Sunday. I decided to be a good Catholic. I made an effort to rouse myself from dark thoughts. Making my way to church, I thought about love what else? The difference between love as decision and love as feeling, because deciding whether or not to go to church that day felt like I a wrestling match.
Still, my feet brought me to church and up the stairs to the loft where I had an encompassing view of the congregation below. As the Gospel reading was about to end, a couple came and took the seats in front of me. The curious thing was they left a seat between. I thought that was it but then the woman motioned for the guy to sit on the vacant seat. The guy instead motioned to her to take the vacant seat. The woman refused and again motioned for him to take it. At this point, the woman had that look if you know what I mean and this time perhaps because he more than anybody there knew what that meant took the seat. I was greatly entertained at this which I must say lifted my spirits a bit.
As soon as we’ve taken our seats, the same couple suddenly embraced and whispered into each other’s lips. The Gospel by the way was about seed falling on fertile ground and bearing fruit and I can’t help but see the parallelism there. The priest began his sermon by saying that we ought to look at our hearts to see what kind of soil it has… movement from the couple broke my attention away from the priest. I looked and decided the two were in serious need of a room the way they were cuddling. I went back to the priest who I caught saying that nowadays people have lost their ability to perceive the truly joyful and happy things. Great!
I gave up avoiding to look at the coupled heap in front of me and thought, since things do happen for a reason what was the message for me here? Then just before the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the couple, their limbs then detached from one another, started to quarrel. The thought bubble forming out of my head read: that’s it then? but don’t tell me because afterward it’s back to the cuddling. I felt suddenly ill.
Making my way toward the door after the Mass, I was taken back by a man’s voice booming from behind me saying “I had been texting you! Why didn’t you immediately reply?” Sh–t was he addressing me? But from somewhere a woman answered back, also angrily, “ten minutes! It was just ten minutes!…” I quickly moved to the side afraid to be caught in the middle of warring parties should they start. I looked at them and decided they were husband and wife. The message came clear to me then. It’s the lines from Desiderata: Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.