Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Limbo of Things

"Dreams are excursions into the limbo of things, a semi-deliverance from the human prison."
- Henri Amiel

The Dream of Solomon, Luca Giordano, Oil on canvas, 1693
Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Limbo: [14th century. < Latin, "on the border (of hell)," form of limbus "border, edge:]   
in limbo - in a state of uncertainty or of being kept waiting.

That pretty much defines the situation today. Everyone is on 'the border of hell' and in a state of uncertainty. None of us, though, can know what is going on in the heart, mind, and soul of our young patient.

What is happening during this medicated coma?  Is he feeling his mother stroke his foot? Does he hear his wife tell him he's loved? Does he know how many people are praying for his recovery?

A very dear friend told me she thinks some heavy negotiations are going on right now between him and the Divine. I'm inclined to agree.  

To my mind, it might be something like the painting above by Giardano. He depicts Solomon, surrounded by spirits and angels, the seraphim and the cherubim, God speaking to him without words, saying to him, "Ask me for whatever you want me to give you." (I KINGS 3:5-15)

And now, anyone who knows the young man lying in a coma right now also knows how funny that image would be to him. He may look as if he's slumbering peacefully, but if our young man is in any sort of discussion with the Divine, I'm guessing he's more than a little testy right now.  In fact, it's probably more like an angry debate between two adversaries.

I can hear him now.

"Are you crazy? I just got married a few days ago. I have a beautiful wife and great parents and stepmother and brother and a nephew I've never even held yet, not to mention a hundred other loving friends and relatives who want me here...I demand to know the meaning of this!"

The truth is, our young man is a little irreverent. That image is fine with me, too. I do hope he and the Divine can come to some sort of agreement soon.  And if there is some meaning to this experience, may it reveal itself soon, too. Please. 

Because for his family, this limbo is...well, like waiting at the edge of hell. 


As I thought about the music selection for today, it came to me that the 'negotiations' going on day and night might be something like the legend of Scheherezade, the Arabian bride who kept her king distracted by telling a story each night for 1,001 nights, thereby saving her life.

This is Rimsky-Korsakov's 5th movement of "Scheherezade" with Sergey Levitin conducting the Kirov Orchestra. 

I should make it clear that I imagine the cymbal clashing and thunderous roars coming, not from The Divine, but from our young man.

The lyrical strains of the violin and strings seem to be The Divine offering comfort and peace to him...come what may.

Let the debate begin...  

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