Read this. Or don’t. Who cares? The words surely don’t. They sit here, emotionless, and could give one damn less if someone were to read them, roll them around in their mind, question them, repeat them, memorize them, agonize over them. They don’t need you. They don’t even need me. They’ll outlive me, that’s for sure. They’ll also outlive you. When I am less than dirt, my gravestone cobbled down by time, they will be. Maybe in this order, maybe not. But they will be. That’s pretty tough- to make it even tougher, it’s words I use to describe my angst over their permanence and my singularly defined fleeting existence. I have to console myself with the tissues I bitch about. There is no other choice, really.
I had to dig some holes recently in order to set posts to build a fence. Nineteen holes eighteen inches deep. Should have been deeper, I suppose, but the earth was like fired brick and it hadn’t rained in two months’ time, so I thought the depth was enough. Even then, it was backbreaking work. I even rented a one-man auger, which looks like something the Acme Corporation would sell- it had two handles, a gasoline engine, and a giant screw boring into the earth inches from your feet. It looks like it would slice through the ground like butter. It didn’t- every time it caught more than a tiny root it would stop, threatening to jerk my hands with it when the top began to spin.
They were finished with a small drain shovel. I learned to both respect and loathe roots. Hours were spent covered in sweat, pounding downward with unholy force in an attempt to vanquish roots just about an inch in diameter. Worse yet, after your removed one, you’d find another just below it. How long had those roots sat, totally undisturbed. And then- light from above prior to being destroyed.
After a while, I thought about things. What if I dug holes in other areas of my life? I complain about being distant from God in my head- how often do I dig for Him? I want to write more- I never write. I want to run a 5K in under twenty minutes, yet I never go out for a jog. I’m too busy. It’s two hot out. I’ll probably fail anyway. This is what I’ve always known- I’m comfortable here on the flat ground.
I didn’t dig those nineteen holes and give up countless hours and afternoons after working all day because I wanted nineteen holes. I did it because I wanted a fence. It’s time I figured out what I really want and start to dig toward that- otherwise I’ll stay where I am- content, but with nothing to lean against when the wind blows in my life.
Whatever choice I end up making, the words will be. They don’t care whether I succeed or fail, for success or failure is not within them. They are above it. I am certainly below it- but at least now I’m digging deeper.