Sunday, April 11, 2010

Underworld

I've been reading Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere again, for perhaps the sixth or seventh time. It's the story, in part, of a man who does a good deed and loses his entire world.

The story of soul-for-world exchange is an old one. But it doesn't go away. I've felt like this before. I realise that, like Brian Duffy in Tim Powers's The Drawing of the Dark, "Much has been lost, and there is much yet to lose."

I walked away from things I thought I would miss, and in the walking away, learned how to walk. I walked away in anger and perplexity, and into the bright morning of a new world. I found old friendships that endured, and I found bridges and stairways into new places.

It is all there; the world is only the most current skin on the surface of the World. What is under that skin, the world-skin we think we know, is World. And under the World is something more real still.

In the end, it is all God. It requires an act of ultimate imagination to realise that for God to make anything independent of Himself must be something like how a force acting against gravity can make something seem weightless.

If God is sovereign, then our world, and the World beneath that skin, are both existing only because He makes it so. Without that Will, everything would just collapse back into God like a vacuum collapses into space.

And somehow, I am blessed to have walked out of one life, two years ago, and into a new world filled with old friends. It amazes me, it awes me, it makes me feel oddly happy at funny times of the night, and in the day.

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