Rendezvous in a desert

The one man who all evening had contributed nothing (or nothing at any rate in the least memorable) now, at this embittered midnight hour - this impasse ancient as the first of claims to blood, tribe, territory, soil - suddenly spoke: ''But we are all Bedouin,'' he simply said. And, at the words, the four frail walls fell flatly back: with everything that had briefly anchored us here (cushions, coffee-cups, flickering lamp) dissolved into so terrifying an immensity of sands that we - we - O each, in that instant, left rootless! Solitary! Diminished to an ephemeral blow of dust, under a mocking firmament without speech or sign unless - suddenly! - by some great shaft of grace itself - found cousined to an Abraham who once towered up (in just such a wilderness, under just such a sky) to converse, as if summoned face to face, with the One, the Only, the indivisible I AM still waiting, waiting, in the enormous dark to be turned to - for deliverance - by so lost a flock.

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