Friday, November 21, 2014

The Emphasis Is on the 'Is'

Sometimes, recently for me, we back away from our own thoughts.  This is, of course, increasingly easy in an age...

Sometimes we forget how to use the feelings and difficulties our personal journeys gently shove into our faces, we forget to look behind emotion and failure and we forget that they are the fuel that energizes us...

Sometimes I suffer an almost vertigo-like fear when I think about the despair and doubt and injustice so evident in human affairs which will be suffered on Nick and Zack...

Sometimes life can really suck...

I am having a bit of difficulty getting started today.  I want to speak of cold basements and lost opportunities and hard decisions and my mastery and understanding of them all.  I don't know how to do that.

At a morning mass this week, I had a thought.  I am embarrassed to admit that I've had it before, and I can safely assume I will have it again.  It is a selfish and practically pathetic little thought that whines up from my ego sometimes:  Why isn't this working?  Why don't I feel the peace and love, why don't I get the parables, why do I question all of it so thoroughly?  Where's the kumbaya of it all?

But this time was different, this time I got my answer:  It is working...

Zack decided that he wanted to use a word program on the computer to write a "persuasive speech" he has been working on for school.  He got out the laptop we begrudgingly use upstairs sometimes and turned it on.  Well, it hadn't been on for a while and decided it needed to load several hundred new updates, a process which pisses me of to the point of enragement, which isn't even a word  I find slightly annoying.  As I stood and he sat, me seething, he staring hopefully as the updates ticked down, I said something like "This isn't gonna work, Zack."

"Dad, it is working."

Surrounded by Cheerios he had spilled, a half boxful, Nick was picking them up one at a time and eating them off the floor.  They were everywhere and the floor wasn't as clean as it maybe should have been and we were a little pressed for time and he was maybe four and I said "Nick, this may not work, let me get a broom."

"Dad, it is working."

Always the emphasis is on the 'is.'

And it is, working that is...  Sometimes not to my satisfaction, sometimes not in my time-frame, sometimes totally contrary to my liking.

Zack got his paper done and didn't really mind the wait.  I sat down with Nick and munched Cheerios off the dirty floor, and I'll remember it forever.  And, my faith is working.  I am a better man now than I was twenty years ago, I guarantee it.  I am hopeful again and, although I am still at times lonely and frightened, I do not feel alone.

Everything is working.  Our parenting, our providing, our moral direction; our dishwasher and computer and the old toaster-oven; our smiles and tears and fears - all working.  Presently, right now, it is all working, not has worked, or will work but the emphasis is on the 'is.'

Z spent most of an hour working on this under the dining room table so no one would see it before he was done:

The award ceremony is on the back:

And yes, second place dude is wearing this shirt:

That hair is defiantly working for him.

Nick drew this for reasons yet to be determined:

It's a "pirate guy's hook wielding a gleaming rune-encrusted scimitar."  Well, that is indeed working for me.

I found this under a table in the living room.  I don't know if it is important or not:

"Icious"  It must mean something, like the state of being in the moment.  Or not...  it's still weird, though.  "Having or full of..." is what the suffix 'cious' means.  Hmm, full of "I," yep that's me sometimes, especially when I don't think anything is working.  As in: I am one icious idiot sometimes.

I am glad you could come around today, peace to you and remember, as we all should, that it is working.  Don't be icious...


  1. Although I was baptized catholic, I really didn’t grow up that religious. It’s probably the reason why I’m still not into religion as much today as I should be, but I get it. I understand exactly what you’re saying and it’s interesting how when we feel that we’re so far from connecting with something, we’re actually a lot closer than we think. Great writing, as always.

  2. This reminds me of that quote, "Life is what happens while we are busy making plans." It's true. It's happening. It's working. Not always according to our plans, and not always in ways that we can see at the time. But it is. What a great reminder. Thanks for the thoughts.

  3. I always enjoy seeing your children's art work. They are clearly talented.
    Glad your faith is working.

  4. I'm also reminded of the book "Be Here Now," all about being present in the moment. We tend to get wrapped up too often in the things that are going wrong or that aren't going exactly as we'd like or as we'd expected. When that happens, we lose sight of the things that *are* happening, right in front of us. It's so easy to notice what's gone wrong that we sometimes have to remind ourselves to notice when things are actually going right.

  5. It is working is a good motto and mantra for life.