I’d like you to memorize two words.
There’s a theory that everything ebbs and flows.
I once had a friend who thought otherwise. She used to talk to me about her drummer boy crush and why she couldn’t make him notice her. Admittedly, she was not your usual girl-crush type – curls, glasses, braces, ideas not even half of her class could understand. She was a walking reference book no one except me and her house cats dared reference to. Her drummer boy crush was my crush the past year and not so surprisingly, he knew I had a crush on him but to that knowledge didn’t bat an eyelash.
“He likes someone else,” she used to say. For about six long months our conversations went from drummer boy to books to violins to Kumon and back to drummer boy. My friend thought that everything stagnated – her feelings, her social life, her family relations, drummer boy’s thoughts toward her. She believed in transitions yet she thought that her lot in life was her lot in life.
But there’s a theory that everything ebbs and flows and contrary to my friend, I believed in it. Take popularity for example. When it comes you get invited to all the parties and when it goes you slowly find yourself being ignored invitation by invitation.
I don’t know what you think but it seems to me that stagnation is a part of this ebbing and flowing. A stagnant river wasn’t stagnant in the first place. Once the water flowed quite smoothly and once the water had somewhere else to go. A pail full of liquid that stood in a corner for ten years may have been stagnant for most of its life but for a few seconds the liquid was poured into it, free-flowing.
I haven’t talked to my friend in years but Facebook tells me she must have changed stance. Her life is now moving at a pace, if once she was in stagnation. I wouldn’t easily assume this change since Facebook can sometimes give the impression that one’s life is more productive than it really is. You know the idea that on Facebook, well on the Internet mostly, you can make out a life different from what you are really living and dupe people into thinking it IS your life. I’d like to make an exception for my friend, however, res ipsa loquitur.
There’s a theory that everything ebbs and flows, ah, and you may well realize that it goes masquerading as “history repeats itself.” It does repeat itself, though my History professor would like us all to understand that the repeating is only in some form and in a different context, time and place. I agree with him.
If life is everything and everything ebbs and flows then life ebbs and flows. But if life isn’t everything, then what is it? Is everything a subset of life or life a subset of everything?
I’d go for the latter and tell you that everything in life ebbs and flows but not everything ebbs and flows. Sooner or later, as dust settles to the ground and stays there and becomes a part of it, we will witness a permanence we cannot imagine right now.
Tides rise and fall at the call of the moon and waves come and go
My heart beats loudly but calmly and my blood rushes to and fro
Here’s a breath, I give it to you
Here I am, I give me to you.
Sometimes my readers understand my poems more than I do.
Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.