A kind of nothing is what I wish to accomplish, a single-minded trek toward that place where any shutter left open to the zenith at night will record the wheeling of all the sky's stars as a pattern of perfect, concentric circles. I seek a reduction, a shedding, a sloughing off.
Hallelujah to Dillard! I am totally with her this evening in her urge to reduce, shed, slough off, simplify. She is talking about taking life down to its barest elements and being satisfied. No city lights and sound and pollution. No cell phone vibrating with texts. Nothing but stars and clouds wheeling through the heavens.
I am sitting in my university office, waiting to teach my evening class. First year composition. Nineteen fresh and eager minds. Well, nineteen minds. Not so sure about the fresh and eager. In a little over an hour, I will be able to see what kind of hand I've been dealt.
My day has been complicated. I just finished a little over nine-and-a-half hours shift in the medical office. From six in the morning until 3:45 p.m. During that time, my sewer line backed up in my home. Had to call a plumber. I am happy to say that my toilet and bathtub are draining easily. I am unhappy to report that it cost somewhere between OUCH! and BOING! to get said toilet and bathtub to drain easily. I had to borrow money from my sister to cover the check.
Sometimes, I get the feeling that I have done something to offend the cosmos. When floods and earthquakes happened in Ancient Greece, some angry god or goddess was to blame, exacting revenge on a stupid virgin who took a crap in a sacred orchard or something. So, what I want to know is whose divine apple tree did I piss on recently?
Of course, God doesn't work that way really. I know that. However, after shelling out close to an entire paycheck to have a working toilet in my house, I'm beginning to feel like I have some target on my soul. Yet, as the pastor at my wife's church always says, "God is good." And we respond, "All the time!" Then he says, "All the time!" And we answer, "God is good!"
Saint Marty has to remind himself of God's goodness every once in a while, especially when he's got sewage in his bathtub and a classroom of composition students to entertain for three hours.