Half the Glory (a narrative poem)

We stood overlooking the city from a hill. After I had seen the world from a space station and galaxies in their glory, the awe stuck to me like the stubbornest kind of residue. It was through those lenses that I observed with the one beside me.

Presently, he said to me, “It’s so arbitrary, isn’t it?” And I was baffled so I repeated, “Arbitrary?” And he said, “Yes. That we, human beings, just happened.” He looked at me like he expected assent.

I realized then how difficult some find it to grasp the awe the universe brings.

I am a designer of words and worlds. I know what the afterglow of recognizing complex, beautiful art feels like. It is the same as recognizing the complex beauty in myself as I am designed.

I wondered how long he had felt like a product of an arbitrary process, like someone devoid of predesigned purpose, as something that might as well not have been, a likely mistake. Perhaps since the days before he self-identified as “he.”

In that moment, I could offer nothing. I could not assuage the sadness that came with the inability to process the awe.

All I could think was this:

There is a profound despondency in the blindness to wonder, in the rejection of intentionality. To see a perfectly designed world and to appreciate everything but its perfect design is to see only half the glory – if one can see even that much.


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