I woke up this morning with a wish. It was not that my alarm would quit its nagging, or that Athena would stop growling at the passerbys out the window. Nor was it that a certain recent trend which again reared its head just a few hours prior, before I leapt off another day’s cliff into the shadowy depths of dreamland, would dissipate—though this factors into the wish as a larger prayer for my Being. It was also not that I would finish my work this evening in time for the 30 Rock premier. But, hey, let’s face it: I’m going to watch it regardless.
No, my wish this morning was to be more like my mother. Each day, regardless of weather or circumstance, I hear in the frail, dripping, distant traps of my psychic caverns my mother’s powerful, perfectly pitched voice in song: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! There are days when I curse her for this, for being so excruciatingly naive. But it is when I curse her that I realize I am only being defensive and cynical. It is when I curse her that I see myself as that sad, lost one who sleeps until noon and then wastes the remainder of the day in the glow of a living room screen; it is when I curse her that I see myself as the bitter, scornful one who proceeds in his day without civility or compassion, the one who need project his own anger at himself outwards so as to only justify his sorrow. But this is not her and so as her blood, and a piece of her spirit, this should not be me.
But how easy it is to be this, to allow the negative forces of daily life to impede upon the one central truth, the light which should shine bright through all dark days: we are alive! I do not believe that the, or any, Lord has bestowed upon us this day, this life, but that has no bearing on my appreciation for it. On this day in particular the sky is infinite gray, a cold drizzle seems not to fall but merely hang in every inch of the air, of the gray space. Because of this rain and this cold the bitter and sad are even more bitter and sad, some become even (a strange use of that word in this context, I admit) enraged or depressed. This leads to traffic, or traffic leads to this, or they each flow into the other. Regardless, what results is increased negativity and decreased love for that beautiful thing which we all share. And all of this before punch-in time.
When I wake with my wish I need only to glance at the sunlight sleeping beside me, or think of my all-loving, all-compassionate mother and I can move on in grace. I face that same rain but I kiss that moisture, let it revive my heavy eyes. Some days, as I implied above, are more difficult than others, of course. And how quickly comes the jaded disillusionment and disappointment with the failure of others to walk in this same light. But no one, not Jesus nor Ghandi nor Lennon nor Jung, said that Unity and Peace come easy, nor do they come once and stay forever. To love is to commit, and I love life enough to persist in learning and light through ignorance and shadow. To do this I need constantly to remind myself of the glory of each day, and of what I am here to do. If only I could hand out post-it notes to the others.
Each one of us affixes ourselves to something else in order to proceed with our selves. I can’t condemn this, of course, because clearly I follow a certain doctrine in my own life which was not originated by me. But to allow the golden thumb of the miller to tip the scales towards the other is to create an unbalanced self. We take these outside forces (say, for instance, religious doctrine) and toss everything into its greedy arms. In this we are no longer a self, or a Self, but the Other. We find false peace and not a shred of unity. I thank my mother each and every day for presenting me with an example of love and faith, but I do not pass off my life onto her. She is my reminder of the Goodness I wish to be. If only we took these tokens of Love as reminders, as examples, and used them to restore a faith in our selves we could create a unified, peaceful, loving Self which does not drown in the floods but kisses that refreshing water in rejoicing and gladness.