Just the other evening as Dante the Little Man and I were walking together, we turned our gaze heavenward and there appeared in the darkness of the sky three stars that seemed to speak to us. Their arrangement reminded me of the Gregorian chant notation for that powerful passage in the Praeconium Paschale:
Haec nox est!
(This Is the Night!)
Later in the evening as I was looking through some of my mother’s old drawings and sketches, I came upon one drawing with a design that seemed to echo the patterns I had observed in the darkness earlier. Naturally, the similarity of patterns was pure coincidence. Still, somehow I found meaning in the mysterious relationship that inhabits distant and seemingly unrelated things like an ancient alignment of stars, a simple drawing made years ago and far away by someone I love, a traditional chant that echoes through my consciousness, and the wondrous experience of a passing moment made possible by a mongrel dog.
The one thing we cannot live without is meaning. We simply cannot bear the weight of meaningless: sooner or later it annihilates us from the inside outward. It strikes me that in this moment of dark and night we are actually in process of discovering whether our existence has meaning. If there is no meaning, our kind will have no future at all. But if, as I suspect, there is some meaning — a meaning that no word or idea could ever hope to capture — then we stand at the threshold of a reality greater than any of us could ever imagine.
September 5, 2016