Things Washed Upon The Shore

Running along the beach. Shells and carcasses of gulls and fish are spit up by the ocean. These are the thoughts and memories expulsed from our unconscious. The ocean gives them up for us to sift, looking for the beautiful relics and stepping over the ugly ones and the jellyfish. 

My son shouts, he’s found the wreckage of an old pirate ship. A piece of wood, no doubt torn loose from one of the nearby piers and floated to shore in the boisterous storm that blew through during the night. But we don’t tell him it is a useless piece of oak ripped off from a fishing pier. No. We tell him that when one of the canons blew into the side of the pirate’s ship this wood was scattered in the fight. It was a dreadful battle but the pirates finally lost their ship to the commanding officer of the good guys.  

Is this not a picture of our religious imagination or mythologies? We thirst for wonder as we thirst for meaning. My only saving grace from falling away into a cynical, adult rationalism, is that God is not the colorful stories we create but he instead is the one who formed the ocean and is the one who spits these items up from the ocean for us to play and create with and thereby becoming like him in our storytelling. Perhaps not even so much because what stories we spin from our wonder-hungry unconscious are true but because they lead us to truth so long as we allow childlikeness to have its freedom instead of demanding scientific fact or imposing sterile, religious ideologies upon them. We must hold all things as flexible absolutes and leave room for the driftwood to speak to us as scriptures. Children are here to teach us the pliability of shapes and forms. This is how miracles are born.