It is towards the end of the night and the singer brings the oversized martini glass Mr. Koko the little white dog has drank water of in the course of the evening as he lies on his couch as the jazz trio plays through their sets up to the bar. There is some water left in the glass, and I take it by the stem and toss the remainder into the sink, and as I do I say toward the sink or an imaginary person in its locale, "I thought I told you to shut up." (As if someone was throwing a drink at someone else.) Caught unexpectedly, the lady with the silky voice and excellent pitch, laughs aloud. As do several seated at the small bar. I've never thrown a drink at anyone, nor has anyone ever thrown one at me, but there is theater in small things.
But the old barman knows. Woe unto the world because of offenses, if that even applies. But there it is, the love, the respect, the friendliness, desire for happiness and agreement, people feel for each other. And yet, even as the two parties might offer each other several, even many olive branches, but in the dance, and in the high stakes of the mating ritual, unfortunately, things can go very wrong, even against the will. Why? Mainly because of insecurities, perhaps, or there be moods, or psychological tendencies, or other events in a life that bleed over to the personal aspect. Or there is just juvenile dumbness, the unmet need for a more aggressive approach to not leave things up to the divine but to bite the apple and make things happen, as the clocks in games are ticking anyway.
Yes, the old barman knows. He's talked to people about it in searching through the meaningful events of other people's happenings and doings and personal lives. The very same thing happening to one of my favorite co-workers. He's been through months of it, and I tell him, over a text, mainly to be sympathetic, 'yeah, I've had years like that.' And indeed, I wish old events would not have taken hold over the circuitry of my mind, to the extent that I wonder, in a domino theory kind of way, why I do my work in night shifts, even into versions of that old spiritual wilderness of the night of the soul. Which is I suppose a good part of why I am a writer, in order to deal with such a Satan of every day, which I will explain.
From reading too much Alan Watts, it goes something like this. The Cross symbolizes the accomplishment of putting Lucifer, the ego, all that which we keep with us as a past and memories which hold us in such a way as to determine our future, away from us, so that we rise, spiritually healthy and capable of life, by living in the present. The theme, of the Perennial Philosophy, captured beautifully throughout the details of the Christian story, is compelling presented in his Myth and Ritual in Christianity.
Okay, that's all nice, that's all well and good and worth thinking about, but...
And then you look at the world today, and you wonder. Produced, built, formed in the divine image, we are the love of the creator, personified, exemplified, brought to life. And yet, look at the world; look at the absence of that in different acts of aggression and retaliation, all of which seem inevitable and unending to us, unless, like the Cross symbolizes, we were to take the act of stepping outside of history, outside the past that wears us down into warriors, to become, in essence, ourselves again.
I suppose you can hear it in Lincoln, of course in the Gospels, or in the preacher's words about a happy marriage, do not let disagreements and charges and the like simmer and develop, lest all the wealth piled up is torn away and one is cast into prison to pay for the rest of a life.
Perhaps that is the love of the divine, anyway, speaking to us, exemplifying, the need to speak that message. Do not be stupid. Apologize, show the other person that, no matter what act might come out, you care. And if you can deliver that message, in whatever small way, perhaps that redeems you. You've learned the lesson, and it's time to remember the higher things.