Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23: Gratitude Nineteen, Classic Saint Marty, New Cartoon

I am grateful to be home tonight.

After a long day of travel, we arrived back at our snowy little house around five o'clock this evening.  We've been unpacking and settling back into normal life for the last couple of hours.  My daughter has been complaining about returning to school tomorrow, and I have to admit that I sort of feel like whining a little bit myself.  After being away from my normal, daily stresses, I'm not really looking forward to taking up my yoke again.

But, I'm still grateful to sleep in my own bed, surrounded by my books, my kids, and my wife.

I do have a Classic Saint Marty.  It originally aired on September 5, 2012.  It's all about my daughter growing up.  Appropriate for an end to this weekend.

September 5, 2012:  Old Marley's Head, Smooth Tile, Preoccupation

It was a very low fire indeed; nothing on such a bitter night.  He was obliged to sit close to it, and brood over it, before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel.  The fireplace was an old one, built by some Dutch merchant long ago, and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles, designed to illustrate the Scriptures.  There were Cains and Abels, Pharoah's daughters, Queens of Sheba, Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds, Abrahams, Belshazzars, Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats, hundreds of figures, to attract his thoughts; and yet that face of Marley, seven years dead, came like the ancient Prophet's rod, and swallowed up the whole.  If each smooth tile had been a blank at first, with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts, there would have been a copy of old Marley's head on every one.

This is a paragraph about obsession.  Scrooge, having seen Marley's face on the knocker of his front door, finds himself preoccupied with his dead partner.  It doesn't matter what Scrooge is gazing at--his fireplace, his chamber pot, his bowl of gruel, his slippers--Marley's face is ever before him, haunting his thoughts.  It's the beginning of Scrooge's walk with the dead.

I find myself preoccupied.  My daughter just started sixth grade yesterday.  She got her locker, her schedule, and her homeroom teacher.  She got a calendar to keep track of her assignments, and she got sheets with a whole lot of classroom rules on them.  She had to sign the rules.  I had to sign the rules.  All day long, I thought about her, following the trail of bread crumbs from teacher to teacher.  Like Scrooge, I was haunted by thoughts of my daughter.

Of course, everything went really well for her.  She liked her homeroom teacher.  Her classes went well.  When I got home last night, she had already finished her homework.  Marley has been dead for seven years when his ghost appears to Scrooge.  Seven years ago, my daughter was going into kindergarten.  I can even remember the denim jumper she wore and the pigtails in her hair.  It doesn't seem that long ago to me.  For my daughter, it was half a lifetime.

Time is a strange thing.  It feels like my daughter should still be in pigtails and denim jumpers, but she's talking to my wife about boys and first kisses.  I'm not ready to let that little kindergartner go, and yet I have to.  She is growing up, and I have to loosen my fingers and give her some room to fly.

Saint Marty hopes she doesn't get too close to the sun too soon.  He wants to be there to catch her if she falls.

Letting go sucks...

Confessions of Saint Marty

No comments:

Post a Comment