Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have never claimed to be a photographer. But the other morning I was combing my hair after the shower when suddenly I observed the sun shining through my right ear in such a way that I seemed to have a burning  ember attached to my skull! The rest of me was the same dull opaque bag of flesh and bones as always, but my ear! My ear was like a fragment of stained glass! My ear was on fire!  In my ear, blood blazed and flamed!

What mysteries we are, especially to ourselves! What other strange treasures had I been carrying around all these years, and never stopped to notice?...


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made
marvelous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance was not hid from thee
when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!

--Psalm 139: 14-17


  1. You are SO right here.

    These may seem a little silly, but to me, the following two examples are a source of great amazement to me.

    Tying our shoes. We're so used to it that it seems simple, but it is really a complex action. I bet if you looked at the programming behind a robot tying a knot or wrapping a twist tie on a bag of bread, there would be a LOT of code for it.

    Second, when I've taken a shower and am rinsing, I toss my cloth out of the shower into the sink across the room (so I don't forget it and let it sit in a moldering heap in the tub) and invariably, it lands just where I want it to go. No calculation. No code. Just a quick toss. A mini version of throwing a baseball toward a batter, or a basketball toward a hoop, or shooting an arrow toward a target, or playing the violin.

    On just the physical level, never mind the intellectual and spiritual levels, we are incredible creatures! What must our creator be like?!

    Thanks for sharing this, especially the lovely photo of your ear!

  2. Funny (and wonderful) that you should mention this today, Heather. Just yesterday, the setting sun turned my gunmetal eyes a startling cerulean in the bathroom mirror. The epiphany at the heart of this brief metamorphosis was realizing how little it had to do with me.

  3. Love it! Another thing I sometimes do is stare at my hand. If you look at a hand long enough, you realize it is really, REALLY weird...and also that it in a sense doesn't belong to you...

  4. OH!! I love playing this game: contemplating God in our biology and nature. Have you heard of Laminin? I think that's the name. Google: Cross in our bodies.

    I love to contemplate our biological systems, especially the reproductive system and the conception of life. It really blows my mind.

    I also become mesmerized by nature: the water cycle, how the seasons can so brilliantly correspond to each individual souls spiritual journey and on and on.

    I remember reading about one of the saints, I believe it was St. Francis. He was contemplating God in nature(it must have been St. Francis) and he said, "OK, I hear you, stop screaming."

    I recently read this in a book by Fr. Jacques Phillippe, "God speaks with mankind, proposing a way of life, and awaiting a free response."

  5. The stained glass ear. That works for me. ~Mary

  6. I love the way you write about an ordinary thing
    and turn it into a gem.
    Sometimes I look at my feet and wonder how did those bones once lived through three inch heels (no more) and all the work outs which I still do-to a much lesser degree.

    Your blog posts should
    be turned into a book.

  7. Erin, a belated response--checked out laminin, which led me to reflect on the fact that our entire bodies, with arms outstretched, are cross-shaped. Were we made for the cross or was the cross made for us?...or are we in a sense the cross itself?...many thanks for weighing in, and I have Fr. Jacques Phillippe on my list...


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