I’ve been busy nursing my grandson through a severe case of halftermitus barely able to reach my keyboard due to incessant echos of “I’m bored”, hungry, tired etc.
It’s amazing how the absence of school in the diet can change a normally eager to play/watch a movie/game on Ipod young boy into a lethargic, grumpy old man! In spite of daily “shaking vigorously” in fresh air, field trips, extra movie buying/renting, old fashioned board games (strangely a more popular venue) and art and lego projects the days just seem too long and sooner or later the “b” word reappears.
I even tried banning its use for a while explaining, “its really a state of mind rather than an actual lack and indulging in its frequent use tends to enlarge the problem”. It didn’t work, being from then on referred to “the world you said not to use”. This is the first year this has happened. could it be the early onset of the dreaded “teen years”? heaven forbid he’s only nine!
I sigh and remember my own kids who seldom seemed to use the “B” word in spite of being home schooled till mid teens, but that was another age and situation when kids tended to have 101 projects going on and, being a big family, someone always had ideas to pursue. Now there’s an unrealistic childhood expectation (gleaned from TV and computer games) of constant entertainment that’s tough to meet.
Like the Ents (Lord of the Rings) I favour natural gardens. Not for me neat beds of flowers, immaculately raked brown beds and mown lawns. While I admire their beauty my heart is captivated by the wild where seeds are planted at the hand of the wind, watered by soft rain and arranged in random pattern of perfection far more beautiful to my eye.
Bent or broken branches tell their stories, delicate morning glory flowers on nettles, fallen leaves and branches interweave with child plants reaching up their tender leaves to the sun. Early morning spider webs decked with dew decorate the bushes and frost sets her hand to deck the lowly grass in glory. Decay mottles old broken logs in fascinating patterns of grey and brown, each housing its tiny echo system of life within (in nature nothing is wasted).
Plants, seemingly random, interweave their properties nourishing and replenishing the soil, providing food and habitat, a wonder of the hand of God set in place at nature’s birth, a never ending cycle of life that only man can corrupt, swallowing up ancient cities and habitations reclaiming its territory as man moves on.
Who could want a garden planted by the hand of mere bundling mortals when the divine lies at hand?
We accept many things as “normal” that we should not, war, crime, hate, disease, dishonesty, loneliness, pollution etc. I’m not speaking day dreams or delusional fantasy, but things that lie within the realm of human choice.
I believe this world could have and should have been different; that the “normal” we accept is actually far from what normal should be. If we accept these things as “normal” we lower our expectations.
It should be “normal” that people live to a ripe old age disease free dying peacefully as their bodies slowly reach “expiry date”. Cancer, heart failure, and all the other “nasties” could be the exception to the norm if only choices were made for the good of the population not quick money (don’t get me started on that one!) Even now there are sufficient resources to feed the hungry if folks like Gandi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa were in charge instead of self centered greedy corporations and politicians, and the earth could be healed given time. Why do we accept it as “normal” that there are haves and have not?
Why do we stand by as our children are slaughtered (whether victims or perpetrators) in wars fought for commercial gain? Why is there little alternative than for them to join in the soul corrupting deluge that tends to corrupt modern society.
There are so many good people on this earth why should the corrupt rule and we take it as being “normal”?
Gayle Irwin (one of my favourite people) when asked if he believed we were living in the “end time” replied something to the effect of “Do you see things in the world, socially and environmentally getter better or worse? The answer being obvious he added, “Guess we must be then.” (He said it much better but I can’t find the quote.)
Whatever field you look at today world peace, health, social, economic and environmental stability, things seem to be growing worse and worse. When I was young the great question on people’s minds was, “how best to turn things around,” now it seems more like “how long have we got?”
I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I can read the writing on the wall and it doesn’t look good. The very governments we should look to, to avert these catastrophes have been waylaid by the dollar bills of big corporations. Can we trust them? I very much doubt it. I think 9/11 set the seal on that one for many. (The truth of what happened is debatable but one fact is without doubt, the US government story does not hold water, why are they lying? What are they hiding?)
So are we living in the “end time?” Sure looks like it, if not now, soon! Christian, atheist or other there’s not much avoiding the issue (other than burying your head in a TV set and hoping it will go away). The blessing of being a Christian at such a time is that if “all these things come to pass,” (things predicted which we are worrying about now) the happy ending must too (we sneaked a look at the last page!)
Time slips through my fingers like precious coins spent in pursuit of trivia, shopping, school trips, cleaning house, daily necessities like showers, drying my hair, brushing teeth, sleep.
Now I’m retired it’s no different except the annoying need to rest more often, to chill, times when mind or body sink in exhaustion telling me – enough! At such times I resort to a good book, movie or puzzle, but something tells me I’m missing the point somehow.
I know it’s about focus, when I’m focused I accomplish far more and prioritize better, yet I find myself stumbling through days in a never ending muddle, like a car wandering slowly down the road with no one at the wheel, life happening upon me rather than under my direction. (There’s a time we need to grab the wheel and take control lest we amble off a cliff!) It’s not that I don’t have the time it’s more how I spend it. It’s not the doing of the trivia that’s the problem but the focusing on it.
You see something burns inside me. There is something more here I’m meant to do but I haven’t quite found it. Presently I can’t see the wood for the trees, and time is running short, so is power and energy.
I’ve always been a bit of a “fighter”, often achieving the “impossible”. My life is strewn with miracles and fulfilled dreams. I have been greatly blessed! Yet I know there is something yet to do, an intangible “something” that I can’t quite put my finger on, hidden by the fog of “doings”, a thing that will fulfill me, and my final purpose here.
I need a retreat, a time to thoroughly cleanse my mind of the trivia and focus, a time to stop my “business” and take new compass readings on where I go from here. The rest of my life and the things I choose to surround it with are mine to choose. I know I’m meant to write, to pass on those things I’ve learnt in my journeying to others, but what exact form that should take is a mystery.
I’m reminded of when I made sculpture. Like Michelangelo, I always felt there was a sculpture hidden within the block and all I had to do was chip away the excess to find it. Life is like that too, sometimes you just kind of feel your way towards something and the image becomes clearer and more defined. You don’t always need to know your destination to begin the journey.