It always amazes me how quickly summer passes. The days are noticeably shorter. The marching band accompanies my yard work in the evenings. The cicadas keep time for my morning journaling. It’s mid-August. And for the first summer in my remembered life I have embraced the “lazy hazy days.” Usually a whirling-dervish of summer creation, this season’s been different. I haven’t gotten the house projects accomplished. My ministry didn’t take its overseas cross-cultural. I haven’t been overly attentive to the garden or exercise or much of anything. It’s been a season of fallowness. Or frolic and frivolity. I’ve jumped the waves, rolled in the sand, and developed a love for streaming Netflix…currently I’m hooked on Grey’s Anatomy (I know I’m about 5 years behind.)
What could be more decadent than streaming a sudsy show on Netflix while curling up on the sofa with my kitties? Maybe not much. Over the weeks, I’ve started to wonder what is it that hooks me with this show. Of course there’s McDreamy and McSteamy. And there’s the love triangles, pentagons, octagons. I think the other part is how I’m reminded of how harmful my penchant to help, fix, and save can be. I see the soon-to-be surgeons bent on saving people. From what? For what? Often these heroics lead them to make less than fantastic choices. A false sense of security, ruthless competition, and the belief that we are islands. Boy, do I relate.
One of songs on replay through my high school years was Simon and Garfunkel’s “I am a Rock.” Convinced that I not only should do it alone but that I could, this was an anthem. A mantra to sturdy myself in my quest to be strong and independent. And I wondered why I repeatedly got pedastooled and fell down. It took a lot of falls to finally decide it’s not always best to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it. It took a lot of falls to finally grasp that perhaps I needed to stay on the ground and actually be in community with others. And as I see Yang, Grey, Shepherd, Bailey, and the rest, I remind myself by watching them fall. And I remind myself that we all need fallow, frolic, and frivious.
Quotations for the Week
Four hundred years ago, another well-known English guy had an opinion about being alone. John Donne. He thought we were never alone. Of course, it was fancier when he said it. “No man is an island entire unto himself.” Boil down that island talk, and he just meant that all anyone needs is someone to step in and let us know we’re not alone. And who’s to say that someone can’t have four legs. Someone to play with or run around with, or just hang out. ~Dr. Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy
I am a rock/I am an Island./A rock feels no pain/And an island never cries.