Monday, February 27, 2017
A Stranger In My Own Home
I have a beef today, as well as an interesting principle about coming back from the dead. Or being away a long time, like Tom Sawyer. Didn't he walk in on his own funeral?
I have my routine in the morning. Sitting doing meditation and considering spiritual lit, including the Bible and various things on yoga, Sri Aurobindo, etc. Then it's time to take Roughage (my dog) out. Then breakfast. It's a clean, good, effortless routine. God forbid it change!
Today it changed. Thanks to an inopportune phone call plus my Cousin Deb visiting from Missouri. She's been here a couple weeks, sleeping in all those mornings, then getting up and seeing how I do it here. Today, though, I got an urgent call from a guy I've known for 40+ years, Melvin, who parks by the water tower and has his own taxi service, one car.
My time of meditation was just coming to a close when Melvin called. His key was locked in the car, do I still have the extra key? In the last five or six years he hasn't needed it at all. But it's been in my bedroom with a full layer of dust on it. Could I bring it to him?
Cousin Deb was getting up and around. I told her what I had to do, that it'd take 10-12 minutes, Roughage is in the crate, she'll be OK till I get back. Then we'll make breakfast, etc.
I got downtown right away, Melvin had his hand out, I rolled down the window and gave him the key and sped home. Now, what has Cousin been doing in the meantime? Wellllll, Roughage whined a little bit with me gone, so she let her out to do her business. Leaving enough time to start the breakfast, get the plates out, etc., and push my meditation books up against some other crap at the edge of the table. Page crunch. And she was busying around.
I was a little pissed off, but didn't spill it with the full force, just some gentle, "I said I'd take care of the dog when I got back. And there was no hurry on the breakfast; I was gone 10-12 minutes, there's nothing I need to do this morning, it was fine." Well, like she said, Roughage was whining, and there was no reason to wait on breakfast, apparently, because I was gone. I was barely gone, but the whole world had to change!
That's something worth considering. If you can be gone 10-12 minutes and everything has to change, imagine you went somewhere near the ends of the world for a half hour! She'd change the locks, paint the house, and maybe donate my freezer of bacon to the poor. "It's not good for you anyway." Oh! But it's good enough for the poor, I see! And that's just a half hour! A whole hour and they'd be reading my will...
What if I were suddenly called to Center City for a whole day? Not only would the bacon be gone, the dog wouldn't recognize me. The crate would be gone, she'd be sleeping in my bed, and growling when I crawled in to sleep. Possession is 9/10s of the law, they say, you abandoned the bed, you're outta here!
Multiply it out. You're gone a week? A week is like a thousand years. Your house was condemned, the high rise apartment complex in its place was planned and contracted out in four days, and when they decided you weren't coming back they built it. And that freezer was getting old anyway. The bacon had the accumulated frost damage of a whole seven days!
The interesting principle is, You can be a stranger in your own home within minutes. You gave your last wishes -- keep the dog in and don't start the bacon -- but if you've been gone 10 minutes all bets are off! In short, if you can't depend on your life maintaining its stability for 10-12 minutes, don't be gone any longer. Life is quicksand. Time waits for no man, as they say, but you'd think it'd take at least a month to fully rear its ugly encroaching head... You're gone a couple hours, though, you're not coming back.
Sheesh! That's Earl, brother!