What Dickens Said... But Not Really

New York Public Library, Image ID: 1222890

It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom. It is the age of foolishness. It is the epoch of belief. It is the epoch of incredulity. It is the season of light. It is the season of darkness. It is the spring of hope. It is the winter of despair. I have everything before me. I have nothing before me. I am going direct to heaven. I am going direct the other way…

It is the best of times.

I have received a lot of blessings recently. A lot. I should be more thankful… not to the members of humanity who were the vessels of those blessings… but for the One who obviously thinks I need a wake up call and Who appears to finally be responding to my pleading cries of, “What about me?!?”

It is the worst of times.
I hate money. I abhor the fact that it is a necessity for sustainable living. Communities used to care for one another. No longer. Some of us are left behind despite every effort made on our own behalf… despite gainful employment… despite working hard for that lie of an American dream. It is this, more than anything, that I believe has destroyed my faith in churches. Not THE Church as I believe Christ means it to be… but churches.

It is the age of wisdom.
It may not be the age of wisdom, but with age… wisdom does come. Or… knowledge arrives. Wisdom knows what best to do with that knowledge. Proper application is often elusive. Therefore…

… it is the age of foolishness.

It is the epoch of belief.
More accurately, it is the epoch of wanting to believe or clinging to belief in the midst of unbelievable confusion and the cacophony of popular culture.

It is the epoch of incredulity.
Not believing would be easier.

It is the season of light. It is the season of darkness.
Shall I be literal and play on the words “light” and “dark” as they apply to autumn? That would be far preferable than letting the melancholy speak.

It is the spring of hope.
As someone who has been offered hope… unbelievable opportunities… this year, only to have that hope stripped from me with little or no explanation, I have been reminded, for the bazillionth time, that placing hope in humanity is ridiculous. And, yet, I continue to misplace that hope and inevitably I am plunged into the icy, unrelenting winter of despair.

I have everything and nothing before me.
Something is there. I can feel it. Seeing it is the problem.

I am going direct to Heaven.
Is believing enough?

I am going direct the other way.
Possibly. I don’t actually believe I am eternally damned. Then again, anyone who actually believes Hell exists likely doesn’t believe that they will end up there. Did I mention it is the age of foolishness?

And, so, in this period of perpetual personal paradox I try to remember this:

“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.” ~Charles Dickens

3 comments:

  1. My grandmother always said that the first hundred years are the hardest.

    Things change. On that you can depend. Visualize what you want and lean in the direction.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I adore the saying from your grandmother! Odds are my kids will begin hearing it.

    ReplyDelete

"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman

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