The ancient Celts spoke fondly of “thin places.”
They weren’t talking about Planet Fitness, your wallet, or the top of Ben Kingsley’s head.
Divya knows exactly what they were talking about.
Thin places, as defined by those sage old saints in their cowls and cloaks, could erupt anywhere (including, I suppose, Planet Fitness).
The thing that made thin places thin was just this: a sudden, startling proximity to heaven.
In a thin place, the distance between earth and eternity gets small.
The veil between “already” and “not yet” goes transparent.
The humdrum and the holy touch fingertips, and you can just make out the outline of the Greater Dance.
In a thin place, you take off your shoes, because the ground on which you’re standing is holy.
Any place can be thin. You don’t need to go to Lourdes or Jerusalem or Ringoes, NJ to find The Holy. Glory might blaze into your path in the 7-11, or in the back of a skeevy Uber ride, or in your bathtub. That’s the way the Holy Ghost works: the wind blows where it wishes, and you can’t see it coming or going, but you know when you’re swept into its center.
Divya, as you’ll recall, came to Tabby’s Place last summer. Her body was a thin place, but not in a good way. Starvation had wrought its worst on her black-and-white being, and it took feeding tubes and up-all-night Denise ministrations and lots of Holy Ghost goodness to bring her back from the brink.
But she came back. And, by a gift from heaven itself, she came to us.
She’s since come to find her very own holy place, a sanctuary within a sanctuary.
Behold Divya’s House.
This pointy plastic bungalow has mysterious origins. No one quite remembers when or how it first came to Tabby’s Place. For a long time, it sat in Suite B, where the cats ignored it. At some point, it moved out to the lobby, where Cookie snoozed straight through her golden years in it.
It’s not made for cats. It’s not soft, or cozy, or particularly attractive.
It is exquisitely shaped for hiding from The Medicators (those evil humans who like to give innocent cats wicked things like antibiotics).
And Divya knows, it is also a gateway to glory.
At least, that’s the best explanation I’ve got for our girl’s behavior. Divya is — I assure you, most assuredly so — a friendly cat. She’s a loving lover. She’ll purr at your touch and chirp at your chatter.
But far better than human attention, food and folk music is the holy habitat: Divya’s House.
For nearly a year, Divya has spent 90-95% of her time thinking Deep Thoughts in that holy habitat. She’s not in there out of fear — if you talk to her, she’ll poke her pretty head right out and talk back, welcoming your affections.
She’s in there because she’s communing with the great beyond.
Being the audacious noodleheads that we are, we’ve wrung our hands about all this. Ohhhhhhh, nobody seeeeeeees her! whine we. Ohhhhhh, she’d be so adoooooooptable if she came ooooooooout! sigh we.
“OHHHHH, but I know exactly what I’m doooooooing!” teases Div.
And, of course, she does. You don’t spend much time in a thin place without becoming better. Hang out with the holy, and your own soul starts to take on shimmer that’s not of this world.
Sure enough, Divya’s bringing her shine out for our eyes.
In the past two weeks or so, Div’s made careful, conscious departures from The House, circling the lobby placidly. Every time she does, the circle of wonder expands, that thin place thickening its branches out over the whole lobby.
It is, in a word, divine.
Perhaps Divya will always retreat to The House at the end of the day. I can’t blame her; when you’ve found a haven of holiness, you get addicted to the glow.
But I firmly believe that Div has a mission beyond those pointy walls. She’s been warmed and loved and healed, and she’s takin’ it to the streets — or at least the lobby.
Mysterium tremendum. For some person or family, a divine delight awaits.