Archive for August, 2013

Nature’s Grace

Posted: August 25, 2013 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010


The Earth is the most graceful person I know.

The art of Grace is a subtlety.  It is neither deception nor equivocation, and yet it is not truth.  To be achieved, it requires a misdirection of multiple parts.

Firstly, the person on whom the subtlety is acted must take a perception that is true.  Often, it is believed that grace includes only that the person believes it to be true, but that is a cubic zirconia.  A gold-digger’s grace; mere deception.  The truth of the perception received must be real, both in the mind of the Graceful and in actual fact.

A skill of real grace is revealed if the perceiver does not, entirely believe the truthful fact themselves.  A master will leave an amateur perceiver believing they have perpetrated a misdirection of their own design – that the Graceful believes a falsity.  A complete reversal of reality, not by design, but by the weakness of the perceiver.  A veteran perceiver will more quickly turn to doubt than confidence – a modest humility or a selfless skepticism.  But the truth-in-fact, and the truth in the Graceful’s mind of the perception must remain.

Secondly, the person on whom the subtlety is acted must take an old perception as original.  This is not to be confused with making the previously unperceived, perceived.  For that is a makeup.  A harlot’s grace; mere equivocation.  The truth of this perception must have come previously, true in the perceiver’s mind by some other affirmation.  It is only born-again.

The skill of real grace in this case is revealed by the weight of the revelation.  A master will leave an amateur believing that the perception is entirely new; lightning from the sky.  A veteran perceiver will instead believe that it is a phoenix; a thing once dead but breathed life again, wearing new feathers.

Thirdly, the effect of the perception in the first step must be to have the perceiver accept the proposition reborn but unsaid in the second.  This is to be an obvious step, but not one that follows from necessity, and so the Graceful must follow through.  It is easy for the perceiver, left unguided at this point, to consider these two perceptions as separate instances, and so immediately reject the second as brilliant, beautiful but ultimately unsupportable.  While the arrogance of the amateur will complete the process, a veteran perceiver will quickly recognize this.  The skill of the Graceful is defined in their ability to provide the bridge.

It is then that the Graceful has communicated that which is true, with a statement that is true, while never claiming any ownership to the thing at all, and offering the platitude of ownership to the perceiver, without cost, should they so desire it.

The Earth is an incredible source of Grace.   How quickly we perceive the truth of nature’s beauty and bounty – so ever-present and self-evident.  How easily it ignites all of our feelings of human passion, spirit, and glory – with an inexplicable newness, every time.  And surely, even the skeptics (and surely the humble!), accept the two as connected.  If our soul shares one ounce of that splendor, how could that brilliance be rejected?  We, who are made in His Image, are at least to that extent, Gods ourselves.  We, who come from dirt, share all the romance and perfection of that dirt.

Perfect Grace is the impossible art of providing a positive by proving a negative.  It requires the expression of a truth through the provision of an infinite number of independent and unique truths.  The Earth offers the single answer of its nature to billions of perceivers every day.  They, no matter their own acceptance of it, see the truth in it.  In turn, they see the value it offers them and their own humanity.

The Earth, every day, proves a negative.



Posted: August 11, 2013 by Zachary in October 2010

RoadtripThe most valued “road trip” possession I own was never mine to begin with.  It’s a stolen possession – never meant for me and, as I am skilled in my sins, never known to its creator as missing.

As time would (always) have it, it’s now also a relic of a time gone by.

It’s a CD.  At one time regarded as the evolution of a “mix tape,” this CD contains a careful selection of 24 folk-y, whimsical tunes.  No names auto-populate into iTunes when it’s tossed into my laptop.  The artists are largely forgotten to both the old and the young – it’s an obscure collection known to a particular age group.  And, save for their 15 minutes of fame, these artists were really only the admired of a select few.  To be honest, I don’t think I could even tell you who they are.

The disk’s surface is blank, with only the demarcation Fav’s scrawled in black felt marker.  And when I put it into a CD-player, I know three things:

1)  I cannot remember for the life of me what’s on it.
2)  I’m going to enjoy the next 24 songs
3)  I’ll have my best friend beside me.

The first time I encountered this CD was in the passenger-side seat of my friend’s car, driving a road-trip across the province.  He opened his glove compartment and there lay 7 or 8 CDs.  All labeled in his perfectly enigmatic hand:  Folk, Laid-Back, Jazz, Home….  We listened through them all, including Fav’s.  I can’t say that there was anything that stood out about this CD more than others.  He certainly didn’t covet it more than the others, suggesting that its name was a category of a bygone time.  But we listened to it just the same.

Now, years later, having been through road-trips, jobs, living situations, and a litany of other experiences together, we’ve parted ways.  Of course, we live in a world where “parting ways” is a ridiculous sentiment.  Social media, smart-phones, and cheaper-than-ever transportation ensure that we’re never really separated.  We’re together at the click of a button (and an overpriced internet package).

But, that same media has a single shortcoming – it can only help us fill in the future.

On a road-trip, one is reminded of the stoicism, longevity, and raw, rich beauty of the world around us.  And that beauty is a generation of its history.  It is certainly a reminder of the grandiose importance of existence – of our generating new memories and new experiences.  (Indeed, that’s the very nature of a road-trip!).  But if someone is really watching the scenery in between watching the traffic, they cannot help but be impressed upon by the sheer beauty filled in by those experiences long since passed.

24 tracks of my favourite friend.  Our past.  Our history.

I live in prized countryside.