Adulthood – a notice from life

Every once in a while, life notices you. It gives you the equivalent of a free grande Sumatra. And those things you wrestle with and writhe in seem manageable. On such a once-while, you decide–because of that espied fingernail of freedom–to take your day and ride it–ride it the way a psalm-god rides upon a cloud. And you know, in that tumble of time, that good accidents don’t come along often enough and that if you refuse the gift just because of the rarity of those good accidents, because you’re in some pool of adolescent huffiness that refuses everything because of not getting what you want when you want it, well, then you shrink. A little piece of you, some part inside, shrinks, and hardens. And before you know it you’re missing all kinds of good accidents just because you can’t recognize them for what they are…little packages of good, (like plant slips). And, at best,  your life resembles a Barry Manilow tune, and you’ll get stuck there, never able, never having the patience, to wait for that CD to end so that just maybe, Taj Mahal, or Bob Marley, or maybe even Sherry-D Williams "doing" poetry (with everything that that implies) comes on. It’s the adolescent part of you that interests you, that is, on those times you rise above. You can see its cloying desperation, vainly pulling and sucking slivers of achievement off of someone else’s life and you suddenly, or not so suddenly, see how long you’ve skidded under that weight like a steel runner under a shit-sled. Your bones crunched like half frozen horse turds. And you wonder aloud,  even groaning as you walk a busy sidewalk, "when and how or how and when you’ll ever grow up…? But then you remember you’ve got today. And, you, sink, into, it, putting away the thoughts of your immaturity so that you stop circling and so that you allow yourself to be flung off that desultory orb and ride with god, upon any old cloud, even if only for one split second taste of ice cold rarified air. And that little notice from life prepares you, like summer-fallow, for the receiving of adulthood.


  1. I really liked this post. It’s interesting because I wrote something in my journal not that long ago that was sort of on these lines. I was thinking about the way we grow so far apart from the people we used to be and why. Can we stay true to our “nature” and still grow?

    Also I was thinking about how we are created and what is good for us and healthy and beneficial. And accepting those “good accidents” as you call them is very important. There is a tragedy that occurs every time life hands us a gift and we fail to recognize it.

    And maybe this is going too far, but its a thought I had, that hell is the accumulation of neglected joys.

  2. After two weeks pilgrimage (more Labora than Ora!) I was sitting in Heathrow airport waiting for my next flight home. The trip had been a gift from a benefactor. Sitting there in my last pair of clean skivies I was surrounded by an international community of beatiful, ultra-rich people. In this climate I got to wondering if what I had experienced was even worth writing about?

    At that thought a young woman had come and seated herself across from me at our gate. She was seriously one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. And dressed very professionally – definitely a first-class plane ticket in her hand. Me, I live in a shed in norther Manitoba – seriously. But her head started to nod – international travel wears on everyone alike. Finally her head dropped back and her mouth fell open, askew. And I was reminded of all the people I’d served as a chaplain over the years in hospitals when it came their time to die. And I thought: Yeah, I can write about what I’ve experienced. Easy. It was a ‘good acciden’.’ Thanks for your post.

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