Wednesday, February 3, 2010
linear time confounds me
But the first reason was this: "I lost track of time...."
Which for me is pretty easy. I often feel like Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five". Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut writes, is 'unstuck in time'.
Like me, sometimes. I am hard pressed to get any chronological order in my life beyond "Before/After" I got married, "Before/After" the kids were born, "Before/After" I came to St. John's. That's the extent of my mastery over linear time. It confounds me.
I am totally confounded, amazed, stricken, astonished and flabbergasted that when I leave in, what is it?--80 some days, that I will have been the Rector of this church for over 21 years. (I could take a pencil and paper and figure out exactly how long--but 'over', 'not quite', 'about' and 'somewhere in there' is the best I can do in my head about time.)
Someone asked me today, "doesn't it seem like 'yesterday' that you came to St. John's?" And I had to tell them, 'well, yes, in one way, in another it seems like I've been here forever.' Linear time, like I told you....
So, here I am 80 some days from the end of yesterday and forever. Harriet told me today that the dream I told you about--especially the losing of my dog--had something to do with fearing I would lose my 'center'. There was a lot more about that, but that's the essence of it all. And now that I think about it, that's exactly right--I'm in danger of losing both yesterday and forever when I leave.
I know 'all will be well', but this linear time thing has me really screwed up. 86 days--that's it--I did that with pen and pencil and a calendar.
God I'm going to miss all this....
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Still one Christmas Tree to go....
The fir--we always have two Christmas Trees since 40 years of relationship accumulates more ornaments than one tree can bear--is still in the dining room. Still doing well, though I doubt it's been watered for a month almost. Tomorrow is February 13--a month and a week past Epiphany and another 12 days besides that past Christmas. And still that little fir sits in our dining room, not having shed a needle yet, still green and proud. I've gotten so used to it since it went up a couple of weeks before Christmas--two months ago now (we always put them up then and decorate them during Christmas week...we used to wait until our kids came home but have long ago admitted that the trees are 'our trees', Bern's and mine and the kids no longer want any part in them). Josh and Cathy had their own tree this year. Tim and Mimi haven't yet, I don't think. I still remember when Bern and I had our first tree--but being a priest and working on Christmas meant we didn't 'go home' to what was no longer 'home' for Christmas.
Christmas trees are magical things, mystical and marvelous. I spend hours each Christmas season looking at the ornaments, remembering where they came from if I can, when they joined our lives. Christmas trees are green memory devices.
I'm trying to imagine how long the fir will be there. Looks to me it could last until June or later. Firs are sturdy little trees. I'm thinking if we leave it until June it will have lived with us for half a year. Not a bad thing, I don't think. Maybe we should all have Christmas Trees up much of the year--not with ornaments or lights, but just there, a reminder of life beyond human life, something to share your home, a member of the family in a special way.
We have lots of plants. Bern cares for them, I hardly notice. Just like she is the yard and garden person and I enjoy the colors and the variety but seldom ponder how wondrous it is.
In the midst of this frozen, white winter, that little fir has reminded me there is a Spring to come and green things and new life.
I should spend some time with that tree--it was our 'flying thing tree' this year. Each Christmas one tree has only 'flying things' on it--angels, birds, some ornaments that are flying elephants or fairies or things with balloons or wings.
Perhaps I should ponder, in the midst of the dead time of winter, how things, how life, how imagination can fly, can soar....
Not a bad meditation. I'll do that tomorrow.
Something to ponder--flight and life and greenness in the midst of ice and chill.