Advent: In an Age of Uncertainty…(December 12)

…random stuff happens and we have to make sense of it.

   Yesterday, I got up early, cleaned my space, cleaned myself, tried to blog, spent an hour with my staff, spent an hour with a young couple, spent an hour with a man who had a bottle of whiskey and a pistol, spent a half hour with my trainer, got hit by a basketball thrown by an angry player, assessed a technical to an angry coach who called me names,  and then I stayed up late and  finished Jung's biography. Somewhere in there, I prayed, studied the Bible passage for the day and recorded impressions of the passage in my journal. I ate a couple of times, though eating still does not interest me much, answered emails, answered texts, answered phone calls and thanked Jesus for answering for my sins.

   It was not an unusual day.

   There is no law against interruptions. In fact, life may not be much other than a series of interruptions, punctuated by brief periods of constancy. It may be how we handle the interruptions that mark us as sentient beings. Perhaps we should call our whole species humanus interruptus.

  Isaac Berlin, the essayist and lecturer, always reported an odd feeling lost in his heart, because he never produced a magnum opus, a seminal work in his field. In fact, Berlin never actually felt he had a "field." He was a generalist in an age of specialization, like a preacher today. Berlin's life was fulfilled, he thought, when a biographer put together his many short works and showed him the continuity of his thought through decades of writing and speaking.

   Life: a thread runs through it. If one can catch up the loose end of that thread and follow it up and down through the whole cloth, you might find the pattern of your life. That is, you might discover the way your life wraps itself up with others to make a covering. Our bitter, recriminate age of uncertainty is less bewildering if can find where we fit.

   I am a half century and more on the planet, mostly alone now, apart from kith and kin who look to find and fit their own pattern. Past associations have outlived their day or I have outlived them. When trust is violated it is harder to regain than to first gain.

    It is pleasant to sit at table with some old friends who are friends again, delightful to watch the leaves turn again, green or brown/red, delicious still to hold the grandchildren for the instant their energy allows. 

   I had the sit-down desk removed from my office this year. A workman friend was commissioned to make a fine stand-up Disraeli desk to replace it. I made it harder to sit down in my office and eschewed the services of the recliner. I do not have my "chair" in either town because I do not want to sit.

   Old age and death are coming for us all. 

   When they catch me, I intend to have them breathing hard from the race.

   Then, the two old coots will have to win the fight. 


1 thought on “Advent: In an Age of Uncertainty…(December 12)”

  1. Rick,
    You said…
    “…assessed a technical to an angry coach who called me names and finished Jung’s biography.”
    The punctuation of this very complex English sentence is a bit skittish. Please clarify:
    Did the coach finish Jung’s biography?
    Did you?

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