Life in the center of whatever cannot hold but always does

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. . .
—W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”

A sermon my husband preached this past Sunday stirred me to remember a precept I routinely forget. In the course of attempting to reconstruct every nuance of perceived wrongness I encounter, what I need to remember is that the most efficient and most necessary prayer I have the ability to submit is, “Lord increase my faith.” I believe this prayer is necessary in order to proceed to the even more efficient petition, “Lord, help.” The Author and Finisher of our faith did not provide a DIY manual.

Our aging Grünhilde Audi Space Pod, as amazing as she is, threw a camshaft bolt last year and demanded a complete engine rebuild. My husband spent seven Saturdays and 50 evenings complying. Now she requires new fuel injector sensors, or something like that. Ascending the nominal grades I routinely drive cause her to gulp for air, a supercar in the throes of a botched lethal injection. I’ve prayed a couple of times for increased faith and deliverance without need of a tow truck, but I pack my Kindle and plenty of water to drink, in case I have to wait for one. As with everything else in my knowable life sphere, my husband is on this.

Another sort of entropy that is less conspicuous is the decline in quality and a decline in care about quality—and it may be an issue of standards, not quality. I meant to buy two items, both size Small, but accidentally bought one Medium instead and didn’t notice until I brought them home. Before contemplating the hassle of returning it, which would entail another junket up the 8-1/2% grade, I tried on the Medium. It wasn’t so big. Then I laid the Small over the Medium. They were identical. We’re all one size now.

I started reading Walter Scott’s epic poem Marmion a couple of weeks ago. I was too out of my element, slogging through 18th-century Scottish words, and trying to figure out who the characters were and why Walter Scott would be interested in such boltheads as they seemed to me to be. I nearly always push myself to finish a book I start, even a free one, as this one was—but in this case I let myself off with a no-guilt pass.

I’m no longer motivated by certain types of challenges. My memory is so pitted that it would be too much trouble to read something I would immediately forget anyway. We have the news for that, and at least the news makes us conversant with something for a few minutes—whether or not meaningfully is something entirely else.

The sun is still shining—and we had our windows washed yesterday! Meadowlarks and killdeer call out in our field.

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. —Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)


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