Thursday, May 20, 2010
This morning, as I was eating breakfast, I started worrying about a situation in one of my classes, but the pendulum clock in the living room pretty quickly quieted me down. It’s happened more times than I can count. I’ll be fussing and stewing around the house, consoling myself about one misfortune or another, and suddenly I’ll notice the steady sound of the clock – the clicking that’s constant in troubles or triumphs, sorrows or exaltations. Whether I’m laid low by bad news of the worst kind or thrilled by some cheerful thought, the clock will still keep its unvarying cadence. If I’m walking out into a day of predicaments and possible bombshells, the clock, as I close the door, will be dutifully doing its work. Actually, most of our universe is like that – planets and stars and hearts and lungs performing their work with utter regularity, no matter if my life is rising to new heights or going bust before my eyes. If I’m looking for reliability, all I have to do is step out the door and see the stars in their everlasting places, or listen to my lungs letting air in moment after moment after moment. I may be a bust as a teacher every so often, but even then, the earth is dependably circling the sun at the precisely proper speed. It’s a comforting thought – that a zillion things keep occurring with complete reliability no matter how luckless my life may sometimes seem. If a lesson on alliteration in Hopkins hits a wall, oh well, at least my clock back home is doing trustworthy work.