August 22, 2020 § 6 Comments
How old would you be if you don’t know how old you are? Satchel Paige
What day would it be if you don’t know what day it is? Adrian Fogelin
I’ve come unpinned from the clock, the days of the week, even the seasons.
Oh, I know we are adrift somewhere in the dog days of summer, somewhere in the long, long stretch of hurricane season—and I know we’re in the season of Covid, and that it has droned on and on and on, but time as a measurable commodity has turned to a handful of confetti. It scatters. It blows away on the wind.
Sometimes, with deliberate thought, I can pin down what day it is. Sometimes I get it wrong, but in the ah-hah moment, with the name of the day firmly in hand, I feel triumphant, as if I have caught something elusive in a clever trap.
Yup. It’s a Tuesday all right. But when I look more closely at that trapped Tuesday I see it bears no particular markings. It looks an awful lot like…a Monday… or maybe a Thursday. This day I am struggling to identify has not bothered to dress for the occasion.
The days of the week used to arrive clad for the purpose of the day ahead. You could tell which ones were going to work, which were getting together with friends. Each day made clear that it had a goal, an activity planned, an obligation to fulfill—or not. Like Saturdays.
Saturday used to slouch in, all casual, but now it is every day that saunters in, sloppy and comfortably dressed, and all, oh, whatever. It’s not like those formerly busy days have anywhere important to go during the pandemic.
Time markers have become as fragile as old post-it notes, the glue barely tacky.
Guess time markers were mostly there for me to coordinate my Tuesday with your Tuesday.
I miss that. I miss agreeing that, a.) it is Tuesday, and b.) since it is Tuesday you and I are getting together (even if it is just at adjacent desks in a windowless office).
I liked knowing we would get together because we always do. Every Tuesday. Or did before Covid.
So, what day it is?
I am looking at the current day closely…it looks a lot like the last one, which I can safely call “yesterday.”
Oh heck, it is some day or other. Does it really matter which?
Maybe I’ll just call it “today.” And after that comes, I believe, a day called “tomorrow.”
For now, that’s the best I got.
So, have a nice “today” and may “tomorrow” dress for the occasion and strut on in, making it obvious what day of the week it is.
May the wheel of time begin to turn again, with purpose.
August 4, 2020 § 2 Comments
…at least not the heaven of infinite repose, the one described by the churchy. As the gospel tune says, Wish I was up in heaven sitting down. That heaven is a place with muzak as persistent as a grocery store’s, only heaven’s sound track is an endless medley of praise and pep rally. You go God! (And more harps than any music requires).
Personally, I think any God worthy of the title is above needing or wanting continuous praise, and even the most grateful souls would tire of singing those atta-boys-without-end. Sooner or later some upstart member of the heavenly choir would just have to bust out with “Mustang Sally.”
The big problem is that heaven, as advertised, is static. It drones along. The YOU HAVE ARRIVED sign would get so tiring to the soul that has been staring at it for what seems like an eternity (and perhaps is).
Souls are curious, wandering beings. They rove and ramble, they discover and change. Shouldn’t heaven, any heaven worthy of the name, honor that state of always-in-flux which, to my mind, is one of our most invaluable gifts from the creator?
We are meant to be fluid, always in the process of becoming. We are meant to learn and grow. I want that kind of heaven.
Heaven can’t be a place where we sit and rest, neatly stored like fine china behind the closed door of a polished china cabinet.
I want a heaven that is surprising, stimulating, challenging, a heaven that takes your breath away—a heaven in which we still have breath to take away.
I guess my heaven is right here on earth.
For all its uncertainties, calamities, and disappointments, what could hold more promise, what could be more vivid and exciting? What could be better than life?
Note: If heaven turns out to be what the churches preach, I’ll be that solo voice singing “Mustang Sally.”