Somewhere between 4 and 64 (my current age) I realized “Superhero” would never be on my résumé. I had to accept that I will never leap over tall buildings with a single bound, I will never have Spidey-sense, shape-shifting or invisibility abilities. Crowds in the street will never gaze skyward as I defend them from invading aliens. Not having any superpowers was great disappointment to me.
My first clue to my non-superhero status came about age 5 or 6. I constructed a cape from an old bed sheet and tied it around my neck. Arms thrust in front of me, I ran as fast as I could across the backyard, but gained no altitude. Undeterred, I reasoned that perhaps jumping from a height would yield better results. Our backyard was tiered with a set of concrete steps leading down to a patio of concrete blocks. I jumped from the top step, it was a leap of faith. Once again I gained no altitude but proved the law of gravity was still in effect and that the density of concrete was greater than my palms and knees.
I have a fair amount of kitchen gadgets. Some of them gifts, some I have purchased. Many of the gadgets are rarely used. If interested, I have a food processor, untouched, still in the original package. I’m sure it’s a fine processor, it got great reviews on Amazon, but I’ve gotten pretty good with a chef’s knife and it’s a lot easier to clean than a food processor.
There is one gadget however that I would have a hard time living without, my Amazon Echo. It doesn’t slice or dice, but it does compile a running grocery list as I get low on ingredients but most importantly it provides a musical score while I cook. Over the years I’ve created many “stations,” some based on artists ranging from Dave Brubeck to Jimi Hendrix. Some of the stations are seasonal, such as Christmas music, some based on broad categories, like piano jazz. When we brought my mother home to live with us during her final days, I created a station of southern gospel music for her to enjoy.
Often the events of the day will suggest an artist and I will select Nora Jones, Johnny Cash or Alison Krausse accordingly. Many times though I will just tell Alexa to shuffle my stations. This is when things get interesting. To hear anything by Lightnin’ Hopkins meld into Eric Clapton’s acoustic version of “Layla” is a thing of beauty. The transition from Nora Jones to Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” restores my faith in humanity. But the jump from the Allman Brothers to Paul Simon to the Gaithers can be jarring. And it’s darn unsettling to hear Bing start crooning “White Christmas” in the middle of July.
I could cull down the list, but prefer to keep it as it is. To me, it’s a metaphor for life, because you never know what’s coming next.
Somewhere between 4 and 64, I’ve learned that life rolls out in front of me in ways I could never imagine. It doesn’t ask my permission or seek my advice. Sometimes its pleasant, sometimes unexpectedly bad. Life can jump from “soft jazz” to “heavy-metal” in a nanosecond. Not having any true superpowers to get me through these transitions, my only option is “to just not suck,” and that’s on a good day.
Life comes with no guarantees … well there is that “Law of Gravity” thing, I’ve learned to count on that. But beyond always falling down and never up, pretty much everything else is a step into the unknown. There are no money-back options or free trial periods in life.
We learn at an early age that life is not fair, whatever “fair” is. As we get older and acquire some wisdom along the way, we learn that grace and mercy are desired over fair. Fair implies justice … no thank you!
Mimsy has this funny thing she does when we take her to the vet. As the veterinarian checks her heart beat, pokes and prods during the examination, Mimsy will look straight ahead, never making eye contact with the vet. It’s as if she doesn’t acknowledge what is happening to her it will just go away. I’m tempted to take that approach to life. If I slowly sip my morning coffee, if I sidle out the front door, never making eye contact, perhaps life will leave me alone for the day. Sadly this never works.
You might as well brew your coffee strong. chug it down in big gulps, take a running start on the day and jump as high as your can, because life is one giant leap of faith!
Happy landings … Poppy