Posted by: pendrops | August 21, 2007

the nevers

coffee_spoon.jpg

“And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’
Time to turn back and descend the stair…

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse…

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…

T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

“What kind of weirdo doesn’t have a TV? I will never get rid of cable, let alone our TV.” That was my passionate, dead-set and somewhat adolescent declaration as I threw down the magazine in a huff. I had just read an interview with Eugene Peterson and, in the article, the translator of The Message laughed about owning just one TV that happens to have gone unrepaired for several years.

His nonchalance regarding TV, which, as a sidenote, was absolutely not what the article was about in the very least, irritated me at first. But I couldn’t deny that it made me think, too. And the more I thought, particularly about the things God was calling me to, the kind of life I wanted, the kind of marriage I wanted, the more I came to a surprising conclusion.

Maybe we could live without TV.

It was a tentative notion, one I waved away quickly, as if I had just conjured up some impossible feat like scaling Mt. Everest in flip-flops. But now, a handful of months later, Jason and I have pulled the plug, keeping the electronic beast only for occasional movie-watching and Wii-playing. And it works for us, even if there are no more throw-downs with Bobby Flay, no more nuclear threats thwarted with Jack Bauer, no more groovy Weather Channel tunes to keep us company.

But hadn’t I uttered those magic words: “I will never…”

I had. And that got me thinking about the other nevers I have set up in my life, nevers that I’m doing today. Nevers like drinking coffee, eating spinach, doing yoga, writing a novel, hiking through a state park, being a conservationist, listening to Jimi Hendrix.

There is a kind of power gained in seeing nevers for the little shits they really are. They are not life-givers that protect from unforeseeable monsters or dangerous bends in the path, but rather life-stealers that paralyze forward motion and foster fear.

So, I’ve had some nevers; ok, a lot of nevers. And I’ve overcome some in spite of myself and irrational fear. But what about the other nevers, the nevers I just breathed today.

Do I dare dream of defeating today’s nevers to gain tomorrow’s dreams?

Do I dare starve these pesky little nevers until they die?

Do I dare stop measuring my life with coffee spoons?

Do I dare, and do I dare?

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Responses

  1. […] under television , writing , life  Krista’s post from Tuesday is terrific. Check it out HERE. I’m highly biased, but I think it is a great piece. […]

  2. Yes, to all of the above ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ and listening to Jimmy Hendrix. That in itself is better than the current line up of television even with all the many channels to choose from. Maybe some day I will ‘dare’!

  3. I will never post to a blog. Hey, I’m starting already. I thought, wow, I could list my “nevers” really quickly, but as I thought, and thought, there seems to be no end. Even the negative nevers: I will never snap at my wife, I will never turn the TV up so it will drown out the noisy kids, I find myself proving me wrong over and over. Doesn’t make me very happy either. I know it’s a bit confusing, and not what you were getting at, but it is where my meditation took me and makes sense in my head. This is one that I will be praying about for a long time. This is a great post, one with infinite spiritual application. Sorry to post so long, this has really rocked my boat! You couldn’t have written it any better. Thanks!


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