Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coconuts and Certificates

Had my first Young Coconut today. Loved it. The flavor took me back to childhood, even though I never actually tasted one before. I had that and some pecans and cashews and some Baker's chocolate for lunch. And two units. I have a stump out back that I sometimes chop away at instead of running up the hill; I did that after lunch. It is very effective because it requires a surprising amount of rotational input from my body's trunk muscles (such as the rib muscles, not just the abs, etc.). It gets you breathless pretty quick, especially since the stump is now down to ground level and I mostly attack it swinging in the horizontal plane.

Then I got ready to go to the Bank. I went through my pile of life certificates to gather some things for the safety deposit box. I came across certificates of my blessings and ordinations performed by my dad from 1960, 1968 and 1978, and my marriage certificate and birth certificate. My dad had photo-copied the birth certificate and sent the original to me in 1988, keeping the copy for his records, which I now have. A scrap of paper was paperclipped to the copy; on it was written, "Sent Scott Original March 28, 1988." The paperclip was rusty.

The old certificates, filled out in fountain pen and showing signs of a style and technology from yesteryear were quaint. Seeing dad's characteristic care for record keeping and thinking of his preparation for performing the ordinances was sentimental.

Looking at these certificates that, with the exceptions of the birth and marriage, no worldly institution (and very possibly nobody at all) will ever care about (even I never thought much of them), I was brought to tears - not so much from sentiment.

I have a lot going on. I have lots of hobbies, kids (relatively), friends, ideas for a career, projects, duties, diabetes, etc. Sometimes the temporal aspects of these things give me quite a thrill and a bright outlook. Other times, I can feel nothing, like I don't care what happens. There is only one thing I know that always feels substantial. Always real. It feels peaceful, comforting and certain.

It doesn't even feel anything like the other things. I mean, it doesn't just feel more or better. It is completely different. It feels real, and nothing else does. And it's bigger, much bigger. Sometimes, it brings me to tears when I least expect it.

So sitting there with my certificates, I realized (not for the first time) how empty my life would be without it. I wondered how one can stay enthused about life if they do not have it. Every enthused person must have it in some form and degree. I should think no one can always maintain diversions enough to keep them from feeling the emptiness of it all in this world, especially during these tough times.

It is so big, and the only thing really relevant, that it matters not whether this is my diabetes and diet blog or how you may know me, or not know me, or who employs me, or where I may be able to make a sale, or what the government says about a religious object in a public park or on a government contractor's employee's desk, or whether I live or die, or who my friends will be, or whether I will be rich or poor ..... I just had to tell everyone on a venue where it seems out of place that it is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.