Saying Goodbye.

6:00 AM isn't so bad, on a normal weekend. Sure, it's early, but the early bird gets the worm, right?
Then again, maybe it isn't 6:00. Maybe it's 7:00. I've lost an hour, somewhere. This is the morning after. This is the morning after we've erased one hour. Last night we chose to obliterate 60 minutes. We've destroyed 3600 seconds.

What's more, I was out late dancing last night.

So I sit at Starbucks, waiting for the ceremonial pre-service communion, and I examine myself, and reflect on lost time, and realize that my hands are shaking from the lack of sleep and the stimulation of the espresso.

We've lost an hour. We gave it up for reasons of economy, reasons of practicality, reasons of national security. What have we lost, though?
Many are tired. Many are grouchy. Many will laugh at those who forget. Have we lost more than that?

Time is such an abstract; I sit and wait for five minutes, but the moment feels like an hour--not because my Americano-addicted friend is late, but because I choose to focus on the time. To examine it. To make use of it.

What did I lose last night, when I set my clock one hour ahead? What changed, when the mobile service provider told my phone to display a "2" instead of a "1"?
Perhaps nothing. Perhaps everything.

Communion is a time of sacrament: body, blood, bread, wine; what are they but symbols? Our church tells us that they are nothing more; another church tells us they are anything but; can't we agree that all our world is made of symbols? Isn't it the symbol that's important?

So I said goodbye; truly goodbye. Goodbye is not simple: once upon a time it meant little more than "god bless you," an incantation of protection for travels far and wide. Today, it means something else: the words stand in, as metaphor, as symbol, for the expectation of absence. "Don't say goodbye, just say so long"; "Christians never have to say goodbye."
So I said goodbye, and I meant it. The hour is gone, the sleep is gone, the life is gone, the possibilities are gone, and it makes all the difference.

2 comments:

Shell-Bell said...

Don't say goodbye say so long. The hour isn't gone forever, it will return again an the fall.

Naomi said...

I have to say I rejoiced in saying goodbye to that hour; I was working, you see. And not only was I working a night shift, but a particularly frustrating night shift requiring more patience than I thought I had... that is until I discovered I was able to travel through time. Oh the glory of time travel when it cuts short the trials of one's chosen profession!