Forced Sabbath


OK, I guess I have been a lot like this lately.  Perhaps an emergency brake was needed. It is still a pain in the ass, though. Literally.

This morning I felt better from the hemorrhoids. Not like they were gone or anything, but bearable. I decided against going to the city to look for some topical medication. (Subconsciously it may have played a role that going to the city would mean sitting on a hard  bus seat for half an hour…) Anyway, I probably made a mistake. It’s evening now, and the pain has returned to a level similar to yesterday. Perhaps not quite as bad, or perhaps I’m getting used to it.

In any case, the pain makes it impractical for me to sit for a long time, and especially in the position I normally use when I type or play. So if I had planned to spend most of the day playing City of Heroes, forget that. (That would at the face of it seem a reasonable plan, because it is currently “double XP weekend” in the game, an event that happens only a few times a year and draws a lot of players.

(Incidentally, I have been dictating this entry so far, but I am not kidding when I say I usually don’t speak anymore. My throat has more or less run out by now!)

I have been playing a bit, but I’m not really in the mood. Not just because the sitting is a pain in the ass, but I also occasionally feel queasy and begin shivering for a while. My heart is also beating faster then. But the temperature only goes up by about half a degree Celsius, then it stops, and a bit later I begin sweating and feel better. I am not sure whether or not this is related to the hemorrhoids. From what I have been reading (and I have been reading quite a bit last night) hemorrhoids are almost never life-threatening. If they could actually get infected, you’d think they would be a cause for much more concern. Anyway! The feeling is not conductive to lighthearted gaming.

The mood is more suitable to contemplate “the shortness of life, the certainty of death and the length of eternity”. (That was a favorite phrase in the good old days of the Christian Church. Actually, I am not sure eternity even has length or duration. I mean, it is always eternity! Even now. We just don’t notice.)

I have been told that this was the true purpose of the Sabbath, to make room in time to become aware of eternity. By setting aside a day of sacred time, people got their break from the endless march of seemingly important everyday events and got closer to timelessness. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me. But it is probably just a few scattered mystics here and there who perceive it that way. I mean, Christians used to have the Sunday as a holy day, although they did not enforce it quite as strictly. But for 45 years I never heard anyone talk about eternity as anything other than an infinitely long duration of time. Certainly not as something that is always waiting just outside our reach, waiting for us to invite it into time.

Then again, perhaps you have to enforce the Sabbath fiercely for it to work? Now that Sunday is just a day off, it is so easy to just fill it with all kinds of fun stuff. Inviting the restlessness of the rest of the week into the day of rest of the week, to coin a pun. Instead of inviting the opposite, the timelessness that encloses time, which is at the beginning of time and at the end of time and at the present moment, like the sky that is always above us every time we stop and look up, no matter where on the road we are. The only moment that is quite real is now. Well, that’s not quite right: Every moment is real, but you can only access one at a time. And every time we do that, every time we stop and look up (even metaphorically), time and eternity meet.

But usually we don’t stop, we just keep running,  even just for fun.  We’ll get to eternity sooner or later anyway, of course, but will we be at home there?  I wonder.  I don’t feel very at home with eternity right now, let me tell you.