OrdinaryTimes 1.0-OldBeginnings

OldBeginnings
The Christian liturgical calendar classifies most of the year as ordinary time. Between Christmas and Easter, then again between Easter and Advent, many lesser holidays fall, but none qualify as extraordinary. The Greeks distinguished between festal and ferial times, formal feasting days and times when supper involves ferreting around in the back of the fridge to find whatever’s threatening to go bad. For both Christians and Ancient Greeks, most of their year featured ferreting around.

Perhaps we should celebrate ferreting. Not with parades and fireworks, but with whatever’s at hand. Could we celebrate the daily routine and thereby elevate mere existence into the realm of, if not pomp, at least some decent circumstance? I believe I could and I think I should.

I used to hide out from my birthday parties when I was a kid. The fuss and bother disrupted my routine, and I preferred to listen to the party from my bedroom rather than joining in the throng. Even today, I prefer bounded solitude to group activity. I revel in my ordinary times.

The most useful insights bushwhacked me, and bushwhacking required that I be caught unawares, not that I slaughter a lamb and decorate any lintel. Looking back at photographs from my childhood, I find a succession of stair step snap shots of us kids gussied up in clip-on bow ties and funny hats for Easter and almost nothing from those long-lost and fondly remembered days in between; those days where we actually lived.

No ordinary time seems likely to produce anything memorable. Our routine takes over and easily blinds us to extraordinary possibilities. And bouncing around like Tigger won’t attract the exceptional. I try to foster something quieter than that in myself, anchored in a firm belief that any second, any fleeting moment might hold at least the seed of something utterly transformative. The blinding light could strike anywhere at any time, like with Saul on the road to Tarsis.

This PureSchmaltz blog is my attempt to snap small photos of ordinary times. The very act of snapping a picture threatens to elevate even these everyday events into extraordinary ones. Note, however, how it’s not Christmas and most definitely not Easter, but Wednesday today, someplace in late July, somewhere far from my native territory, and chores beckon. If this can’t qualify as special, I amplify my point.

Any half-way decent magician should be able to pull a rabbit out of any hat, even if he has to imagine that hat into existence first. I need not go to any metaphysical extremes, but merely watch with a certain expectation that something interesting might occur for my rabbits to appear. And yes, I did say, “Might.” This same-old, everyday Old Beginning, no different from any but the festal ones, might be an example of this perspective in action. I’ve caught a glimpse of this morning and now it’s timeless.

Today I will revel in ordinary times.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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