In a world wrought with grievance and setback it hardly seems proper that one should become so buoyant as I now am. Certainly I have my concerns, my paltry issues, my own complaints about what appears to be a decided evolution. But uplifted by our early morning constitutional in the clear, frosty air and afterwards breakfast of MaraNatha organic crunchy peanut butter and St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach, I am indisputably aflutter! And silly me, I carelessly overlooked the Canada Grade A maple syrup! The Sacrament of Heaven!
If one chooses to split the two words as מרנא תא (maranâ thâ), a vocative concept with an imperative verb, then it can be translated as a command to the Lord to come. On the other hand, if one decides that the two words מרן אתא (maran ‘athâ), a possessive “Our Lord” and a perfect/preterite verb “has come,” are actually more warranted, then it would be seen as a credal expression. This interpretation, “Our Lord has come,” is supported by what appears to be an equivalent of this in the early credal acclamation found in the biblical books of Romans 10:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:3, “Jesus is Lord.” In general, the recent interpretation has been to select the command option (“Come, Lord!”; Revelation 22:20), changing older decisions to follow the preterite option (“Our Lord has come”) as found in the ancient Aramaic Peshitta, in the Latin Clementine Vulgate, in the Greek Byzantine texts, maranatha (“O Lord, come!” in 1 Corinthians 16:22), which was part of the eucharistic dialogue of the early Church, Textus Receptus, critical Greek texts like Westcott and Hort, Tischendorf, Cambridge, etc., and in the English translations like the King James Version, the Finnish Raamattu, etc.
Even more astonishing than the quantity of food I have consumed since arising from my virginal lair promptly at 8 o’clock this morning is the time subsequently expended fulfilling my petty ambitions; viz., a 40-minute cycle, the immeasurable time spent background munching while answering and sending emails (and figuring out where the attachment went) and the lost time attempting to cleanse my enigmatic computer folders. But alas all is right now! The weight and perplexity have been lifted from my shoulders. I am again aligned with the wide scene of options and agreeableness before me as I stare vacantly ahead, without urgency or demand. Let no man forget that doing nothing is one of life’s ventures!
Naturally I shall not do nothing! Yet it pleases me greatly to have nothing to do, no grocery shopping, no picking up prescription drugs, no inquiries at the hardware store for the proper lightbulb (especially considering the current dislike of incandescent bulbs), no haircut (though it is but a recent recovery from the pandemic), no medical appointment, no dental appointment, no rigorous examination, no dinner to plan, no social event for which to prepare. All is settled! The world is indeed flat! It is a welcome and infrequent hiatus, the still waters of Bedřich Smetana’s Moldau before the rapids and the falls. The reverence of simplicity and gratification!
Yet percolating beneath this veneer of disregard and indolence is an absorption, a thick and gooey preoccupation with a psychological and philosophical query – wherein lies the taste that lingers? How does one control the appetite sufficiently to retain the urge when the beast is fed? If not by bread alone, then by what does man live? What indeed are the ingredients of style? and authenticity? and of dignity and sophistication? By what do we prove our presence of mind? Must life be classified by introduction and dénouement? Can one sustain a glow forever? Can the humble mollusk create unimaginable beauty?
The course ahead is as always beyond dispute. It is but an acknowledgement of whence we come and wither we go, a bromide to be certain but nonetheless revealing! How else to describe the sometimes complicated eviscerations of thought! Nature knows no bounds except the impossible! And if we think we’re about to conquer the inexplicable by the unfeasible, well think again! We can never derive something of its essential content!
I heard birds squawking and chirping this morning, cutting the crisp air and filling the surroundings with generation. It was like opening an envelope with nothing inside other than the gesture itself. But a slim hint of what awaits somewhere unseen within the twisted bushes and bony trees or high above in the azure dome! It is more than the season that has changed. Out of the obscurity of mid-winter, from the dormancy of behaviour, there comes the green growth of the seed, subtle to be sure but very much there. What more magical awakening could there possibly be? I am tranquillized by the hidden achievement. From the most unexpected resource has sprung a well of satisfaction! There’s nothing like it!