“And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you.” Most of us can hear Martin Luther King’s thunder and cadence from his speech in Memphis the day before his death in 1968. He knew – a voice was whispering in his prophet’s ear, an angel pressing against his heart – that he would not be crossing the finish line. Moses, the prophet who led his people out from a narrow place of oppression, also was open to the terrific presence of destiny; he, like King, only saw it from the mountain top.
Those of us who are still here: we are still, always arriving. We’re not in the Promised Land, that’s for sure. All we can really do, is to be in the becoming. Still, always arriving. We’ve been still, always arriving since we left the ennui of Paradise. We throw questions, try to dominate, cure. We try to stare down the enemy though, as if in a mirror, we’ll see our own face in its acts of aggression. Learning to love the questions themselves, rather than the answers relaxes the drive to conquer. As King said, mental freedom, illumination can move things.
Today also on the Jewish calendar: Tu B’Shevat, festival of the trees. Today trees are sheathed in ice in New England. The sap is there, held in tension, in suspense, waiting, always arriving.