Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fear Itself

Middle Class Blues
He has everything.
A beautiful young wife.
A comfortable home.
A secure job.
A velvet three-piece suite.
A metallic-silver car.
A mahogany cocktail cabinet.
A rugby trophy.
A remote-controlled music centre.
A set of gold clubs under the hallstand.
A fair-haired daughter learning to walk.

What he is afraid of most
and what keeps him tossing some nights
on the electric underblanket,
listening to the antique clock
clicking with disapproval from the landing,
are the stories that begin:
He had everything.
A beautiful young wife.
A comfortable home.
A secure job. 
Then one day.
Dennis O'Driscoll
I love this poem for its paradox.  We all equate comfort and security with having certain things. And yet, the more we have, the more we have to lose.

What things do I possess that I'm most desperate to hold onto? In which cases is the quest to keep hold of them more work/anxiety than they're worth? 


rustyrusticator said...

Okay, I came to the conclusion Jesus was absolutely right when He talked about the camel going through the eye of a needle etc. when we bought a sailboat. Reason: No way could a rich man carry all that junk into the kingdom of heaven! The sailboat itself consumes more time and money in maintenance, docking, repairs, etc. than we would spend on a nice relaxing vacation, not to mention that "some people" turn into Captain Bligh when at the helm!

An economic downturn meant that we couldn't put the boat in the water this summer. Big whoop, I say! And it's been MUCH more relaxing going out on OTHER people's boats! All you have to do is be nice and bring along some beer (or better yet, gas money!) and your suntan lotion.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit," not to be blasphemous, but "because they won't work themselves into an ulcer maintaining some craziness that they think is indispensable!"

Jim McDermott, S.J. said...

Exactly! Nice thoughts.