Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Good Mundane

It's been amost a year since I moved here, so inflated with the expectancy of new things that I could hardly sleep. I remember that someone once told me I was brave for picking up and relocating so suddenly. I never found much valor in the act, because there was never much fear to deter me.

And now, one day is very much like another. I have worn myself into a comfortable groove. Few new people. There are, I will admit, new places, but I visit them like a sailor stepping off the familar bulk of a ship, superficially, before turning back to the sameness of the sea. The tasks that I took so much trouble to learn I now do on auto-pilot. Restlessness set it at 9 months of work. In my own self-analysis, I think I must still be timing my life to the school year, when I was never expected to stick to anything for more than nine months at a time.

These days, I find it takes the most courage not to climb new mountains, but to stay doggedly at the good, mundane thing already in progress. To not lose the grandeur of this sight because I have seen it before. To do the thing again and again, and to not grow tired of doing it well. Perhaps the most heroic achievements in this world are not one-time acts of bravery, the defining moment when you hoist the flag on some Iwo Jima, but the persistent, drawn-out good deeds that hardly seem good in their middle. Raising a child. Caring for a sick person. Rising, like sun and moon, to light the same old orb. Gary likes to say that half the battle in life is just showing up, day after day. Jesus likes to say that those that put a hand to the plow oughn't to look back.

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