Monday, October 31, 2011

Life is a Whirlwind

This is one of my favorite metaphors to describe life: a whirlwind. Every day is packed with activity, some days almost to the breaking point. The whirlwind isn't a tornado, with its damage. Perhaps it's more of a waterspout, a whirlwind over water. It throws up a lot of spray, but in the absence of a man made object it doesn't cause damage.

Of course, the whirlwind is to some extent our own making. We crowd life with all kinds of non-essential activities. Young parents make sure their kids are involved with team sports and gymnastics and dancing and church activities and...whatever else you can think of. Teens continue the practice, adding dating to it. Club sports become school sports. Naturally when they become adults they continue the cycle of endless activity.

I have done the same thing. I don't remember my childhood years being a whirlwind. We came home from school every night. The only evening activity was boy scouts, which began in 5th grade. I didn't start school sports until sophomore year in high school. Didn't even try out in junior high. In college the busyness began, mainly due to working to pay the college bill. Even the early adult years weren't all that bad. Lots of church activities, and raising kids, but not really a whirlwind. Even the overseas years, in retrospect, seem leisurely. Maybe not right at vacation time, the planning, packing and going, but the day to day life was a breeze.

Now the kids are out of the nest, and the last way I should describe life is as a whirlwind. But that's exactly what life has become. It's all my own doing. Wanting to be a published author has added complexity to life that is most easily described as a whirlwind, two orders of magnitude added to what could otherwise be a leisurely life. The writing isn't too bad. It's more the promotion that adds to the to do list. I'm not handling it very well.

Of course, many other things dare to tread on the path I've established for myself, such as funerals in southwestern Kansas one Saturday and in Rhode Island the next. Kind of hard to get any real writing work done in the car, or on a plane. Concentration at those times is rather difficult.

So I think that is an apt metaphor. Not a simile. Life is not like a whirlwind, it is a whirlwind. Possibly this poem somewhat describes it.


I long to live that day when I will rest,
and cease to tax my brain. Then I will die
and stand before my Maker. Yet, I'm blessed.
I long to live! The day that I will rest
is somewhere out there, far beyond the quest
that now demands I try, and fail, and try.
I long to live that day when I will rest
and cease to tax my brain. Then I will die.

No comments: