Friday, October 26, 2012

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

I love the story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. So far, it is my favorite in Leaf Storm. It is the reason I bought the book, years ago, in the first place. Its seven pages drench us with:

Lyrcial prose-

...a poor woman who since childhood had been counting her heartbeats and had run out of numbers; a Portugese man who couldn't sleep because the noise of the stars disturbed him; a sleepwalker who got up at night to undo the things he had done while wide awake...

Clever humor-

He seemed to be so many places at the same time that they grew to think he'd been duplicated, that he was reproducing himself all through the house, and the exasperated and unhinged Elisenda shouted that it was awful living in that hell full of angels.

And blistering indictment-

The only time they succeeded in arousing him was when they burned his side with an iron for branding steers, for he had been motionless for so many hours that they thought he was dead.

We pray, ask, beg, and plead for the divine to reveal itself in our lives.

We bemoan, fret, and sigh that the divine eludes us. Yet if a very old man with enormous wings made a clumsy landing in our yard on a wet afternoon, what would we see?