This little sentence, out of Gilead, bounced around in my head quite a lot in the last 2 weeks. My family-in-law have elicited some little internal storms for K and I recently, to do with a long-thought out, and anticipated sojourn, cut short for quite inexplicable reasons. Or rather, they were explicable but distressing, and in the very mysterious way that the subconscious works, the emotions evoked by our familial events gained a kind of equivalence to those evoked by the above quote. How do I say it? Our Namesake sister came, she disdained our way of life and our miniverse, she left ahead of time. She never meant any of it, of course, but it stuck nevertheless, and our lives felt slightly trivial by her lights.
Into this mix were, as there always are, a host of other exacerbating, rather than mitigating, factors, not least of which was the discovery of some unwritten but very much imposed stipulations on our acommodation, that jarred dissonantly with our concept of The Family Home. Probably it would do the same to your concept of it too, if you're the sort of person who would be reading this. No doubt Namesake felt it as well. So I find myself now with only a dwindling attachment to the premises we occupy, and a concurrent itch to be acquitted of it and its unwelcome caveats.
I am aware of a certain tang of bitterness creeping into the tasting notes of this miniverse brew - well, life, like coffee, is richer for complexities. So we say, except of course, just this minute, the result feels nothing like enrichment. Quite the opposite. However now, one thing that is providing some welcome enrichment, is going through Gilead again. It moved me endlessly the first time, and it is effortlessly doing so again- the prosaic popshots hitting home with a double whammy as I reflexively think of JLK and I in the same achingly honest, rich, steeped-in-faith yet humble voice of the Rev John Ames. Recommended for all fathers. Here is a sample :
"I'd never have believed I'd see a wife of mine doting on a child of mine. It still amazes me every time I think of it. I'm writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you've done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God's grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem to you to be no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you... You're just a nice-looking boy, a bit slight, well scrubbed and well-mannered. All that is fine, but it's your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined. I'm about to put on imperishability... While you read this, I am imperishable, somehow more alive than I have ever been, in the strength of my youth, with dear ones beside me. You read the dreams of an anxious, fuddled old man, and I live in a light better than any dream of mine..."
I've mentioned before that I lived my first 3 years on the Fantasy Island using only the 1 Oz bank account. And then, suddenly I had 9. Well, this week, exercising the faculties of my various miniverse titles, I wrangled words with a Fantaisle multi-national bank, who, as beefy boofhead corporations do, were behaving rather imperiously toward our meek and mild miniverse companies. So far they seem to be mildly confounded by my Big Words but I don't know how this will end for me [big banks have lawyers who know more Big Words than me], and by implication, for the miniverse. Unlike the last time I used Big Words, it takes more to stare Big Bank down. It was perhaps slightly reckless, but I thought - hey they probably depend on people like me thinking it'd be reckless to protest, in order to get their haughty way. So i chose reckless. Better than feckless, at any rate, which is how I would have felt otherwise.
So many conniptions, all together, yet life goes on.