oakland

1 Kings 19

The cave was not unlike a home.
She could straighten the hand towels
and dust the candlesticks
there just as well as anywhere.
The constant crumbling
was a nuisance, of course,
and it was impossible
to keep the threshold swept clear
of the outside trying to make its way in.
When the wind came,
it made a circuit clear across the dinner table,
setting flowers and crystal to flight.

But God was not in the wind.

There was the night
when the whole scene
shook and swayed,
waking her from shallow sleep,
and the lights flashed on and off.
Two hours of tremors,
then every photo down from the walls,
not just shattered glass
but frames snapped and paper ripped to pieces,
with the rage intent
on eviscerating morning.  

But God was not in the earthquake.

She found she could be
in a place that her hands called home
while her heart was a thousand miles away,
alone on an island in a lake of fire. 
She knew she should not set camp there,
as her birthright called out
from the not so distant shore.
But night fell, as it always does,  
with the flames no less enthusiastic.
So she slept again,
like the caged lioness sleeps,
hearing whispers of the hunt in her dreams. 

But God was not in the fire.

In the end,
there was the silence that stood calmly
on her doorstep
for three full days
before it asked:
“What are you doing here?”

No words for an answer.
Only hands,