Just for Today

Quarter of eight AM.

The morning is clear and bitter cold at 24 degrees. I won’t go out in it for a couple of hours. Meanwhile I’m getting more stable on the medication. A few times this month I flashed back to being twenty again, though it serves no purpose to do so. I didn’t know any more then than I know now. I just had my youthful vitality; the rest was folly and stupidity. But still, life had more of beauty when I was younger. As I age, the appearance or the illusion of beauty tends to fade away. I keep expecting a resurrection of youth and beauty that never comes. So, I revive old memories of pleasant times and try to be happy with those… The best myths are the most beautiful ones, the ones that give pleasure, yet it was long ago that I studied Wallace Stevens. Most Christians believe that Jesus is coming back. I’m not sure I want to be judged and then either saved or dumped in the Pit. I don’t know if the New Jerusalem would be so great. “No hell below us / And above us only sky.” Maybe living for today is all right. 



Eight o’clock.

All I can write about is my lousy cold, and that’s pretty boring. Well, I did do something a little different this morning on my trip to the convenience store. As I was leaving, instead of walking through the lot, I turned to my right and took the sidewalk along the storefront to the road, then turned left, thereby keeping to the sidewalk the whole way. This way I’m more protected from traffic entering the parking lot. It’s really small potatoes to observe this, yet it made me feel like something was new and different in my life today. Like yesterday, the skies are overcast and gray, and they keep saying rain but it doesn’t come very much. Lisa said it would be one of those days because the delivery driver has gone missing: he simply disappeared with all the groceries; no one knows where he is. Already this morning, a few customers have walked out when they couldn’t get what they wanted. And on the sidewalk by N Park, it looks like a car plowed into the barrier structures surrounding a gap in the concrete; they’re lying there in a heap of kindling. 

But as testimony that some things are still normal, my lavender rhododendron is in full bloom and will be followed by the pink one. Roses and rhodies constitute symbols of endurance and love of life when everything else goes off kilter. Add to these things an old John Lennon song, “Nobody Told Me.” Keep rolling through strange days with a hopeful heart and a spirit of adventure. Courage and curiosity keep us going. 


The sun has been trying to peek through a few times today, and the clouds have thinned out to show some blue sky. My mind feels very clear, no longer like someone who is brainwashed and bound in the chains of some doctrine, although I shouldn’t be cocky or complacent about it. That’s like Odysseus crowing at Polyphemus, but finding out later that Poseidon was his father and then paying the penalty all the way back home. All of literature has lessons for us, the Bible included, and also philosophy and so on and on. The purpose of it all is essentially to teach and to preach. 

Funny but my mother loved music yet she disregarded the lyrics unless it was something like “Penny Lane” by The Beatles, whose words made a simple vignette with no heavy moral overtones. And really I don’t blame her for that. She also esteemed Edgar Allan Poe a genius for similar reasons as The Beatles. Suddenly I remember a bit what eighth grade was like. It was the school year when John Lennon was killed. Shortly after this, Mom bought me the red and blue Beatles compilations at Fred Meyer. The one I listened to more was the red, which covered the years 1962 to 66. But gradually I got to like the later stuff better, especially when I reached college and heard “Across the Universe” again. It made me gush hot tears; caught me totally off guard. My parents had gone to bed and I listened by myself after midnight. The thing about it is not just the music but the awesome lyric, like a work of poetry, all put together for devastating effect.