Monday Monday, can't trust that day,In a sense, that's true. There is often no telling what Monday is going to be, coming in fresh off the weekend. It can be a whirlwind of pent up needs and demands that were impatiently waiting for the weekend to end and me to get back into the office to address them all, or a relatively quiet morning as people stumble in and slowly relearn their work-week routines, getting gradually back into the productivity groove.
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Check the calendar, check the inbox and voicemail, look back at the projects list to see where I left off and what deadlines are approaching, then the day starts to take shape. At least until most of the rest of the campus arrives (a perk of being an early morning person is the hour or two of quiet work time each morning before many others come in), when things can change again quickly.
Changing quickly: how precious is this thing called life when it can be snatched away in an unthought moment, as we saw again this past Friday in Colorado. The above-quoted lyric also notes:
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guaranteeSometimes writing, including blogging, is about chasing the ghosts away, shining a light under the bed to prove (we dare to hope) there really are no monsters hiding under there. We can lie on the bed, afraid to move because of all the things we fear may be growling and slithering under us, or move and risk the monsters, if only to resolve our uncertainty, whether moving proves or disproves they exist. It's better to know.
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.
In my case, I don't mean my life, our family, our campus, our community; all of that is clicking along well to reasonably well at present (though for others, any of these circles may be where monsters dwell). No, for me all is well at the micro level, it's the macro that depresses. The larger world outside of my community is being torn in so many ways, approaching flood-stage.
I can't escape a sense that things larger than my immediate sphere of influence are moving toward crisis and I am powerless to shift them, like the storm-tossed voice in John Donne's poem, The Calm:
What are we then? How little more, alas,Very much like Dean Young's poem, The New Optimism (do follow this link and and read the whole thing!):
Is man now, than before he was? He was
Nothing; for us, we are for nothing fit;
Chance, or ourselves, still disproportion it.
We have no power, no will, no sense; I lie,
I should not then thus feel this misery.
The young who knew everythingI wonder, for example, if it can still be called a democratic election when both the message and the dialog is bought and when we cannot get enough people to turn off the television, step away from the programmed programming, and return to honest discussion and dialog. I wonder how democracy operates when "the people" are simply objects to be manipulated by messages (or does history tell us otherwise?). Maybe we do have the right to bear arms, but does that really include urban assault weapons and mail-order bombs? Really? Or can we really do anything about climate change so long as there are still minerals to extract and profits to be made from the old fuel paradigms? Or...?
was new made babies who unforeseeably
would one day present their complaint.
Enough blame to go around but the new
optimism didn’t stop, helped one
pick up a brush, another a spatula
even as the last polar bear sat
on his shrinking berg thinking,
I have been vicious but my soul is pure.
There is only one way to be certain of my fears, and that is to purpose to take action. The bed isn't really any safer than the rest of the room, if
there are truly monsters underneath it. Monsters never play by rules, and they don't honor the notion that the bed is a safe zone so long as you never move from it during the hours of darkness. We prove our fears justified or silly by summoning the courage to get off the bed, dashing for the light switch, whirling around and looking to see what, if anything, is coming toward us. In so doing we can separate our fears from whatever we really do face, and then we can at least take informed action.
What is certain, then? Only that we move through a complex world interconnected with the lives, passions, and needs of many others. Beyond that, every day brings micro and macro uncertainty. The trick is not to let our fear of uncertainty keep us from living and loving and effecting such change as we can.
- Chicago: Wishin' You Were Here
- Sam Baker: Sweetly Undone
- Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia: That's All Right, Mama
- Madeleine Payroux: Don't wait too long
- John Mayer: Slow Dancing In a Burning Room
- Posted via Hermes.