Tuesday, July 19, 2005

From a recent (edited) letter to a friend...

How do we live in the present? I try to plan the week ahead, then
have to sit and honor old memories, somatic residual of family ties,
cultural artifice, reified values that are somewhere in my middle
spine. Why does the past make so much noise, demand so much time? I
know that it colors so much of the present, keeping me from choosing
the present as fully as I might. All the old voices that demand
conversation, and keep me from simply living day to day.

I try to balance it out with forays into the future. Right now I have
several fantasies about late November on campus, when the academic
year is over. I want a celebration of the new ministry at La Trobe.
Get the Bishop out, good group of people for dinner, all loving and
magnifying my name. Me looking thinner and fitter than now, my new
book possibly displayed on a small table in the corner. What a pity
Australia has given up honorary titles!

But the future icons fade out when I have to tend the past shadows;
wasted time and lost potential, the road I didn't take could have led
to the sunlight. Maybe I should have stayed with... and 9 months to 60!

Sunday morning here. I sit in the sanctuary looking slightly
seraphic, afterwards we will likely go out to lunch. I should go to
the gym during the day, but it's not likely to happen. I head for
La Trobe for a short shift tomorrow. It's semester break now so
not much is happening but I am supposed to get a new computer
installed sometime this week.

There is actually enough good stuff in my life, enough that I should
be at least moderately happy, but I still get these sad times, when I
go back to the garden and tend the dead vines of yesterdays dreams.
Why not just do enough, good work, appreciated times, practicing
kindness, loving the neighbor, using the talents given every day? And
I often do that, more than I used to, but the old memories call to be
taken out and aired.

But what if i lived the next week as if it hadn't happened already
and as if i had a certain amount of freedom in determining the shape
of that time and place: what if it were all new?

No comments: