line from a spaceship

[caption id="attachment_6286" align="alignleft" width="300"] Westley waiting for turkey leftovers[/caption]"Do you prefer to have everything to do at the last minute, or to get things done ahead?" I asked Tim, who was on the couch while I reclined near the woodstove a few mornings past Thanksgiving.

I thought I knew his answer already. I was correct. The two of us agree on at least this one thing. Planning ahead is our style.

Which explains the way our children, back in their formative years, felt about us. In their own ways, each of them came to grips with our style, with our home's slow heating by woodfire and with Tim's and my refusal, mostly ever, to romp out and pile in the car for an adventure on the spur of the moment. Complaints sometimes ensued. I sometimes felt guilty. But I couldn't help being, in my off-kilter way, a person who savors anticipation, who likes to plan.

I jostled the fire with the poker. Tim must have left for work by then, because I crouched alone in the hearth space. Alone except for the cat, Westley, who spied a string tie dangling from my hoodie and batted it with his paw. Recently someone said Westley reminds them of a babyfaced gangster, with his kitteny head atop his large orange self. Another evening, when friends came for dinner, Tim carried on a long conversation with Westley as we all sat near the woodstove, about how I was just sitting there, open, and so Westley ought to bother me, instead of himself, to pet him. Nothing swayed the kittenfaced one, however, and he continued revolving around Tim for his attention.

Now I stood, faced away from the fire, and leaned backward til my shoulders touched the mantle. Things to do should be started. But much nicer it was to think, in slowness, viewing our front maple waving its final gold leaves out the window. Westley curled on the carpet. I pondered a morning reading from 1 Timothy, remembered I better start laundry, and grasped for a line from Serenity, the movie I watched again recently -- two days before Thanksgiving, to be exact.

[caption id="attachment_6287" align="alignright" width="300"] Jayne wearing the hat his mom made[/caption]This viewing of the characters and story line I admire (with definite reservations in some areas regarding what it means to practice virtue) gave me a focus on Jayne, a male crewmember of the Firefly spaceship who stands out often as exceptionally crude. Yet Jayne develops as a person, very slowly, throughout the run of the TV series, Firefly, that came before the movie. Then especially, I noticed during Serenity, Jayne comes into his own as someone who cares. He says something I wished to recall and write in my notebook. Slowly, my thoughts found his words again, and I stood a moment longer, anticipating jotting them down.

"Preacher used to tell me, 'If you can't do something smart, do something right.'"
~ Jayne, chiming in with his Serenity crewmembers as they decide to risk everything to expose to their universe the dramatic truth they have discovered, as spur-of-the-momently as they can.


Dee Ready said…
Dear Deanna, you've given me much to think about with this posting. One question: how do we know what is right? And how do we determine which of the "rights" we see is the one that will bring the most contentment to ourselves and others? Peace.
Deanna said…
Dee, I love your question. My guess is you'd like my guess about it; maybe you're just musing. I wish we could go out for tea and discuss it. My off the cuff response would have to do with reality. How I see what's real determines what I think is just and unjust, right and wrong. C.S. Lewis said you can't go far wrong about reality, without it becoming apparent that something's off (words to that effect, anyway). Reality wins out wherever it is fairly tested. This is the way I see it. I feel compelled to do my best regarding what fits with what appears real. If a bus is hurtling toward a friend, and I believe the reality that they'll be hurt by it, the right thing to do is pull my friend out of the way. I may fail to do that, because of the reality of my terror of buses. But I want to do the right thing; the question is, will I, and if I don't, will I be sorry and accept that I am limited and need forgiveness?
Dee Ready said…
Dear Deanna, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I'm in the midst of trying to accept, trying first really to be willing to accept, a reality that is being shown to me and that I simply cannot get my heart around. To do so is to let go of a heart-wish. And so I find myself grieving even as reality becomes clearer and clearer. Peace.