Meditation: On Maintenance
Is it as true for you as for me that the exceptional is often easier to handle than the everyday?
Give me a crisis and I’ll spring into action, fueled by adrenaline and, if I’m honest, the self-serving promise of valor. A fine mess is fine, spectacular failures are spectacular, but what about the ordinary messes, the daily failures? Give me a baby in a burning house, and I’ll save her, but it’s so hard to schedule volunteer work.
Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love, sings Solomon, but then there’s the glass to wash and the knife to sharpen. And it’s not just love I’m sick of, but also bills, inboxes, dusting, weekly status meetings, and don’t get me started on laundry. Our little walk-up havens have a great asking price, but oh Lord, the maintenance will kill you. Expensive dogs and ice dancers get medals, but mutts and commuters have the harder job. We’re asked to remain loyal when our friends are unlovely, and to just keep showing up. Valiant straphangers, when you head into work next week, stick a number on your chest and demand applause. You’ve earned it.