Lately there’s an aspect to my life — no, it’s a quality; perhaps a foundation — whatever it is, my mind keeps saying to define it I should use the word absurd.
Not absurd in the same sense that an expiration date on the package bottom of my cat’s kibble treats is absurd.
Not absurd in the sense that all political machinations are absurd.
Not even absurd in the sense that my fleeting desire to comment on blogs and state my case and defend myself and say so, there, ha! is absurd.
It’s the sense of absurdity (for lack of the better word I haven’t yet discovered) I felt decades ago at college, when Grandma Edna would invite me for a Sunday afternoon drive, I would tell her I had midterms to study for, and she’d promise to get me home soon. After three, maybe four hours into her possession, having visited the Coburg truck stop to meet Uncle Jim, a pause at somebody’s Aunt Irmine’s place, and detours down alleys I’d never known existed, Grandma Edna would realize she needed to be sure and pick up my cousin in Roseburg (an hour away south) by 5:00, and the bus back to campus would put me there no later than six, she was certain, so here you go, big smiles, Bye, Darlin’. Of course my day would be shot. But of course I could only grin a small grin in something like amazement.
I mean, somehow I recognized that soon I would forget most every informational tidbit my midterm would show I had memorized. Yet the days with Grandma Edna, the wondrous absurdity of her joy while unintentionally restructuring my plans, and her wide-brimmed black hat’s tilt atop her pearly hair, would always remain with me.
The love in Grandma Edna’s smile and the fullness of adventures we had encountered surrounded me with a quality of joy — an illumination. I saw the amazing absurdity of living real life.
Maybe I experienced the tiniest smidge of what I sense Jesus gave Himself over to — being in the moment, being footsore, carrying crippled children, waiting for an apostle to pack loaves of bread baked by women dwelling at the edge of town.
My current Sunday mornings are like this. Absurd in the fullness of old ladies’ embraces and kisses, and of tiny children toddle-stepping/dancing, drawn to the Nave’s front, their baby running shoes lighting up pink neon, their mothers like zephyrs inevitably behind them, their bright faces toward an altar, a communion of souls with reality.