Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12: His Own Image, Queen Anne's Lace, Later Summer

He looked about in that very place for his own image; but another man stood in his accustomed corner, and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there, he saw no likeness of himself among the multitudes that poured in through the Porch.  It gave him little surprise, however; for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life, and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this.

Scrooge is gazing into the future at this point in the story, looking for some new and improved version of himself, a Scrooge 2.0.  He has already resolved to make changes in his life, and he's hoping to see those changes reflected in whatever yet-to-come Scrooge he may glimpse.  Of course, the twist of this stave is that the future Scrooge is dead.  The only glimpse he receives of himself is a corpse, draped in a sheet, stretched out on a bed.  Abandoned, forlorn.

We all hope that future versions of ourselves will look like George Clooney or Susan Sarandon.  Fit, attractive, and ageless.  That's what Scrooge is looking for.  If you live in a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this time of later summer is dominated by high school reunions and softball tournaments.  Basically, all these old people get together to relive the glory days of yore.

I avoid class reunions.  I prefer to think of myself as perpetually young.  However, reunions are exercises in trying to identify former classmates and friends who have gained weight, gone grey, and lost hair.  The one class reunion I ever attended, I spent the evening trying to put names and faces together.  I wasn't very successful.  I was like Scrooge, wandering around some Christmas yet to come, trying to find myself and my life.

This time of year makes me a little reflective, if you haven't noticed.  As I was driving home yesterday afternoon, I noticed Queen Anne's Lace sprouting along the highway.  For some reason, Queen Anne's Lace makes me think of getting old.  Perhaps it's because it usually crops up in August, when summer is getting long in the tooth and the yellow of autumn has started appearing.  It could also be that the blossom makes me think of a great aunt who used to create beautiful patterns of tatted lace.  I can still see her pale fingers working the thread like white spiders weaving in a corner.

Whatever the reason, I feel old and tired this morning.  I just want to sit in a field of Wild Carrot and watch the white blooms bob and dance in a July breeze.

That's the future Saint Marty wants to see right now.  Quiet.  Warm.  Lazy.

Care to join me in being a little lazy?

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