I thought about Robin Williams, and how all of us could be him. I could see how the pressures and difficulties of life – especially a very public life – could get the best of someone. I don’t think I could or would kill myself, but I can see it.
I thought about Hemingway and pencils, about a kid named Paco. I remembered the great opening sentence of “The Capital of the World,” and the hundreds of Pacos who showed up in Madrid to find forgiveness from their fathers. I remembered how John Maxwell telling that story made an impression on me.
But I had forgotten the second sentence:
But this Paco, who waited on table at the Pension Luarco, had no father to forgive him, nor anything for the father to forgive.
And that sentence made an impression, too. In fact, it left a mark for some reason. It made an impression because it seems in my limited experience, to be the epitome of a Hemingway sentence, true, direct, and to the point.
I thought about Barbara Brown Taylor. And I listened to part of her recent sermon at Second-Ponce. Again, I had the thought that while we probably wouldn’t see eye to eye theologically, she takes seriously the text of the Scripture. She doesn’t bring her outline into the pulpit, she talks the Word. She’s having a conversation, telling a story, engaging the text and the congregation. Her preaching probably wouldn’t pass the muster of most SBC preachers today. And it might not fit neatly with the therapeutic, life-event, felt-need teaching we have assumed to emulate.
I thought about Anna and Andrew, and Mark and Alison.
I thought about money, and the lack of it, and I thought about life and the brevity of it.
I thought about joy and how it seems to have long since left and is determined to stay away.
I thought about cursive handwriting and why mine is so illegible. I thought about sentences and words, and how I wouldn’t be able to decipher what I wrote in my notebook the day after I wrote it.
And I thought about quitting while I’m ahead, quitting while I’m behind, and dropping out of the race altogether.
I thought about a bunch of other things, but that’s enough for today.