A year ago, I was blogging every day of the month as part of my #MakeNovemberTolerable campaign. I’ve long despised November for all the negative things that seem to converge upon this month, and last year’s effort was to see the beautiful things among memories of my dog dying, my Internet friend dying, and the swirling malaise that plucks leaves from branches, twirling them to the cold floor.
I thought about repeating my efforts this November: blogging every day, all month long. Then, I realized that was insane.
Goodness, could you imagine? Not this year. Maybe next year, though; looking back, I admire this notion of bottling the beauty in each day.
I got curious about what I blogged about a year ago and reread this post — whereupon I overhear a little boy praying at Panera, thanking God for being “good and great.” And in response, amid this world of stress and death and temptation, I mutter to myself: “Enjoy it while it lasts, kid.”
I am such a cynical person; my humor, dark and sarcastic. I’m always saying stuff like “I’m the worst” and “Maybe if I’m lucky today will be the last day.”
Believe me, my darkness annoys even me sometimes; I can’t imagine how I’m received by others.
Lately, I’ve been pondering the notion of parenting. My sister had her first child a couple months ago, and when I watch babies and kids in shows and movies and grocery stores and restaurants around town, shrieking and punching other kids, I think to myself:
You know, maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have kids or that I likely ever will.
Never mind this vivid dream I had once upon a time. It’s not even about the sheer inconvenience of having a kid; it’s this world I’d be bringing him or her into.
This fallen world feels like it’s falling and falling even further with every turn of the season.
Mass murder in churches and night clubs and city streets.
Sex monsters in Hollywood and politics and small towns.
The pornography I struggled with as a kid doesn’t compare to the pornography that the previous generation encountered, and it certainly won’t compare to what the next generation must face.
Is already facing.
Apps, websites, social media.
“We’re more connected than we’ve ever been, yet more alone than we’ve ever been,” I keep hearing, and I keep agreeing. Social media has ruined relationships, beckons bullying, and promotes facades. Genuine friendship feels more and more a rarity. An undiscovered jewel.
I can’t imagine rearing a kid in this war zone; it almost feels criminal to initiate such a thing. A life.
I can barely support myself most days — financially, emotionally — and I wonder how on earth I could ever support a kid. Financially, emotionally. Protecting him or her until the darkness sweeps in.
Enjoy it while it lasts, kid.
I don’t know what the future holds as far as a family of my own goes. But that’s beyond the scope of this post.
For today, just like every day last November, I must force myself to find the light in this darkness.
Remembering and remembering, over and over, never forgetting as God’s people were prone to forget in the wilderness and the Promised Land alike.
I remember the light of a little boy’s prayer from a year ago.
And another little boy’s prayer from two decades prior.
Back before the darkness found me.