So since my weak ass blood meant I wasn’t able to continue my Christmas tradition of giving blood in December, I was able to do my OTHER Christmas tradition of hitting the Santa Monica Pier and toasting the sunset with tequila. If I can’t do one, I can do the other.
I was off work this week, so I went on a weekday. Happy to see my secret about where to park for free is still intact. It was kinda windy, which meant I had room to myself, and I sat with the sun for a long time and thought about the year and all the other things you’re supposed to think about when you’re approaching the end of the year.
Everybody hated this year, it wasn’t just me. Although I realize that it’s pretty much the party line - to say how much you hated the year as you approach the end of the year. I heard in a sermon some weeks back that said something to the effect of truly desperate people live much more in hope than happy people do, because desperate people know that there’s gotta be something much better than where they are currently. And that reminds me of the classic quote from Damage (The Jeremy Irons feature film based on the Jopsehine Hart book, not the Glenn Close TV series.) “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”
No point in dwelling on the crap, feel free to look through the past year to get an inkling yourself if you want. And when I was shuffling through the mental memories to come up with something that would sum up the year in an oh-so-poetic way, my brain suddenly flashed to the Halloween trip I took to visit sister Agatha, Mr. Agatha, and Bug.
We had gone to Typhoon Lagoon on the last day it was open before it went down for rehab, and it was still in the mid 70s, so not too cold. And at one point, we all went on the Lazy River. You know the drill, you grab an inner tube and float at will all the way around the park, and get off when you want to. So there were four of us, in four different inner tubes, and in order to stay together, we all grabbed each other’s tubes and hung on as casually as possible. Sometimes a hand was on a handle, sometimes an ankle was hooked onto another tube. It wasn’t that difficult, and luckily it wasn’t that crowded, to where we weren’t blocking other people who wanted to get around us.
It occurs to me that that’s what life is: you hook yourself up to someone else’s inner tube, and they grab onto someone else’s inner tube, and you form your own community in your family, in your church, at your job, in your circle of friends, they’re all just inner tubes that you’ve locked together to float down the River O’Life. It gets bumpy, and sometimes the water gets filled with leaves, twigs and crap. Sometimes you wanna get off at a certain point, and maybe you do, or maybe you stick it out longer than you should. But ultimately life is meant to be lived together with other people. Whoever they are.
Following this metaphor, it means that God is the bored Disney Lifeguard who’s watching everyone to make sure they don’t drown, but really would rather be at home playing something on the X-Box. HA!
But I like this picture the best. This is Bug taking a flying leap for the photographer standing in front of her during Picture Day at Thanksgiving in Orlando. I wasn’t there, but I saw the pictures, and this is my favorite one.
I like it because even though we don’t see Bug’s face, you KNOW that there’s a gigantic grin on there. Just look at this shot. The outstretched feet, the arms in the air. Hell, it even looks like her HAIR is smiling. (candidly, I do have the picture that was taken from the front angle. Yes, she is grinning, but I like this shot more.)
This is a shot that says I’m Gleefully Jumping Into The New Year (Even Though This Picture Was Taken At Thanksgiving.) If only I had some kind of photoshop skills, I’d cut her out and put her up against some dramatic cliff or something, so it looks like she’s gleefully jumping into the abyss, but she wouldn’t go down, she’d go up. Or over. Her optimism bearing her safely to where ever she lands.
I must be friend with someone who has those kind of mad photoshop skills, right? Somebody in my Inner Tube circle could do that for me?