How are you? Please take no offense that I have recently publicly identified myself an an atheist. I was tired. Today, I'm agnostic. For the record, on Saturday I was Episcopalian. Attention deficit, religious identity disorder?!? ADRID... Do they make a pill for that?
Respectfully, you have a tremendous sense of humor. The depth and breadth of your creations, and the interactions between them, create a panoply of ideas, emotions, and memories that spin this humble man's head in dizzying fashion. So, thank you for the last week. It was very entertaining. Can you take a minute to help me figure out how it is all connected?
As you know, we attended the annual clam bake in Wareham last weekend. It's been going on forever and a year, but the word on the street is this was the last year. The man who has done the heavy lifting (literally) for the event is tired. After all, he's raised (with his wonderful wife) four children to adulthood and a pack of grandkids that grows algebraically -- if not exponentially -- every year. He's done it all without expectations, and I think he is a classic stoic and noble. And his hands are always dirty. Oh, and he has cancer. He didn't tell anyone, of course, but word got out. Maybe someone will step up and keep the fire burning (and the seaweed steaming), but if not, it has been an amazing run.
We drove up to Maine and spent some time on the water with friends. This family from Maryland we visited with has beautiful children and as a couple, a grace and bearing that makes one realize there are lots of really great, nice normal people on our little blue marble. We fetched sea glass from the shore, surfed in warm Maine water (...okay, there is no such thing, but it was water and we were in Maine), and kayaked out to this little lonely island to poke around an abandoned lighthouse. Exploring the island, I wondered what it was like a hundred years ago. I studied the pealing lead paint and contemplated our footprint on the environment. I imagined the world taken over by zombies and how this island would measure up as a refuge. Really.
We zipped over to Vermont for the wedding of a very good man. My in-laws took our our kids so my wife and I could play adults for a night. I remembered why we moved closer to them, and even with the oddness that is my wife's family (and I know odd families), I could not help but feel a brimming sense of joy that my son's grandfather thinks playing catch with him is better than anything else on the planet. I found myself, during the service at the wedding, reciting the Lord's Prayer and feeling comforted by its words and patterns. I looked at Jesus on the cross and wished it had gone otherwise for him; he seemed like a good fellow. I sat next to my wife and remembered our wedding, all of the hopes and dreams we had. It gave me a sense of optimism I hadn't felt in some time, knowing this young couple was going to give a life together a chance - I hope they realize their dreams and make some new ones on their journey together.
I crossed paths with my favorite uncle who was diagnosed with lung cancer and given two years to live...twelve or thirteen years ago. He's had a good hand all along. I saw my aunt (not my uncle's wife) and was oblivious to the fact she's still an alcoholic. I heard the theme song to Jaws in my head as we kayaked out to the aforementioned island and at the same time told my kids that sharks were not remotely interested in us. I slid head first into home in a meaningless softball game to break up the shutout the opposing pitcher was spinning. I was safe and my knees are killing me. A friend told me tragic news that was welcome tidings to her. I stayed up late to watch A-Rod hammer a walk-off homerun off a rookie in the fifteenth inning. Our puppy Abbott chewed his leash off to gain his freedom and then chewed off Hobbes' for good measure.
So, yeah, it was a good week. Rich. But I feel like a 7th grader reading a Bronte novel; I get the plot, character, and setting but have no idea what it means. So, sir or madam, any chance you could lend me your teacher's edition? I feel bad that I don't get it. I'm the dumb kid in class. But I do thank you for everything that you threw my way last week. For an atheistic leaning, currently lapsed Episcopalian agnostic, that sounds like a prayer. Or a request for a little extra help in the form of enlightenment.