Men will be men and we’ll all enjoy an extra hour of sleep. It’s been a day of reckoning, of examining my motives and determining future actions. A day of reading history, of the day men split atoms and ignited a fireball that consumed cities. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, so much so that we can destroy our own kind in so many ways. The cruel humanity that we must somehow overcome. That salvation is the cross and I wonder if I’ll ever quite understand it. A confusing mix of thoughts for a day with no definite theme–a realistic account of the day’s thoughts.
The lightning flashes on both sides of the road, lighting up the nighttime sky as if it were day. It flashes again and again, several times per minute. I check my blind spot while changing lanes and it flashes right when I turn my head, blinding me for a few brief moments. As I travel down the road of life, the lightning often flashes all around me, and sometimes I get caught holding the umbrella. You have to wonder who could be so foolish, and believe me, I’m asking myself the same question.
It was a cold November night and Sedgewick couldn’t sleep. The full yellowish moon shone brightly outside his window, laying a patch of moonshine across his bedspread, from his neck to his knees. Sedgewick had given up fidgeting. Constantly rolling over and resettling, pulling his blanket tighter and shifting his pillow around didn’t accomplish anything. He had already resigned himself to a sleepless night, and was lying perfectly still on his back, allowing his mind to race and flow in a million directions.
A profound and disturbing notion occurred to me the other day. We received our registration materials at school this week, and while planning for next semester I determined that it’s possible for me to graduate a semester early. Thus saving a semester’s worth of tuition and entering the real world a full four or five months earlier. Entering the real world. A real job. A real apartment. A real paycheck. Real bills. Real life. Whoa. I found the concept a little staggering as it settled into my head. It draws a million questions of what I want to do and where I want to go. It draws more properly phrased questions of what God wants to do with me and where he wants me to go. I’m in my third year of college and the reality of school being over and employment beginning has always been a safely distant thought. Now the idea is slightly more than a calendar year away. The thought frightens me.
Where am I going to get a job? What exactly do I want to do? Where do I want to live? Who do I want to live with? Whoa, easy. Here, take a seat for a minute. I’m swimming in questions and all I can do is look up for the Lifeguard. I know he has the plan and he has the answers. I understand that. But I don’t yet see the plan and I don’t yet see the answers and the apprehension fills me. It’s my human reaction and somehow I have to let it go. Otherwise I’ll be kicking and screaming and the Lifeguard will never be able to show me that I’m drowning in the kiddie end of the pool.
For those of you eagerly awaiting the update on my medical condition, good news, I have mono! Well, it’s not really good news. The fun part is that I got a pamphlet in my post office box entitled “So You’ve Got Mono.” Hopefully I’ll get better soon. Until then I have an excuse to fall asleep in class. Today’s pondering is more about Sedgewick. You’re probably wondering if I’m just getting lazy here and giving you assignments from one of my classes. Sadly, the answer is yes. But I have mono, so you’re supposed to pity me and have mercy.
The music blared, the people screamed, and the counter echoed. Lights were flashing and brightly colored balloons kept falling from the ceiling. But Sedgewick ignored all that. He had won a five minute, no holds barred shopping spree at the local toy store. That means Sedgewick had five minutes to run through the store and fill up as many shopping carts as he could with whatever he wanted. Whatever was in his shopping carts at the end of the five minutes was his to take home. It was the prize any kid would die for. And Sedgewick had won. His grandmother had entered him a year ago when they last visited the toy store.
I think the sore throat is finally passing. I know you’ve all been terribly worried about my medical condition, so I thought the least I could do was keep you updated. The one thing I hate about being sick is how you lose touch with everything. I haven’t followed my daily routine in weeks, which I suppose could be a good thing. I also haven’t spent time with God in a while. You’d think while lying half asleep in bed you’d have time to talk to God, but no. The only thoughts are echoing choruses of ‘get better.’ It seems like we get a little self absorbed when we’re sick. Some people say sin is a sickness.
Hey, I’m back. Sorry for the extended absence there. I thought I was finally over my sickness, and then BAM, severe sore throat for four days. Plus my mom came to visit this weekend. Which always helps. Severe sore throats deserve some mothering. I’m still not over it yet, and I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow. Hopefully this will get taken care of soon, because I’m not only following behind on my ponderings, but my school work as well. I thought tonight I’d share some more about Sedgewick.
After Sedgewick came home from school and finished the snack his grandmother made for him, he always liked to go find his grandfather and see what he was up to. He’d sneak around like a detective until he finally found his grandfather. Some days Sedgewick would then just walk up and say hi. But other days, if his grandfather was doing something really interesting, Sedgewick would stay back and watch from a distance. He usually did this when his grandfather was playing the guitar.
I like writing. You get to tell stories. You get to make stuff up. Like Sedgewick. Say hi to Sedgewick. He’s seven. He’s in Mrs. Alabaster’s second grade class. He’s the second shortest in the class–only Molly is shorter, but she can run faster than Sedgewick can. Sedgewick is the kind of boy who’s quiet–not because he’s shy, but because he doesn’t know what to say. He’s the kind of kid who nobody notices until he does something wrong. Sedgewick shuffles to the bus stop by himself every morning in his light blue Converse sneakers. His backpack dwarves him, looming atop his shoulders. It’s a plain backpack, not a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers backpack or even a Mickey Mouse backpack. It’s just plain. But Sedgewick likes it, because it used to belong to his brother. Sedgewick’s hair is always messed up. It always looks like he just took off a sweatshirt with a tight neck. Sedgewick is the kind of kid who would pick dandelions for his mother, if his mother was still around. Instead he gives them to his grandmother, who always thanks him and puts them in a vase on the kitchen table. This always makes Sedgewick smile.
That’s why I like writing. I just created the seven year old character, Sedgewick. He doesn’t exist until I say he does, and he has no traits until I give them to him. And it’s not that I like it because it’s a power trip. I like it because characters themselves are powerful. I can create in my readers certain feelings for Sedgewick, based solely on the type of character he is. That’s fun. It’s also kind of like creating your own cast of imaginary friends.
I don’t have to be deep everyday, do I?