Sunday, April 01, 2012

Stand and Deliver

Wah Wah, Your Money or Your Life!

= Adam and the Ants, 1981

I think about this all the time - standing and delivering, that is. It occurs to me every time life throws some challenge up at me - so, more or less daily. Never without hearing Adam Ant. I'm that age.

This particular imperative didn't begin with him, or end with the movie of the same name about the calculus teacher in the bad Los Angeles neighborhood. It was originally associated with highwaymen - back when crime had a little elan: flint lock pistols, silk kerchiefs - dukes shaken down for guineas and gold watches that sort of thing - no vaulting the counter between the scratch-offs and the dog treats and making a grab for the cash drawer - but I digress. (Adam Ant did look particularly fetching in his highwayman outift, q.v.)

When Shackleton was in kindergarten his class put on "The GingerBread Man". One little girl came to the front to say her line and crumpled. I know how she felt. We all do, but withering at your kindergarten debut bodes ill. The standing and delivering has only just begun. Poor thing.

I have been thinking of this lately - how our lives are defined (largely) by our accumulated responses to these stand and deliver events. I wonder what my personal statistics are. 50-50? Probably not so good. I got through childbirth twice so that's something - if ever there was a stand and deliver - well, lay down and get an epidural - event, that's it. But I have quailed too often. You know that line from Crosby, Stills and Nash "We never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do"? It always goes right through me. But of course, CSN didn't always fail. ("Our House" anyone?). (I suppose David Crosby has some special experience that informs that line...) There's an important follow up here - summed up in from a line in another line, what song? "Take it easy on yourself."

Chapter two to this little Sunday meditation will have to wait. I think it's to do with grace.