Well, here's one where I am totally wingin' it. I have no idea where this post is going to go, and no idea how it will get there. I got a call for work this morning, but it's for a Saturday assembly later in March. That's the best kind of call to get, actually. I go through this weird ambivalence over work every morning. If it's going to be a day shift I'll get the call around six AM when I'm sitting in the dark and quiet, ingesting caffeine, and silently reciting the prayer that has become a daily, and necessary ritual if I am to have any sort of bearings for the compass of the day's activities. The ringing phone goes off like a fire alarm that douses me in panic, and dread because I'm going to have to jump up, get dressed, chow down some oatmeal, and charge out the door to get the school open, and ready for the day. It's hard to understand the dread part of it. I mean- I like working the day shift. The first hour and a half is sort of hectic- get the office opened up, and the flags raised. Unlock the multi-use room, get the cart out, fill up a mop bucket, and hit the restrooms so they're disinfected, restocked, and buffed up all cleaned and shiny before the kids arrive. I have a thing about opening a school with the restrooms looking good. I never want some kid to be able to go home and tell his folks that the bathroom was all gross. Odd that I make a point of pride in such simple stuff, but somehow I do. But the rest of the day is actually kind of fun. I can noodle about the small tasks of the day, and if there's a call on the walkie talkie its usually to change a light, bring some paper towels to a room, or fix some minor thing in a classroom, and look like a small time hero saving the day for Mrs. Jones third grade. Sometimes the kids even cheer. It's kinda' cute.
If there's no morning call, that still leaves the possibility of a night shift open, so I take things easy throughout the rest of the morning. But the sense of dread grows steadily until about eleven thirty, or noon, and with each passing hour the ambivalence see-saws between hoping I get a call (which means money), and dreading the call (because it means slogging through the night shift until ten thirty at night). And if I do get a call, I take the assignment, and then have to hold on for the onslaught that my head has waiting for me. I feel sick. I'm too tired to do it. Something is going to come up- I hope. This all goes away as soon as I get signed in, and begin working. But if I don't get a call, I'm disappointed, and sure I've been phased out for someone younger, faster, and better at everything than I ever was. It's just a crappy game my head plays on me. And I fall for it every time.
But maybe I'll go back to the morning couch- talk about opening the day with prayer. It is a habit, now, of many years, although I can not put a starting date on it, and the prayer itself has grown and changed with time. To those from the coonosphere proper it will not seem like anything remarkable that I do this. We all do something in the same vein, and no one would question the benefit, or efficacy of so beginning the day. And I was over at Vanderleun's Site site this morning, and read his superb essay on Grace. It's a moving, and beautiful piece, and worth reading regardless of your take on matters of the spirit.
But like any essay that addresses the topics of Faith, and God it drew a volley of cheap shots, and snark from the usual crowd of yammering atheists, all trying desperately to shoot the piece down, or score what they are sure will be the winning point in their all too clever game of 'gotcha'. There was a time when I probably would have been yapping right along, and slinging poo if I couldn't get a rise any other way, but it's been a long time since I was a post teen know-it-all. I was tempted to jump in for a game of whack-a-troll, and if the topic were politics, I might have done it. But the essay was too good to spoil with an online fight with ignorants.
I don't quite understand the whole trolling thing. I know there are zillions of sites and blogs out there that I could find to disagree with. Somehow, it just never occurs to me to seek out someone else's turf, and barge in there to pick a fight. And it obviously never occurs to the trolls that they never, ever succeed in breaking another person's faith. There is not a one of them that has ever won a convert. And not a one of them that succeeds in doing anything other than looking petty, small minded, and ultimately foolish. Yet they persist. It's obvious that they never convince anyone else. Perhaps what they are really trying to do is convince themselves. And if they really believe that all this faith business is nonsense, why do they need further convincing?
Anyway. That's all the stuff that the top of my head had to offer this afternoon. Tomorrow, no doubt, I'll have that one post that will light up the whole blogosphere, and have the world at my doorstep begging for more. No doubt.