Ironic Advent 2016 Meditation #16:
How Cold Will It Get?
I can already hear my friends from Minnesota, don'tcha' know, making fun of me for whining about snow and cold.
Well we got a lot of snow, by my growing-up-on-the-Gulf-Coast-of-Texas standards, over the weekend. Saturday night, I went into the Rusty Dog to eat with Cindy and Courtney (Courtney is a guy; don't judge), laughed like hyenas for three hours (especially when Courtney did his annual riff on "advice for Ben Camino's love life"), and walked out into a winter wonderland.
Apparently it had been snowing hard since we started laughing. I slipped and slud (I know, I know, all you editors named Jennifer) all the way home and turned up the heat. Next morning, OK it might have already been afternoon but I was still drinking coffee if that counts, I stepped out of the door to find my snow shovel, promptly did the funny dance when an old guy slips on a step and sort of but not really catches himself. In other words, I didn't fall and break my hip, but oh my did I pull some stuff up and down my body that is still hurting. All because I slud.
And now . . . the end is near. No, that's a Frank Sinatra song. And now, the cold is coming on. I wrote in an earlier Ironic Advent Meditation about the other, more human "coming on." That would be nice right about now. But it's not what I'm talking about. The big freeze. The Advent freeze is heading my way. And, if you live anywhere close to me, you will soon know what I'm talking about. The Cold.
A friend wrote today and complained that it was so cold she couldn't get out of her car. I looked it up. It was 33. I'm worried about her. "Baby, it's not cold outside, but it will be Thursday." You remember that song from Elf? So tonight we will dip to -1. Tomorrow, a high of 20, low of -2. And, the bleakest of bleak not-quite-midwinter days, Thursday we will have a HIGH of 5 and a low of GIVE UP HOPE ALL YE WHO GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSES OR YOUR CARS BECAUSE THE VERY LIQUID ON YOUR EYEBALLS WILL FREEZE, SAITH THE LORD.
I looked in the Weather Channel website and in that place where it says "FEELS LIKE," it said "YOU'RE DEAD hahahahahaha." I never liked that guy from the Weather Channel.
How cold will it get? I mean I like the bleak midwinter as much as the next person. I mean the song. But . . . not eyeball freezing cold. Please Lord. Not my eyeballs.
I'm not going to talk about Aleppo tonight. It not only feels beyond words, but it puts into question all words about anything. I hope you don't think, dear reader, that I don't feel that too. Shutting up or screaming or hurting ourselves or lashing out against whomever we feel is responsible (including the great power some of us try to believe in)--I cannot judge anyone for doing any or all of these, as long as they are not hurting innocent lives because far too much of that is happening already.
But I'm not going to talk about that tonight. I am only going to repeat the question: how cold will it get? Oh Lord (I'm not really speaking to heaven right now; it's just an expression) sometimes we want to give up. We feel like our hearts, our lives, our souls (I mean our entire beings) are going to freeze up and stop working. Maybe they already have. How damn cold is this universe anyway?
The only answer I have is this. As cold as we let it get. Don't get me wrong. I am SO ready for and would be SO happy to see and hear and feel some divine warmth and love and singing and dancing and healing and salvation. Bring it on. Please.
But in the mean time, and I do mean mean, I am going to be savior to my people Israel. OK, he's talking crazy now, isn't he Martha?
Ya'll know what I mean. It's all one big rescue operation down here. And we are paralyzed because we can't individually and in little groups stop something that is happening. Something that is, in fact, the end of the world for those to whom it is happening.
This is cold and brutal and nasty. And there will be and SHOULD BE a hole in our hearts and an ache in our souls and an ironic undertone to all our joy and happiness.
It's not THAT unimaginable that folks will just drop their shovels, fall down, curl up in the snow, and just wait for the end. Why the hell not? That's how cold it is.
Or they can shovel their walks and then walk down the block and shovel their neighbors, as my neighbors sometimes do knowing I'm a heart patient.
Rescue this child, even though you can't rescue that one. Get to know some folks from Syria while you are at it. Give, donate, or volunteer with groups like Doctors without Borders.
I'll quit saying how and maybe some of my readers will have some suggestions. I think most of us know what we need to be doing. It's mostly local. But it obviously has a global dimension as well. The least helpful thing, I think, will be to spend too much time right now blaming the present administration for what they have or haven't done. And/or the previous administration for policies and actions that led to this.
By the way, I don't say that kind of analysis is a waste of time. Far from it. We need to be doing it, and we need to be as smart and shrewd as we can be about the past, the present, and the future. That will mean some arguments. That's just called thinking out loud, so let's not be afraid.
But that won't keep off the cold. And that won't bring into the world what only you and I can bring. You know that if you're listening to your ache. Pay attention.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's all up to us.
Well, maybe I am.
At least, I don't see the point of acting like it's not all up to us. If the Big Help comes in from the outside, we aren't going to turn it down.