Christmas morning 2013
I am a bit confounded but not overly disturbed, I feel a deep peace because in my heart I have surrendered it all to God and I know that God loves me enough to hear my prayers and guide me safely through this time and place.
I am confounded by the nature of belief, not in God but in other people. I am a twenty-first century American, I do not trust strangers and I beware (if you can grow a business I can beware a stranger) of anyone who engages me precipitously, but I believe in friendship, love, bonding. All these words and more signal the essential relationships that are the foundation of my here and now.
I am puzzled that even though I know not to trust, to believe, still yet I do it. I want so much for there to be that essential truth in the cosmos, that people can love one another and know that they are there for one another. I am, I try. I worry that I don’t try hard enough.
I don’t like mysteries. Not the novelistic or video varieties, I mean the mystery of never understanding, of never being able to incorporate a thought into my existential apprehension of the cosmos. My attention tends to focus, sometimes even obsess a little.
Shadows are fun, the nighttime, too. God made both day and night and while some things need to happen during the day in the light some things need to happen in the dark. When I was young I lived for the night because that was when all the fun people came out to play. The work-a-day world sleeps while the over-wrought imaginations of a generation generate music and poetry, make love and mistakes, strive to stay alive shedding the compromises of youth, trying so hard to keep open to the whatever that is out there waiting for them to be.
Really? “You’re from an older generation and cannot understand what it means to be young in the twenty-first century!” I know you face a whole lot of pressures that are part and parcel of the existential baggage of these times. You dismiss me. You fail to understand that my times had their own existential baggage and, funny thing, I realized that I had to play the hand that God gave me.
Not the best of cards: socioeconomic status poverty, broken home in the days before broken homes were common, really bad home life, skewed understanding of early childhood memories manifesting through acting out. It was a lot worse than it sounds. But I did get a few good cards too: I had an active mind and was lucky enough that a few people along the way recognized it. They fed it and activated a hunger that drove me out into the world to find something to feed it.
I dance around, have been dancing all of my life, dancing as fast as I can, I bite my lip, yes Elton, and get up and dance especially when I don’t want to, when I think I can’t dance anymore. Thank you, God, that I can still dance.
Pop music pleases me, perplexes me that our society has become so befuddled that we allow some of the things to be said and done in our general media. What adults do is their own business but we have a social and moral obligation to allow our children to grow and develop normally and that does not include exposure to the intricacies of adult interaction.
The preacher rears his ugly head, eyes maddened to staring too long at the sun hoping that God might burn some vision of eternity onto his retinas, completely obscuring anything of the real world he does not want to see. God, please, I hate him, drive him away from me.
Who am I to judge anyone or anything? All I can do and do is try to keep my heart open to God and his direction. I remind myself often of the glory of God’s creation (Just look around!) Breathe deep. When my attention is my own I turn my thoughts to God and share with him the where and when of my moment.
As hard as it is for me to force these words from my head, through my fingers, into the keyboard, onto the screen, and soon on my blog and available to the world through the internet: I am no longer young. Inside I feel I am, but my body has been on this planet a while.
I consider myself: the nightmare of my youth, college, military, upper peninsula, pacific island, deep south, middle east, desert southwest. Peaks and valleys all along the way. Mountaintop singular experiences. The very depths of human despair. Thank you, God.
It has been a good life and I pray that you will help me enter this next phase of my life, understand and appreciate that the limitations inherent in growing older are more than offset by having an awareness of, that is able to deliberate and consider, to fully appreciate the unfolding of each moment. To stop and smell the rose.
In the name of the one God.
There is no god but God.