The perfect Sunday!

Who doesn’t adore a Sunday! Though the Sabbath is a religious observance common to many faiths the Christian rendition (and its historical prohibition of commercial activity) bears repeating. The weather forecast for the remainder of the day – at least until sunset when conditions begin the ascent to a flawless sunny Monday tomorrow – is relentless rain. The probability varies in range from 40% to 80%.  And cool temperatures below 50°F.  I can hear the forceful drizzle upon the drawing room window. What could be more perfect for an idyll Sunday, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Op. 86 (Ingeborg Danz et al.), black coffee, sliced green apple, wedge of Brie cheese, toasted and generously buttered cranberry/pumpkin seed bread and steel cut oats ornamented with pitted prunes! It all unites with the low yellow lights, green leather chairs and stunning Oriental rugs to inspire a relaxed and soothing metaphysical atmosphere.

In Abrahamic religions, the Sabbath (/ˈsæbəθ/; Hebrew: שַׁבָּת‎) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, as God rested from creation. The practice of observing the Sabbath (Shabbat) originates in the biblical commandment “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”.

Every topic of current conversation surrounds the pandemic, coping with it, adjusting to it, anticipating its departure and contemplating the improvements of the future. Meanwhile the soporific effect of the “day of rest” is inescapable.  The grandfather clock strikes the hour. My mind stiffens upon an ancient recollection then wanders into dreariness and my eyes fall shut. When will it all go back to normal? How did the entire world fall victim to this universal illness? Is handshaking really finished? No more of those two-sided kisses! And cover your mouth, please!

When the constitutional issues surrounding the lawful authority to amend the habit of business on Sunday first went into effect I persisted to feel a sense of guilt when shopping on a Sunday – even if it were no more irreligious than buying a pair of smalls. Gradually however the insinuation of religious freedom and its spin-offs of pantheism, altruism, atheism and irreverence generally succeeded to enable what at first was a guilt-ridden exemplification of utility (pointedly characteristic of working stiffs who not unusually had but one day of the week to look after their own provisions and household needs). Upon retirement Sunday has become like any other public holiday; namely, one to be avoided. The traditional commercial enquiry now addresses the days of least activity.

If however the exploit is designed to ensure the least public activity on the road Sunday is still a reliable day for the celebrated “Sunday Drive” and all that that entails.

Understandably the present enthusiasm for the drive is somewhat quelled by the lack of opportunity to stop along the way.  The erstwhile social resorts at coffee houses have been tranquillized by drive-thru service only. Unless you practice that archaic custom of bringing along a thermos full of steaming coffee, you’ll have to wait until you get home to stimulate your caffeine habit. And you’re stuck with your traveling companion for discourse.

The real test of a vehicle is not how you drive it but rather how it drives you. Modern technology is on the cusp of robotic driving (though “hands on the wheel” continues to be an imperative). Until we abandon complete control of the automobile we may nonetheless revel in the smoothness of its functioning. I am reluctant to proclaim the virtue of an SUV over a sedan. Not only are the two considerably different; more importantly the popularity of the SUV means that its model is getting all the attention of advancement. As much as I swoon to the sight of a Phantom I’m afraid I can’t help but assess the currency of its mechanics and technology. Technology is to our universe what industrialization was to the former. At present the boundaries are seemingly limitless. From what I have seen in cars, banking and smart phones, the trends to novelty are ceaseless. Within my own limited parameter I seek to acquaint myself with at least some of the modern devices. My car for example has no door handles.  There is no stick shift or handled gear changer. Lights turn on and off automatically; and naturally high beams adjust themselves to on-coming traffic. Using a phone or GPS while driving is standard. You can listen to the radio, Sirius XM or the entire catalogue of music on your iPhone (which can also be used to open and close the doors, start or turn off the engine – not to mention locate the car in a parking lot).