You know what's great about living in a big city? Walking around the block to a pub that serves Smithwicks and has free wireless internet.
You know what sucks about living in a big city? Seeing reminders on nearly every block that this is a pretty well broken world. There are people living out of shopping carts, sleeping on the grass on the lakefront. There are people screaming at one another on the sidewalks.
But it isn't without hope. There are plenty of places to find that. The little church that serves people food every Tuesday night. The smile from the old, black woman as she asks me, "Is this morning or afternoon?" Just the fact that she would break the protocol that says you can't talk to strangers on the sidewalk, especially the ones of different color, that gives me hope.
I know that I had high hopes when I started working on this blog a little more than a year ago. It was supposed to be my contribution to the postmodern theological conversation. You know, I'm having a little trouble caring about the conversation these days. Not to say that it isn't important, I still think that it is, I just seem to have lost the passion for it.
I suppose it's one of those songs that makes me feel ok for no apparent reason. I mean, come on, it's not exactly classic music or lyrics.
Ok, maybe it's just late summer and it's a little tough to care much about anything on beautiful Sunday afternoons after a 70-mile bike ride an a pint of ale. Or maybe this is one of those transition periods in my life when something is changing into something else. I don't know. I just know that it's tough to feel melancholy when the song, "A Little Respect" is playing on the pub's speakers.
Or maybe it's the time of year. As much as August sucks for me, a month when I've lost four great loves in my life, it is also a month of expectant possibility. The campus where I now work has students on it for the first time months. There is a hum in the air, an energy that has been missing. There are new things to be learned, relationships to discover, renew or remember. This is the time of year when old life begins to die away with the summer leaves.
A dear spiritual mentor of mine used to be fond of the following observation (I don't know if it was originally hers but I don't suppose that matters):
There is no growth without change, no change without loss and no loss without pain.
And there is no spring without autumn's death and winter's long sleep.