Who hasn’t had this experience, in one form or another? Who hasn’t felt this way?
I’ll admit this reaction has been growing in me like crabgrass lately.
It’s a sign that I’m terribly tired, that I’m pulled in too many directions. And that my obligations and responsibilities and deadlines obliterate the possibility of a park bench sit simply to enjoy the view and nearby birdsong. (You know you are in bad shape when you pass the sleepy cat basking in the warmth of an early afternoon sunbeam and feel a disconcerting pang of jealousy…)
So what’s the problem, my problem? Passing by the people in my life like a spectral ship in the night, and the lack of lingering coffee talk by day. “Less is more” is de rigueur in terms of commitments and good writing, but nothing can possibly happen hunched over, arms crossed, eyes down.
The last time I struck a pouting-on-a-park-bench pose that was deemed cute by anyone I was three years old.
The other night, when moonlight and a mad March wind kept me wakeful, I ended up in front of the television searching for something to lull me to sleep. I finally settled on a On Demand Comedy Central standup special featuring Tom Papa, a comedian who used rather little foul language while speaking with relentless hilarity about the human condition.
In the beginning of the routine he waxed on about how life is hard: we’re uncomfortable most of the time, we don’t really like each other that much, and for the most part we’d rather be doing something other than what we are engaged in just about every moment of the day.
So what are our choices? We can fight it. We can fight about it. We can go back to sleep. We can sleepwalk. We can give up.
Or we can sit up, and open our arms and eyes. We can look around and make a choice: molder on the bench, run home and hide, or explore the beauty and the mystery of the park—even if no one bigger, stronger, and smarter is around to hold our hand.
In other words, we can laugh at ourselves a little, and grow up.