One reason I have not been faithful to the “daily meditation” thing is that the meditations in A Quiet Strength are just so sappy. I knew they were, and I figured I would either react to the sentiment therein or just use the title for my own purposes. But the overwhelming blue-ness of it all gets to me.
I know everyone is wondering how much I accomplished on the labyrinth today, and the answer is nothing. Coriolanus rehearsal all morning, of course, and then I got home and realized that there’s nothing more to do until I learn how to lay paving bricks.
Sure, Home Depot has instructions, but they’re mostly for nice, rectangular areas. Plus which, the actual installation, rectangular or not, involves skills and equipment I don’t have yet. One has to excavate the earth to a depth of two and a half inches, how exactly does one do that? The paving stone catalog says you then till the soil to mix in concrete to form a base. I’m not going to do that: too expensive, too permanent. Then everyone agrees you add an inch of sand, pounding into place with a pounder thingie.
I am under no illusion that this is a one, two or even three-day job. This is a year-and-a-half job. Either I pound that sand with a pec-inducing hand pounder, or I find a way to buy or rent a machine to do that. You can see the rental fees mounting up, but buy one? Sheesh.
Then the circularity of the thing. I know I have to buy/rent a bandsaw to cut curved stones. Again, sheesh.
Then there’s the actual purchase of heaven knows how many tons of paving stones. Yes, tons. One pallet of stones will cover 144 square feet, and it weighs over 2,000 pounds. I don’t have the math skills even to estimate how many square feet this thing is. Kevin?
My interior argument is to go ahead and get started, and by October 25, I can play freaking Aufidius with my shirt off. Let’s see if that happens.
So, anyway, today’s meditation.
The gist of the book’s little screed is that we’re all wounded fellows, don’t you know, who have been abandoned or left to die or something, and that if we just stand tall, and I mean that as a Shakespearean pun, so snicker away, we can all avoid the trap of drugs and destructive behavior. Or something.
You see what I mean?
All right, let’s give this a shot. Grown ups, in the Lylesian sense of the word, figure out soon into their adolescence, if not before, that we’re all alone in this together. Further, it does no one any good to bewail our lonely state in the universe. After all, what does the universe care for our wailing?
(Side note: if there is a God, the same applies. What does s/he care for our wailing? Even if she’s an all-loving God, her attitude would have to be like those of us who have slept through our baby’s insistent screams. At some point, God figures, we have to figure out for ourselves how to get through the night.)
Yes, we’re alone, and yes, it hurts. That’s why I have my family, my kitchen, my music, my blog, Lacuna, the Lichtenbergians. That’s why we have Art. We can amuse ourselves with these connections while waiting for the universe to come to our rescue. Which, as grown ups, we know is not going to happen.
So that “serenity” arrived at by the poor hurt creatures in A Quiet Strength should be the natural state for all of us grown up men. It’s false, of course. I don’t think we can ever shake that sense of wanting to be whole with the universe, but as long as we know that we can pass the time with all these distractions, and that that’s what they are, then I think we can figure out how to get through the night.
Now I think I’ll go light a fire in the labyrinth and sip my martini.