Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How can I keep from singing?

     "Every now and then we enter the presence of the numinous and deduce for an instant how we're formed, in what detail the force that infuses every petal might specifically run through us, wishing only to lure us into our full potential.  Usually, the closest we get is when we love, or when some beloved beams back, which can galvanize you like steel and make resilient what had heretofore only been soft flesh.  (Dev, you gave me that.)  It can start you singing as the lion pads over to you, its jaws hinging open, its hot breath on you.  Even unto death.

Mary Karr 2009 Pax Christi"

     Mary Karr, Lit:  a memoir (New York:  HarperCollins Publishers, 2009), 385-386.  The allusion is to p. 350:  "Early Christians, [Tobias Wolff] tells me, partly won converts by going to death singing.  I mean, a lion is eating your face and you're singing.  Or you're crucified upside down and you're singing.  It's undeniable that some experience changed them from the normal consciousness.  Maybe they were hypnotized, brainwashed.  Aren't suicide bombers gleeful?"

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