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The angel and the birdcatcher

Source: Matthew 18: 19-20


It's a hard thing to have come here. Useless things fill my head, and that makes me suffer. Emptiness is suffering; it's a place where life finds no expression. Emptiness wanders aimlessly; it blocks creativity. Thinking aimlessly hollows out my spirit.

So to escape, I went to a place of nothingness, a place where I'm expected. For me emptiness holds death by annihilation, but the nothingness where I'm going holds my potential, my ability, my plan.

What was wandering aimlessly was music. A tune you couldn't get out of your head, a kind of mental droning, like bees buzzing, only this hive had no purpose, no desire, no future. I was like a drowning person given a stay of execution, floating on the laughable rowboat of a scrap of joy.

So, because music can crowd everything else out of your mind, I prayed: I would like to hear the choir of angels singing an "Ave Maria". In fact that's the most beautiful music I know. The angels sing unaccompanied: they are themselves the musical instruments. They don't produce sounds that the spirit can hear because the spirit has no ears, but they emit their pure essences, which alter their environment. And their rowboat isn't laughable: they're cupped in the hand of the one who hovers over the waters.

But listening to them alters my being so much that I can't keep it up for more than a few seconds, two or three at most. So I told myself, maybe if just one of them could sing it might not be as loud and I could get a bit used to it. But they let me know that they don't sing for humans. They pray, by the one in whose hand they are held.
Perhaps I should try to join them instead of attempting to see a hymn I'm not meant to hear. But I don't think an ordinary soul can do that. The angels think we're a little like springs of water, at best thirsty for transcendence, but also capable of the worst. They watch over us if we want, but they don't bargain.

I'm just a birdcatcher trying to catch the sky I'm missing. A hope poacher. The cage of my heart is open, and if it gives birth then a whole sky will be born for birds to live in.

All I catch is the blue of the sky.

I sat down in the grass, looked into the big blue sky over my head, and tried to let my eyes absorb as much of it as they could, until my spirit became blue. Then I closed my eyelids and waited for the blue to disappear. In the night sky, I concentrated as if I were straining my ears, to hear the angels, and I felt that they were there. But the truth is, that was easy: the angels are everywhere; they don't take up any space.
Maybe they were silent, or maybe my spirit had become deaf, but I didn't hear them.
So I didn't sing, but I remembered the "Ave Maria" the way I used to hear it. The memory of that sound expanded in my spirit, and then espoused it, so that I was that whole hymn.

Lord, see how this feeling for your mother can put your sky into my soul.
It's so unbelievable to be part of all this beauty.
This magnificence you allow to happen in me: let it be to your honour and, as you prayed, let it be to your Father's glory.