Category: creative writing

Anything is Possible

vintage_inventions_are_too_weird_for_a_modern_eye_640_18

 

It’s occurred to me lately that I’m never going to be “discovered.” The phone isn’t going to ring again with someone hoping for my services. Nothing is going to happen that will rescue me from my current situation. That’s not to say my current circumstances are bad, nor am I waiting for rescue. For most of my adult life, I sort of half-expected things were going to get better over time. I no longer expect that.

No, this is it, as good as it’s going to get. If I failed to save for retirement twenty or thirty years ago, it’s not going to suddenly happen now that I’m seventy. The next big landmark in my life will probably be a catastrophic illness or accident, a medical bill I might not be able to pay, a Go Fund Me site, but now with the pandemic, I suppose the line for charity bail outs will be interminable.

On the other hand and possibly on the brighter side, nothing seems to make sense anymore. Merely watching our own government handle the pandemic is an exercise in absurd logic. It’s like watching a Betty Boop cartoon. Nothing follows from what came before, and anything is possible. There’s a chance, albeit a small one, that when I leave my house this morning I’ll bump into Johnny Depp who was just coming to see me to offer me a role in his new film. We’ll go have coffee and he’ll offer me more money than I’ve ever made in my life, just to be part of a fun, new experience. That could happen. I’m not holding my breath, but it could happen.

Or a meteor could land in the vacant lot down the street and I could take it home and crack it open, finding that it contained pure old! Lots of things could happen.

Kent State and Me

95897559_10158076903736413_3168979157644214272_n

 

As an older white man, I am amused by the sudden outpouring of animosity I come across with increasing frequency on the Internet. People like me are responsible for everything wrong in the world today. Gee, just think of what I could have accomplished over the last fifty years if I’d only been paying attention! Instead I was acting out, exerting my privilege without knowing it, stomping on the toes of my fellows and earning myself a life sentence in Hell when I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I do remember what I was doing when Kent State happened. It was early May, the first days of early spring at the University of Missouri campus, and I was doing my laundry. Every month I would wash my sheets whether they needed cleaning or not. I was still a virgin, so as long as my bed smelled like me it was fine with this budding substance abuser.

Some people doing their laundry were watching TV in the main lounge of our building, and there on the news they kept showing a loop of the black and white film showing students just like me being fired upon my other young men just like me, only who had had the misfortune to join the National Guard to avoid being sent to Nam. My first reaction was self-centered. “Great, I finally get to college and they’re shooting us.”

I knew who the enemy was. It was the Man. He was all those rigid old men whose photos you saw on the walls of banks and real estate offices, stern, rigid men who had served in WWII and were now in charge of everything. Indeed, they were all white. They enjoyed sports and thought the Boy Scouts of America improved the lives of the young men who would some day take their place as pillars of the community. They were staunchly anti-Communist, and believed America had a sacred mission to spread democracy one bomb at a time.

Thank God I was unaware of all my privilege and advantage or I would have probably taken more LSD than I actually did and skipped even more classes by hanging around in the student union and flirting with languid young women who were just plain lazy and unmotivated.

Man Up!

desembarco_de_los_puritanos_en_america_antonio_gisbert

Hey y’all, listen up!

Some of you have been complaining that you feel abandoned, adrift in a sea of trouble with no one at the helm. There is someone at the helm. It is I, your Creator and Heavenly Father. You can be assured that I have not and will not abandon you.

This is not a special time of need. You’re just hypnotized by social media into thinking so. The past has seen many real disasters to which this latest viral outbreak cannot hold a candle. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

And yet, as Paul said “I do not consider our present sufferings worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.” He was not over-selling the fact that your Heavenly Reward awaits you.

So don’t freak out. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Put on a brave smile and go about your day in good cheer.

There are noble and useful things you could be doing with this time. You could take an active interest in others. You could become a good listener. Practice seeing others as beautiful and intelligent. Lord knows I’ve been doing the same with you, my children, for eons now. There have been times when noticing your beauty and intelligence have taken more effort on my part than anyone in His right mind could have justified. There have been times when it was well neigh impossible, but somehow I managed. You can manage a fraction of that.

Whining will get you nowhere. Begging me to cut you some slack, likewise. There are some lessons you can only learn through trials and tribulation.