Last night right after we’d eaten, our Russian orthodox neighbor stopped by to spontaneously invite us to a feast dinner. At the bus stop just now I asked her husband, Peter, which feast were they celebrating?
“Epiphany,” he said.
“Oh, I thought it was a week after ours? Except that we don’t celebrate the Epiphany anyway,” I looked up, trying to calculate. Everything I know about the Orthodox religion I learned from David Sedaris. His mother always complained that her in-laws’ faith celebrated late just so they could buy Easter candy for half-price. But a blogging friend, Alicia, is enthusiastic about the religion, so I’m curious to know more. Any religion that much into gold leaf has virtues greater than half-price Russell Stovers.
“No, it’s the same date, but Julian calendar is 13 days later.”
Multicultural me said, as we walked back towards our split-levels, “Maybe not later, just different.” I’m not sure he noticed.
A flock of robins was peeping wildly outside my house. What the hell do they know? Can spring really be on its way?
What would I give for midwinter depression to roll into some sort of epiphany, an exalted realization of the oneness of everything? A flash of understanding, deep in my soul, of what’s wrong with me?
I’ve had enough of them, lucky me, to know what it’s like to have the bleak grey cloud fall away. It’s not divine, it’s got to be neurological, and I’m sure I always suffer in all the Freudian ways before I get there. But dammit, I want someone to hand me the frickin’ key.
I should be bright, but I'm dull.
Tell me why I’m always behind. Tell me why I frustrate those I love. Why I pick fights and miss deadlines. Why I don’t take care of myself. What did they do to crush me? How I adjusted and survived, why I’m afraid to thrive. These situations I’ve worked out from hardened muscles over the years. But why am I still falling for it? "Tell me?" Do I really want to know?
A few days ago I read Jen Lemen’s Mondo Beyondo ‘zine to my daughter. The new agey language didn’t faze her a bit (Jen, you’re brilliant, it’s just an old thing of mine. Resistance.). Shortie’s wide eyes made my voice earnest. I followed Jen’s process a bit, thinking, maybe this year will be all about forgiveness. Maybe that’s the one thing I’m ready for, that I need, that I can actually pull off.
It’s a big idea. Maybe today it’s manifest in my urgent desire for oranges. "Late coffee and oranges in a sunny chair," it ain't. I’d rather be back in bed right now.
It’s never easy, but it never gets done any other way than One. Step. At a time.
One goddamn step at a time.
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