Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What We Do

Sometime in every twenty-four hours, there is a morning.

Every morning, I take out my phone, open the little app that makes lists, and review my list of things to do for the day.  The first item on it is to review my list, so I tick that off right away.

Sometimes, for me, this doesn't happen until three o' clock because I'm not able to get up until then.  Sometimes when it happens I haven't been able to sleep at all, so it is not so much a new day for me as an acknowledgement that the previous day is over and anything not yet ticked off from its list is going to have to roll over to today's.

Sometimes I just use yesterday's list and change the date at the top to today.  My app lets me do that.

Regardless of how happy or productive or responsible or well I have been--regardless of my own messed-up internal clock--the changing of the light and the clock on my phone and the number of people awake in my world force me to accept that it is today.  I have to clean my slate and start over, because I am a person and that is what people do.

The same thing happens at the beginning of a new week, year, school year, month, and so on.  There are all these little starting points built into the fabric of humanity, and it doesn't really matter which were put there by us or God.  They are there, and they are supposed to be there, because...

Well, here's a thought experiment: imagine if there weren't any starting points.  If the world was like the inside of an airport or hospital or twenty-four-hour department store, where the day never ends and hours don't count.  (I won't say a cave because I have a feeling that hours do count in the darkness.)  If the failures and mistakes and disappointments and sins never got wiped clean, but just accumulated, till the very weight of them was heavier and more unbearable than the glare of fluorescent lights, and the list got so long you could never hope to tick everything off.  Imagine that hell.

But instead we have mornings, natural, created or fabricated.  The lights come on, people wake up, and you brush your teeth and put on pants and some mascara because hey, it's a new day, a new list, and you get to start over, because you are a person, and that is what people do.

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