This week has just been a laying on the floor week.
(Also the week in which I discover a whole genre of stock photos of pill overdoses and murder through that very google image search…)
It’s been one of those weeks where you can’t help but think about the slog.
I’m sure it has something to do with it being March and that it snowed twice this week (yes, yes, lightly I know but COME ON.), and that the weather report told us to expect “winter like” temperatures until the end of APRIL.
The weather aside, it made me think about the monotony of adulthood.
How it can just chug along almost without notice, pull this lever now, push this button, sleep, repeat.
The escapism of entertainment, in whatever your chosen form, never fully made sense to me until I dealt with six bureaucracies in one day (I can sing you the FedLoan hold music if you like, but GoDaddy has some really nice New Orleans brass selections at the moment).
At times, the rhythm of grownupedness isn’t unwelcome, it can even be soothing. To know where and how to be, act and go about each day is just…nice.
But nice doesn’t pay my mental health bill…or some other metaphor that makes more sense. deal with it.
I need, even crave, for things to break through the day-to-day. To shatter my expectations, or to at least give me pause.
This week is Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. The former found me in bed at 9pm (I so don’t live in NOLA anymore) and at the latter, lost and ten minutes late to the only evening mass within a 50 mile radius.
At the service, which I eventually found, the priest (new to the parish, originally from Nigeria – fascinating cultural dynamics in rural Maine, but I digress), reminded us of the traditional marker of Lent: “For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”
A saying that always finds a different resonance with me each year: sometimes it angers me, sometimes it confuses me – this year it comforted me.
Not only the perspective of the circular nature of life, but the incredible capacity of humans in the face of that seeming futility.
Of the ability to get up each day even just to press the button – and then to ask why the button is there.
To make it through the weeks that seem anything but worthwhile, but try even in the face of that at times overwhelming repetition to imbue some magic – even if it’s just an extra smile at a stranger or picking up a shift for a friend who is also too tired.
There’s real poetry to our ashes just after Mardi Gras, too.
Because if we’re all going back, we might as well have some fun first.
The Art of the Everyday – March 4: Thinking about stuff and things