The Ancient Modern

Center / Joshua Alan Sturgill

In any even-numbered series, the center falls
between two integers.
For instance, consider a 10-unit line.
We say 10 divided by 2 is 5. But this means
between the 2 groups of 5, a link exists, a place
without a designation. That place,
if thought of as a solid thing
is where a break is likely to occur. But also
where a balance is achieved, and
where a ladder is most secure — in other words,
the Center is the place of safest ascent.

If we’re rushed, as we often are, it’s easy
to miss this hidden Center in the step
from 5 to 6, buried in the Wednesdays,
the page turn that tips the weight
of the book, so there’s less than half to go.

And maybe you’re about to cross
the Center of your life. How might you know?
Or has it passed already, while you
were counting integers?

But you can start where you are. Start here,
as a kind of zero-point. Start now, and begin
to move in circles, widening with caution,
looking for the Center of your life, that Place
where (so to speak) its y-axis
and its z-axis intersect, where it leaves the arithmetic
and leaps into the geometric sequences.

May I tell you a secret? Or rather,
since it isn’t mine, may I help unveil it for you?
You have an Upward Nature connected to God.
You already know, of course, that God
is omni-everything, and bearded
and sits up in heaven in a robe.
So that can’t be the secret.
Everyone knows that side of God.

But you might remember, if you think back
to your earliest Sunday School years,
a different approach to God. More mysterious,
and even more proportional, sequential. You
are the ratio of God’s pupil to His iris
(which could mean a proportion
of concentric circles, or a reference to study
and to flowers). You are God’s
morning coffee, His morning prayer;
a line on His open hand; you yourself
(and not some abstract glory), are
His complex calculation.

There are secrets within this secret.
This is the hidden hollow
in the even-numbered series.
Your inertia or momentum may carry you
past this point of recognition. But life
is not a line. All paths are circles,
and anywhere, anytime
may suddenly become a Center.
For God’s sake
and yours.

Apart from this, apart from the secret
Center, which is in you and which lives
everywhere, there is no reason
for the existence of the world.


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2021 by Joshua Alan Sturgill. All rights reserved.

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