The cabin in the woods
The windows are frosted over
and made of that primitive glass
that distorts every image but, through it,
shivering in the dark, I see a roaring fire,
a food-laden table, bottles of wine.
Why can't we go inside? I ask
the companion who brought me.
In due course, he answers. Once we enter,
he says, everything turns back to zero.
Everything will cease to exist
except that roaring fire which is,
at this moment, oblivious to itself.
We'll all go back . . . to begin again.
The only way for that fire to be glimpsed,
to be desired and pursued,
captured and savored
is for it to first be viewed
from the outside looking in --
through these narrow, muddled,
distorting panes of glass.
O child of God, every moment has its value.
There is no place to get to.