WHO AM I?
Recently I flew from San Francisco to Washington D.C. leaving SFO at 5 p.m. and arriving IDA at 1 a.m. I had to catch another flight at 8 a.m. I was too cheap to spend the money for a few hours in a hotel room. “Not enough time.” I thought. So, I spent the night in the airport sleeping on the vinyl benches.
The whole surreal experience reminded me of Dante’s description of one of the rings in the Purgatorio. With the dim fluorescent lighting, I couldn’t even cast a shadow like a "shade". It put me in touch with homelessness. I realized that a great deal of our lives are lived in these in between places where we have to spend time - the waiting rooms of life where we are stuck between things.
That's why I admire my wife - she's a knitter and a resourceful, practical person. She keeps herself occupied. Apparently knitters do not suffer the agony of waiting. She just kept click-clicking away. Knitters were not mentioned by Dante. (But knitters should not get the "big head" they weren't mentioned in Paradisio either.) Eventually the clicking of her needles only added to my misery.
If I feel I do not have enough time available to accomplish any one of my very self-important tasks, I'll sit in dull resentment. Rather than computer solitaire, I’ll apparently take sub-loathing in Purgatory. Not in the dark. Not in the light. Not quite living. Not quite dead. To paraphrase Chis Kristofferson, “...not quite truth, not quite fiction a walking contradiction taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home.”
Read the complete chapter here:
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