Earned Rest

I can’t pin my mind down today. I can't extract a single coherent thought from it, something that might be sensibly corralled into a blog post.

I woke up thinking that, if I were God, I might have a selection of pet owners come back as their pets with some sensibility of their situation. Fifty percent of those chosen would have been given the greatest gift imaginable, a life of warmth and care and companionship. The other half… well, not so much.

A nice enough thought but not a ‘full blog post' one.

Then, earlier in the week, I had been contemplating my vegetable peeler. It’s a brilliant one and I’ve had it for many years. I never want another. Lately, though, it’s been getting ragged and tired. The rubbery handle has been becoming visibly distressed and a bit floppy. Still it held on (no pun intended) and so did I. Then, a week or two ago, Patricia brought home a new vegetable peeler. It’s all metallic and sleek and designed and, to my mind, it doesn’t work at all. I gave it a try and instantly hated it. It only removed a small width of veggie peel from the veggie and took fifteen times longer to do a spud than my old one. After completing one copiously peeled carrot, I laid it down in disgust and pulled Old Faithful out of the drawer. However, on the first swipe of the first veggie peel, the rubbery handle of my old peeler separated and broke in two. After years of service, it gave up the ghost on the day the new kid arrived. 

Not bad but not really a full blog post.

On Friday, while driving back from Galway in the afternoon, I found myself taking pleasure in seeing the schools I drove past all quiet and closed up tight for the weekend. It reminded me how this is something that I enjoy seeing. The little buildings I was whizzing past had all been centres of work and striving and fun and tension through the entire week but, for now, they were done. The work was complete, at least for a little while. Pupils and teachers alike were on their way home, the prospect of a little rest and leisure time in their sights. The dust motes in the rooms, agitated and bouncing all week long, could settle slowly down. Until Monday, when they would righteously bounce once again. 

I like that.  

Silly, stupid, overly introspective? Yes. A blog post? No.

That’s why this Sunday, this late in the morning, after a very early start, I had almost resolved to write nothing here this week. Let it lie. But I’ve been away for a few weeks and, if I ever stop, I’ll want it to be because I chose to stop not because I simply lost momentum and allowed it to peter out.

So here I am, with three rather random thoughts for your delectation. Nothing much, really, but still words on a page and that itself is something.

Also, looking at these three thoughts now, I wonder is there not a sort of loose theme running through them? And if the thoughts are as randomly formed as I think they are, then does that not perhaps mean that any loose theme might be a key to something which is really important to me? It’s possible, isn’t it?

So what is this theme of themes?

For me, I would summarise it as the title of the piece (which I’ve just come up with right here at the end). Earned Rest. And yes, looking at it now, I can see that it is a concept that I value and an end that I am often trying to achieve for myself.

Rest, in itself, is not such a valuable thing for me. I’ve done nothing all day and now I get to sit down and watch telly? That’s doesn’t really rock my boat. For me, there’s a sort of restless guilt hue attached to any downtime like that. Rest that hasn’t been earned. That’s why the newly vacated Friday school pleases me so much. That place has been all-abuzz and flat out all week, now it can rest. I like that. It goes to why I like Christmas so very much. I can work and work to get there and then I can rest awhile.

It’s also why the veggie peeler struck me as it did. It kept going and going until the new veggie peeler arrived, then it gave up.

It’s why, as my version of God, I might give the pet owners the rest they had earned, be it a place of love and warmth or a place of something considerably less than that.

To rest is good. It’s fine. But to rest, having tried hard to do one’s very best?  

That’s the prize, that is.

1 comment:

Jim Murdoch said...

If I were God I’d make myself known—I’ve never understood all the faffing around and the working in mysterious (i.e. flabbergast-inducing) ways—and I’d explain myself. Maybe we don’t deserve an explanation but it would be the decent thing to do and I’d be mightily disappointed to learn there was a supreme being out there who wasn’t fundamentally decent. The problem is I struggle to see evidence of decency in his treatment of Man. In his treatment of Satan, yes, giving him time to test his claim, but once Jesus died “faithful unto death” and settled matters why the delay in fixing things? And come to think of it why the hell did we have to wait four thousand years for Jesus to come along in the first place? It’s not mysterious, it’s dilatory. Don’t get me started on God.

Vegetable peelers I have little experience of. Not since childhood anyway. We’re all about convenience these days in our household. I haven’t peeled a spud in close to fifty years. Besides I like the peels. My mum always said we should eat the peels and throw out the rest of the potato. She said that but still peeled the potatoes.

Earned rest we agree on although even when I’ve earned it I find relaxation difficult and a waste of time. Since I got my tablet it’s rare for me to sit there and simply watch TV unless there’re subtitles and I’ve no choice. On the seventh day God rested. I used to wonder about that. Why did an almighty god need rest? But, of course, it’s not rest in that sense; he simply stopped creating and devoted himself to other projects presumably. So maybe he’s been busy and put in pin in the Earth: Get back to in the early 2000’s if they’re not blown themselves to bits. Naaah, don’t buy it.