Good Friday (2022)

Although I am no longer a practicing Christian – and though I would not now tout myself as a pious individual – I cannot resist acknowledging the spiritual import of Easter, the reminder of unentitled but providential beneficence. We have a lot to be thankful for.  Just getting back to Almonte from South Carolina is for me a source of gratitude. I never presume that we shall escape chance misfortune. And at my age, based upon the record of others within the same time sphere, it’s now all gravy. I’m not saving anything for the funeral.

Giving thanks is I imagine a common ritual among most God-fearing exponents. While I am little inclined to characterize the object of the theory – other than man himself – I nonetheless accept the value of the idea. Indeed there is much of religious practice that is acceptable by any measure. Gratitude is hardly a purely ecclesiastical practice. And if the serendipitous – or, dare I say, the superstitious – nature of philanthropy mystifies the practice, I understand.  Who for example hasn’t oft exclaimed, “Thank God!” as testament of thankfulness.

Easter – and its alliance with springtime – is time for renewal and growth. We are in our seventh and eighth decades respectively. It would be unusual to associate either of us with lambing or the vernal equinox. Instead the more orthodox reference would be decay and the winter solstice. By contrast however we’re presently undertaking several avenues of change and revitalization. It disturbs me somewhat that this enterprise has percolated within me – as though it were Nature’s way of signalling a precipitous end – but I persist to believe that it is merely the consequence of maturation which leads me to imbue vitality to what remains. The poetic synthesis also hastens me to reflect upon a fine distilled whiskey! Our recent history has been one of refinement and elimination – predominantly the irrefragable result of downsizing, not exactly a rational pursuit yet one which by its own nature promotes clarity.

It naturally astonishes me that philosophically I have been slow to embrace the limpidity of deprivation. For most of my life acquisition was the object. Now, less is more. We have accomplished the purification by preserving what is best suited to our present needs. Admittedly it is a small compliment to abandon a CD player and the associated discs; but it represents a willingness to loose the moorings to the past.  Within the same context we already plan to bring less with us next year when we go south for the winter. Accumulation is often a hindrance. Multiplication of things frequently results in over-abundance and inutility.

The focus must be not on what was discarded but rather on what yet remains. I would no doubt prefer greater mobility but I currently distract myself with Tylenol. It constitutes an exhibition of seniority and privilege to acquaint myself with what satisfies. Certainly the overtone of hedonism is uninvoidable but it appeases a realistic and therefore rational bent. I see no value in self-flagellation.

As in all instances of evolution time is an unalterable element. The paradox of its ignorance is the rush and possible extinguishment of the present. Accordingly we are obliged and encouraged to adopt the counsel of patience. We’ll have to wait to see the blooms.