Friday, October 05, 2007
The Walls Of Jericho
Silence disturbs a lot of people, that slate of blankness that sometimes descends upon us when we, to paraphrase Bill Murray in the oft-ignored, deeply underrated Groundhog Day, we reach the end of ourselves. This uncomfortable silence happened a lot during those epic conversations in college about everything that always ended in the words, Does anybody know where we can get more beer? My friend Hank said there was an old belief that an angel flew over a room every twenty minutes and that's why conversation would dry up for a few seconds, to give God that particular space. The white space on the page, the margins. And Lord knows I knew about the margins. I had started on one and would end up on another. Of course, I didn't know that then. All I knew was that I wasn't anything special. That's a lesson I was always learning in those days, one way or the other.
I often contend that it's one of the great injustices of life that we seldom get credit for the things we did not say, the things we could have said that would have been cruel, unkind, deeply stupid because when we slip up and stop biting our tongue or taking our medication or drinking ourselves sick, we often say the something that wipes away all that good behavior. And so much of what we say sticks and hurts people, makes them uncomfortable, takes away their joy. I myself am gifted with an almost Jesuitical quality when pondering what has upset me. It's strange how I can forgive almost anything until I can't and usually it's a small injustice that disturbs me most. The big ones we have to forgive or we die; we carry them around like dead bodies and they break our backs. So we dump them by the side of the road. But the small things, we pick at like sores, taking a perverse joy in the reopening. Let that thing heal, my mother would say, when I wouldn't leave something alone. I recently heard that it was the silence of people that brought down the walls of Jericho, not vocal effort. Which isn't such a bad thing to remember when we come to the end of ourselves.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I always sings too long and too loud." Leadbelly
Drinking music suggestion: Center Stage Jamiroquai
Benedictions and Maledictions