At one extreme is meat. At the other is cake. I consume neither. Plants sustain my body. They are in the middle.
At one end is a suicide bomber. At the other end, someone gleefully burns a holy text to get in the news. I pray regularly, but mostly in silence. I attend the public God meet for Mom and the tunes, and I profess a trinity of coequal balance: scripture/tradition/reason.
Some play games at work on their phones. Others live off the grid either by intent or homelessness. We use our computers for writing, but also love to turn pages, absorbed in the pleasure of reading a well-written book printed on paper made from trees. Books smell better than my laptop and e-reader.
At one end is Rush with his minions, gaseous and angry. At the other is Dennis, whiny and pedantic and unable to express his ideas in under 2000 words. He has minions too. I have some trouble finding reasons to vote. I do it from habit, and I still dare to hope, though I know voting is sometimes a meaningless and absurd joke. Sometimes there’s a candidate who doesn’t seem to be either too theoretically-minded or a charismatic rabble-rouser. I’m happy to vote for them.
At one end is the General Practitioner aka Family Doctor, who will spend a whole hour checking you over and helping – if you can get an appointment before next week. At the other end is the Emergency Room. You KNOW you’ll be there all day, but you have no insurance, so there’s nowhere else you can go. I work in Urgent Care. We greet ‘em, treat ‘em and street ‘em. In and out during your lunch break, and we can fix anything below a heart attack (we can stabilize that) down to a cut finger. My job is in the middle.
Last year we moved from a place where more than seven million live and work, to this community of nine thousand. My mother moved to this area in 2006, but she upgraded from a community of 400 to one of 5,000 that is 30 miles from mine. After 25 years living thousands of miles apart, we now meet in the middle, twice a week.
Last year I admitted I was addicted to overworking. By choosing to own less, buying a smaller house close to work and seeking more balance between my inner and outer life I have grown richer in the acquisition of everything that is most valuable to me. I have more time now. I had almost forgotten what that was like. I’m happy to spend some with you.
Hooray for the middle!