Tuesday, April 20, 2010

against atheism

Went for a walk this morning. The colors were painterly, brilliant blue sky, leafing trees like a row of soft green brushes standing up, reflected in the doubling still river.

I walked down the path to the scenic overlook and noted that the end of a slender branch has disappeared, a casualty most likely of winter winds and heavy snows. It seems like such an inconsequential thing to miss. But actually last fall it was an occasion for me of a Eureka moment, my own version of the apple falling on Isaac Newton's head. It was a September morning, cool and misty, and there must be a time of year for spiderwebs - and that was it - because there were fantastic webs everywhere, like pictures hanging on wooded gallery walls. I headed down the narrow path and at eye level, about the size of my hand, was the hand of this branch end, thin twigs like fingers, through which threaded the web like spokes through a wheel. I looked at it head-on, a two-dimensional view. Then I took another step forward and was dismayed to realize that there was a three-dimensional, parabolic aspect to the branch, and that the web extended back, projecting from behind, as if from the back of the hand, fingertips splayed forward. I regarded the web with amazement and felt that maybe I was looking at a miniature visual metaphor for the universe - that we see things at one angle and think that's all there is to see, while from just a slight shift in angle there's a whole other perspective, and dimensionality and existence, like a film projector casting images -- we look at the screen and we see the images, but not the projector - but the projector is there. Why not believe that that is how God works in the universe?

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