Odysseus can’t return unchanged to his wife Penelope after so many years trying to get back to what he left. The scars of battle and the trauma of his travels have forever changed him.
It’s interesting what we attach ourselves to and the meaning we ascribe to objects that somehow, over years, become important not in functionality but just in being.
The anniversaries in my life are a mix of celebrations and contemplations battling against each other for days on the calendar that I count down towards in both expectation and apprehension.
The memories we unpack each year, the feelings the objects evoke, the sense of family and tradition they create, tell stories in a much more powerful way than the Haggadah.
Death, pain, suffering – these are things that we are all going to experience this year. We can’t escape it. If it is not us, it will be someone we know. Something we will witness.
We meet daily for an Old West style shootout. Sometimes at 1:00AM, sometimes at 5:00AM, sometimes mid-day. Just me and Him. No red strings or lucky eye charms. The God I meet is not a Cracker Jack kind of being. No superstitions or silly wand waving. It is just us.
Everyone loves looking at the underside of the stingrays. They have those goofy grins. They look like they’re gently smiling at the world, happily floating along the water. But they always look like that. Their faces are frozen in place like Wybie in Coraline. They look like that all the time. After all, the stingray that killed Steve Irwin was also smiling.
We gather together at an ungodly hour to reenact the original 26.2 miles run by Pheidippides which, fun fact, he wound up dropping dead from.
I lost patience for the inane conversations I used to be a part of and I’m way more judgmental of people who can’t handle the simplest situations. I wouldn’t call those lessons as much as I’d call them side effects.
I finally understood the myth of Sisyphus when my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago. And like the legend, we were faced with a huge mountain, a massive, incomprehensible rock, and a job that no one would ever sign up for.