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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Not The Same, But The Same

We are not all the same. Each one of us is a unique individual.

Yesterday morning, I saw the end of one of the largest rainbows I have ever seen. Now, every rainbow I have seen has been different. The last one I saw before Tuesday was a double one in Iowa in late July. The sky around it was a Chinese blue, marked with pink clouds. The double rainbow was "in the east" part of the sky. I think in 2014, I have seen more rainbows in one year than I have in any other year. I may have seen eight or nine this year.

On this day, the rainbow, or rather the end of it, grew like a plant out of the Mediterranean and ended in small white clouds. This rainbow formed over the sea, and the rain in that part of Middle-Sea, plus the sun, created this huge end of the rainbow. It, too, was in the east.

Same colors, same direction in the sky, but completely different in context, size, reference...

And, so as humans, we share some of the same colors, perhaps even the same brilliance, but our contexts, our placings, our sizes vary.

All the rainbows I have ever seen in my life have brought me joy, either a quiet, calm joy, or a rapturous joy.

On Tuesday, I was just happy to see one, coming out of the sea like some great stalk of hope for me, for Malta.

God gave us the rainbow as a promise. He gives each one of us a promise. If we follow His ways and obey Him in truth and love, we shall spend eternity with Him.

The goal of all humans is the same, even though our individual paths are quite distinct.

As I watched this giant fragment of color fade away, I realized that of all the people walking or running on the Promenade, that I was the only one looking at the rainbow.

Everyone else, about thirty people perhaps, were busy talking, walking dogs, jogging, running for a bus, and bustling along to work or shopping.

No one was stopping to look at something which will never be seen again, as this rainbow was created on this day, out of a combination of rain over a certain part of the sea and the sun shining in a certain direction.

I wanted to share this quiet joy, but no one was looking around, or even staring out to sea.

What is missed cannot be repeated. I was reminded that every day I must pay attention to God, or I may miss something. I have seen an English robin here, and I shall never see that one again, in that place by the sea. I was paying attention to its song and, therefore, I knew it was there, somewhere, and saw it.

To miss such a small thing would be important to me, like missing a grace in a moment of time.

I shall never see this exact rainbow again. I am grateful to have been in the right place at the right time.

Here, again, is one of my favorite poems on this point.

One of my few regrets in life is that I did not come to Britain until after David Jones had died. But, I did visit his grave in 1985, one of the first things I did when coming to live in Britain.

A, a, a, Domine Deus (1974)

David Jones

I said, Ah! what shall I write?
I enquired up and down.
(He’s tricked me before
with his manifold lurking-places.)
I looked for His symbol at the door.
I have looked for a long while
at the textures and contours.
I have run a hand over the trivial intersections.
I have journeyed among the dead forms
causation projects from pillar to pylon.
I have tired the eyes of the mind
regarding the colours and lights.
I have felt for His wounds
in nozzles and containers.
I have wondered for the automatic devices.
I have tested the inane patterns
without prejudice.
I have been on my guard
not to condemn the unfamiliar.
For it is easy to miss Him
at the turn of a civilisation.
I have watched the wheels go round in case I
might see the living creatures like the appearance
of lamps, in case I might see the Living God projected
from the Machine. I have said to the perfected steel,
be my sister and for the glassy towers I thought I felt
some beginnings of His creature, but A,a,a Domine Deus,
my hands found the glazed work unrefined and the terrible
crystal a stage-paste …Eia, Domine Deus.