Inertia

Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. This morning, both God and I are disinclined to change momentum. My feet are warm, my coffee hot, the view familiar. God is hurtling comfortably through space in his version of a Lazy Boy recliner, planets and stars aligned just so. I have no need to bother him. He sighs and settles deeper, ready for a nap. We are both at a loss to explain this uneasy contentedness. It’s not like we’ve achieved perfection. In fact, most efforts toward perfection backfire; thus, by being at rest, maybe we are making progress. And besides, stillness is a mirage. Even if God nods off, digestion continues. Neurons fire. The heart beats. The cosmic clock ticks, and the train leaves the station for parts unknown.

Two years ago, we bought 16 fluffy chicks. There are nine hens left. We gave away the five whites. A racoon got one of the reds, and I killed the rooster. It was self-defense. I was scattering food, unarmed and inattentive. I turned, and there he was, talons bared, eyes sparking with deadly malice. He flew at me. I beat him back and yelled, thinking that would take care of it. He regrouped and attacked with even greater resolve. My benign superiority was replaced with rage. How dare he come after me again? I put my hood up to protect my head, grabbed both of his stringy legs, and whirled his body in the air, using his weight as momentum to smash his head into a nearby cement block. It took three full circles to finish the job. I have few regrets.

My plans for the future include working hard to leave behind sustainable shelter and healthy garden soil. I’ve taken to writing notes to the children of the future, hiding these missives in places they might be found a hundred years from now. A hundred years. A very long time from the perspective of my fingers on the keyboard. Barely a passing twinkle in the eye of God. Barely a twinkle. But for now, God dozes open-mouthed and innocent, and I hold myself faithfully quiet. God needs the rest, and I need the façade of stillness to welcome the coming day and accept the overwhelming complexities of being momentarily assembled in the form I know of as myself.