Thursday, January 2, 2014

This Senseless Pattern

On Sundays we drive to early church and pull to the curb to park on the street. This spot, close to the entrance to the chapel where the liturgy is celebrated, is next to a utility pole. As I exit the car and round the front of it to ascend the steps, I walk under a guide wire that angles from mid way up the pole down to its anchor several feet away in the ground. Each time, taking this marginally shorter and quicker route, I enter this triangle of bounded space and nearly chafe my scalp against the the thick taut wire. I only realize the danger, though I do this weekly, at the very instant before my head would meet the wound metal, whereupon I quickly duck and barely miss a painful encounter in my passage. And each time, I mutter dark words at myself at the repetition of this senseless pattern. Why do I not see the risk, the potential harm, and bend well before I go under the wire? Even more, why do I not adjust one direction or the other to go around the pole-wire-ground constriction and thus avoid the hazard altogether? In this moment, regularly, I find myself stymied within, knowingly and unknowingly, in pursuit of a better way. This would all be chiefly humorous, albeit personally abrading and embarrassing, were the only instance this potential scrape to my head and pride in a relatively minor set of relations.