Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Start Of Something Big

Yesterday, March 25th, was Annunciation Day when a gynecologist angel whispered in Mary's ear, Have I got news for you. It marks nine months exactly from Christmas Day. As conceptions go this one was immaculate.

Imagine Joseph's face when he came home from the carpentry shop. And no medical benefits beside. Hence the manger.

One can't say enough about beginnings. Tristram Shandy tried to tell his life story but every place he began had its antecedents. He is finally born toward the end of a 620 page book.

It's fun to imagine how we were hatched. A nanosecond before or after and I could have regrettably or happily been someone else. In fact maybe I am someone else. The real me is bound with duct-tape in a warehouse on the other side of town.

Suppose the sperm that nosed out the runner-up in the final stretch was disqualified for waging his tail. That might account for my second-rate mechanical skills.

Flannery O’Connor began her fame as a five-year old who taught a chicken to walk backwards. We don‘t know if it crossed the road but I’d like to think it did……in reverse. That is as good a place to commence a writing career as any. As the English writer, Penelope Lively, observed, We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestors we do not even know. We are walking lexicons preserving Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse: we carry a museum in our heads, each day we commemorate people… we have never heard. Think of all those early grunts and shrieks we have chiseled into mellifluous sentences.

The 25th was also a sort of anniversary. Twenty-seven years ago I moved in with Peggy and began Life Part Two. Before that I was singing spirituals on the back forty in that lonesome valley. My life was cul-de-sac'd when she read me my emancipation proclamation. Her chariot swung low and carried me home. Amen.

At one time Annunciation Day was also the beginning of the New Year. It makes sense to start the year with Spring but the ego of kings and contortions of popes messed things up. Religion has a way of fabricating myths to fit the natural world. So it was that Caesar and one of his fellow Romans along with Gregory's papal bull added two months to the original ten and Christians settled for resurrection instead of conception day. Let’s call it Easter! What a concept. Why they couldn't have thirteen months and assign each 28 days, plus a New Years day, is yet to be uncovered.

I rather like the idea of Jesus being born in the dead of winter. In the poker game of life it is a flush of counter-intuitive which trumps intuitive which, in turn, is better than a royal hunch or even two bright ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment