I’m a little stuck today. I have some discouraging thoughts circling around in my head. These are the thoughts that blind me to the good moments, the ones I talked about in my last post. These are the days I’m liable to shout “shut up!” when I’m in a room, alone.
Some of the thoughts are broad, public concerns: why are people defending racist views, like the “Great Replacement Theory,” that a murderer explicitly declared were his reasons for killing Black strangers in a grocery store in Buffalo? If I am sharing common cause with people doing evil, vile things, I need to rethink this cause…don’t I? How is that not obvious?
Some of the thoughts are just my usual head games. “Why am I not more this?”
“Jesus, I keep asking you for this same thing, why am I stuck? Are you answering this in some way I can’t see? Or just ignoring me?” ‘
But if you’re not paying attention to trees and how they sway in the wind then what are you even doing?
Yesterday, Sunday, my nephew Brennan, not yet two, came up to me in church. He didn’t speak a word. He simply reached up with both hands, as I was talking to a friend, and showed me his artwork. It was masterful, a multi-color series of lines, clearly drawn from the heart. He wanted me to see. He likes me. I don’t deserve for him to like me. I haven’t done anything to earn that.
Once, when Kim was visiting Brennan’s mom (who happens to be Kim’s sister), Brennan asked, “Uncle Mike?”
“I’m sorry, Brennan. He’s not coming tonight.”
And Brennan cried.
Last evening, we had Kim’s and Jeff’s birthday party, at the house of Brennan’s mom, who happens to be my sister-in-law. Brennan handed me a gift bag. I was confused.
Celeste, who more than happens to be Brennan’s mom, said, “We had presents for Kim and Jeff” (Kim’s brother, whose birthday happens to be the day before Kim’s) “and Brennan said, ‘Uncle Mike!’ So we made a present for you, too.”
Inside the gift bag was the art Brennan had showed me in church.
I’m going to frame it.