Thursday, September 06, 2007

Laugh at the silence

Lately, I've felt the need to develop some sort of pervasive theme to my blog entries before composing them. I don't know how well it has paid off for me and I haven't always been consistent at it, so I don't know if it has been a success or an undocumented feature.

Peradventure, however, this is beside the point in the face of the article which I am now composing. I discussed at supper yesterday that I had this desire to, when someone walked into the room, to say something like "And that's why I think we should varnish the table purple." Mainly I would wish to do this to observe the reactions of people, but also because I think doing such would be flat-out hilarious. Not necessarily to anyone but me, but then is there a point to amusing anyone besides myself?

Sometimes the realization comes that the limitations that we feel are simultaneously more acute and less burdensome than we might have thought otherwise. I was playing basketball yesterday, and took a knee to the thigh whilst attempting to drive for the winning basket (Point of clarification here - we did win, despite my newly discovered gimpy state. And I also won the next game. Then I quit.) Combine that with a bruise in roughly the same area that I had received the day before, and I have approximately 8 inches of bruised muscle on my left thigh. It hurts, especially when I try to stretch or traverse stairs.

Ah, now I can sense you waiting impatiently for the reason that I describe this. No, it is not for sympathy, although I know you feel bad for me, and I appreciate this. (If you don't feel bad, perhaps I just haven't made myself seem forlorn enough here.) Here, then, comes the payoff.

Yesterday, one of the teachers at the school had a party celebrating his wedding that had taken place this summer. For this party, he had asked if I could set up the portable sound system that we have at the school. Now, this sound system is a fairly convenient, self-contained Fender system. It's almost like a karaoke system, but without the corny special effects or replay system. Anyway, the speakers for the system clip onto the sides of the amp/board section, making for a semi-convenient package weighing about 65 pounds, and at about 2' by 3.5', it's not unreasonable to carry, just slightly awkward. It is stored in the basement of a building across campus. I had got it out storage to the stairs without much problem, but discovered that I wasn't going to get much farther without some adaptation. To get it upstairs to the first floor, then back down the landing to the ground outside, I had to unclip the speakers, and transport the amp and two speakers separately because my leg really couldn't support taking that huge, unwieldy package up stairs without really hurting.

Where's the point, now? I must have lost it along the way.

No, wait, here it is!

Just because we are hurting, just because we are weak, it doesn't mean that we can totally abdicate responsibility to accomplish something. Just because we don't exactly feel top of the line, does not mean that we are unable to be used, unable to do our work. Rather, precisely because we are weak sometimes is why we have been assigned the tasks before us. To run to gain the prize, not counting the hindrances or weights on us, but discarding them all. To return to the cold, rebuild, trample our own plans.

This week, I have thought about this often. When I can't fix things. When I'm panicking because of everything that I think I need to know or to do. When I don't talk at lunch again. When I struggle with the self-confidence and inexorable sense of rightness I feel others have sometimes. When I wonder why I'm here.

Then it is that I think that weakness is not to be discarded, but experienced, learned from, set apart. I'm glad for it at times, for it reminds me that my agency along is not sufficient to be or do or know. I'm glad that the song doesn't depend or end on my voice. That this is not just for others, but for me as well. I'm glad that I can be here, not just in this place, not only in this situation, but here. Where the water is safe, the tide is rising, the moon shines brighter every day.

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