The Armstrong Family Circus

published and designed by Wiseacre Design Studio

Maineville • Ohio • USA

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To fade into

Saturday November 26th 2011

by Paul Armstrong


Holidays are ripe with memories, nostalgia, sentimentalism, strife (or contempt), and occassionally calm and relaxation (but I have three kids, so that's merely a situation that other people lie about). As I grow older — and successively see my past fade away into nothingness — I can't help but preoccupy myself with thoughts of what (my life) is and what (my life) will be.


There is no grace in what life presents you with. It's unaffected by what you want — mechanical in it's disinterest. I can assign as much meaning to a stubbed toe as I want, more than likely it's the result of me not lifting my feet or watching where I put them. But there is grace in how I receive what is presented. More often than not, I fail. I whine. I complain. I blame. I ask why (me), why now, how could you (God, or a person who I feel wronged me). I foolishly think it will make me less afraid of the unknown — my little show and dance. Ignoring or modifying what has happened will make what will happen less potent. In the end; the inevitable fading past will meet with the inevitable fading future. 


I wish I could run away from what I know and what I see. We're all stumbling around, knocking each other down with our actions or our words; hurting ourselves and others. Our stories run together in a grand novel. Some storylines are coming to close. And as I see it happen it's impossible not to wonder — or more specifically, worry — about how mine will end. The faint trail of what lead me to now withers away. And as family gathers, and milestones of life get recalled, watching those who've been traveling longer also fade freezes me in my tracks. As I see my mom struggle just to keep a thought, or recall each moment that just happened, I fear this will be my inevitable fate (or at the least that growing old leads to nothing but loneliness and confusion). I'm stuck. The dependency on myself and my strength and my wisdom and my heart will always be insufficient; and the cycle of my anger at God for what life entails and what He's essentially authored, leads back to a pleading to Him to rescue me — a hamfisted childish understanding.


So what's the point in being consumed by things that you either can't know or control? What's the use in allowing other storylines affect your own? Trust. Grace. Hope. That is all I can have. That is all that I need. That is all that will work.




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