Threshing with God, a Psalm of Brain Injury
by Elizabeth Pinborough
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
For months you felt mute, or rather, I did.
Words that would pearl from my tongue to your ear would not come.
I drifted in quarter consciousness like a raft on the sea—much deeper, more fathomless, than I knew it could be. For I was a sure swimmer in linguistic streams who could speak before many, before she could walk.
What a cruel baptism in a black wordless realm for a yelping welp of a tiny girl once grown wild and now grown small again.
When all I could do was sit in a stupor, beside my bed, head dumb with ache, brain thrashed, confused, undone,
you gave me a dream.
I am in a forest at night with one bright star. I walk toward the star and find I’m on a hill in a clearing wide.
Hello, Polaris, dear Christ star, who never wanders, who never fades. Hello, hope! Hello, way.
What was the hope? What was the way? Where was the path through the forest day after dark unfathomable day?
Who threshed the path on that moonbright hill? Who planted the trees? Who placed the star? Who found me?
Then, I remember a dream. Joseph Smith, that misapprehended visionary man, that frontier believer who tested God’s word tensile and found it made of light, steel, sacrifice, and blood.
In his dream, he was swimming in very deep waters, and looking below he saw a school of great fish.
I’ve always believed this was a kind of sea of his mind, of going far beyond the capacity of a very capable swimmer, of glimpsing God’s aquamarine fathoms.
The mind is our joy and our prison, our raft and our sea. But One undergirds it all.
Our captain, our friend. He.