Sophia asks me: "What do you and Laura talk about these days?"
I think: My goddess!
I-- supposedly have this (is "have" the proper verb??) ...'have' this Guardian Angel, Who hath spake with me about some of the innermost secrets of existence... and Who has very ably guided me in far, uh, more practical matters, including a Romance for Dummies course that allowed me to attract, woo, and marry the incomparable Sophia who has just asked me this question...
yet-- I hardly speak with this Angel at all! Except to ask Her, every so often, "Are You still there? Do You love me? Are You going to stay with me?"
* * *
Not long after Sophia asks me about Laura: I go for a walk, one very foggy morning, around my school. It's the first day back after Christmas; no one's around yet and the mist of burned-up holidays, of budget cuts, of layoffs hangs heavy in the air.
I used to talk to Laura lot while walking... so I do now, and soon I'm having a quite serious conversation with her about money, about how I really would like these two books but each costs around $50 and is there some way I could raise this money and satisfy my carnal lust for print??? I have probably, what-- $20 or so worth of change in my top dresser drawer... but soon I catch myself.
"Laura! I'm talking to an Angel about scrounging money to buy a couple of damn books! How low is that???"
"My dear, you can talk to me about whatever you wish. I'm just happy to speak with you."
"Well, that's very sweet and all, but what kind of loser am I? OK--here's something more like it: Laura, please guide me to be the most loving husband and step-father I can possibly be."
"That is your path."
I hope so. You nearly killed me to get me here.
We walk past a complex of tennis courts, more a small town of tennis courts, that stretches off into the fog as though the world has become Wimbledon.
* * *
Black chain-link mesh surrounds the courts, little diamond links gently poking through the fog. At a nexus in the fence I see a cobweb trying to glitter in the dim morning--it's a little knot of silver fleece, a miniature ghostly cloud. My love for webs and spiders draws me close, nose-close, and in the tiny cloud's dizzily enfolded layers hang hundreds of perfect dew-spheres, whorl within whorl of silver globes, some so small I can barely see them, others a full quarter-inch in circumference.
Folded in on itself, the web is woven into folds of what would have been invisible, self-involved chaos except for the dew, the uncountable crystal balls, period dots of sentences of dew, of night, of fog, of morning... I think of the "myriads of worlds" mentioned in the Zohar.
...and suddenly I feel so confused-- it washes over me, shakes me: how it's all so big, even this tennis park seems like a city... my school (with barely a thousand students), my job, my life-- all so vast and befuddling... my head feels tight with the fog that's filling it.
"What is all this??," I ask Laura, sweeping my arm out to the horizons. "Where is She? You don't exist!"
"You don't either!" my Angel laughs. "This is Her culmination. This moment is All, all of Her, all that is."
But it can't be. This? Raindrops in sand? Tennis courts? A guy walking around all confused? I stroke my beard--it, too, damp, strung with droplets by the fog...
Then another mental tremor hits: I've seen that cobweb and its diamond droplets before: in a picture of a dark matter model that I stumbled across after reading a Science Daily story.
"See? It's very simple," Laura smiles. "This-- is-- it."
I look at the ground, which is beginning to glow now from a sun more fire than smoky pearl. "Is that dog poop?" I ask of an ochre clump peeking through the grass. "Is that a beer bottle? Is that an ant nest?" And yes, a kingdom of ants rises golden-spired into the day, a day dawning like all others, dawning like awareness, arising from night like the universe arose from its last slumber... a phoenix of a day alight in the thurible of Her.