Untotaled: Stepping 29–(October 28th, 1966) Soaping… August 30, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Halloween always brought out the “ween” in me.

I was never particularly fond of monsters, and dressing up like Superman, with my chubby physique, was inevitably comical.

On top of that, my hometown called trick or treat “Beggars Night.” It made me feel like I was running through the streets of Calcutta with my gunny sack, bringing provision home to my family of untouchables.

I think the worst experience was when I was seven years old, decided I wanted to be Casper the Friendly Ghost, and my mother discovered they didn’t make the costume of the gregarious apparition in any size except medium. Needless to say, I wasn’t a size medium, and the manufacturers never envisioned a 142-pound seven-year-old. Yet I was insistent, so my mother took scissors and trimmed it up so I could slide it on, but as I walked from house to house, it continued to rip where the scissors began, transforming me from a friendly ghost into a “holey ghost.”

I was grateful when I outgrew the experience.

That is, until my friends decided they wanted to go out for Halloween–soaping. It was a common practice of the time. Bored teenagers took bars of soap, snuck around town smearing messages on the windows of cars and homes, giggling and feeling rebellious to their Midwestern in-house imprisonment.

Four of my friends decided to go on such an escapade and invited me, so we bicycled to a deserted garage just outside of town to practice before we went out on the actual adventure. We bought bars of Ivory Soap (simply because it was 99.44 % pure).

I was so nervous that I pushed too hard on the window pane at the warehouse and it broke. This concerned my fellow Musketeers, so they decided to uninvite me so as not to be deemed vandals in their pursuit of cautious rebellion.

So I sat at home on Halloween pouting. Not even seven Milky Way bars could alleviate my suffering.

The next morning I discovered that my friends got caught on their ninth house, and the constable levied a punishment by placing their pictures in the newspaper, and made them wash all the windows they had desecrated.

Honestly, I didn’t know whether I felt grateful for getting out of the retribution or a little sad because I wasn’t one of the cool guys who had a story to tell.

So I guess I need to close this off with some sort of moral. And that would be, there are just some things that go together:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Love and marriage
  • Congress and confusion
  • And soap and water.

So be prepared–if you’re going to use your bar of Ivory, you might want to be aware that you’ll probably end up … washing.

 

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Doorways… March 12, 2013

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doorToday my left knee hurts. I had plans for it, including a lovely walk in the park. Yet my knee is reluctant, if not rebellious to the concept, and truthfully, will  become very sore with me if I pursue present plans.

So now what?

I have outlined to you is the whole quandary of life.

We have ideas. We make plans. We probably even become enthusiastic about the prospects. Often we purchase things to enhance these desires.

Then the whole thing falls apart. We universally refer to this malady as “problems.”

For instance, I could tell you that I was planning to go for a walk in the park, but a “problem” has arisen because my knee hurts. Most of you would nod your heads in agreement, sympathetically aware that such trials and ttribulations are just a part of our existence and that we patiently need to trust talent, life, God or whatever comes to our minds, to pull us through these hassles and hindrances.

But let me ask a question. What if it isn’t that way at all? What if the only real “problem” with human life is complacency? What if God–who is much smarter than us, by the way–knows that the only way to progress the human spirit, is by digressing our tendency to settle in on one thing, determined to remain.

For if God and life were to leave us to our own devices, we would find the most comfortable corner of the room with a pillowy chair, and cozy up to the least challenging possibility surrounding us.

What’s wrong with that?

The second most dangerous condition in human beings, after complacency, is boredom. All sin is born out of some form of boredom.

So problems come along to move us through the path of life so we don’t have to deal with nearly as many disasters. They are similar to the little earthquakes that occur to release the pressure on the fault lines, inhibiting a larger, more destructive shaking.

So let’s stop calling them problems. They are doorways.

My knee hurts today because for the past forty-eight hours I have given it a real workout. Without the pain, I might overdo it and create more permanent damage instead of temporary discomfort which can be alleviated through a day of rest.

In other words, without pain, there is no healing. Without healing, there is no improvement in health. And without improvement in health, there is no sense of enthrallment with the continuation of life.

What if everything that happens to us is a doorway to get us from our bedroom and  into a more expansive living space? Is there any basis for this idea?

“All things work together to the good … ”

You ever hear those words? “All things work together to the good…”

Really? Does that mean my aggravated knee, if viewed as a doorway instead of a problem, is going to take me on a journey today, which if I do not resist, will generate a new goodness unforeseen?

My answer is yes. And if you don’t believe that, you might have a tendency to live a life of a ping-pong ball, struck by divine inspiration, only to be propelled across the table to a paddle of evil, which smacks you back down to earth.

I will not be pinged and I will not be ponged.

I will not fight my pain. My pain is necessary; my pain is revelatory. My pain is divine information that there is something good out there waiting for me if I will just refuse to become depressed by the change of plans and instead, propel myself through the doorway.

For after all, there are many adventures yet to be experienced, where we discover that life is more than just a walk through the park.

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