Some virtues just don't grow in young soil. The Bear read an article about Patty Griffin's new album, Servant of Love. She's 51 years old and has never been as big a seller as the artists she has inspired and collaborated with. She's normally categorized in Americana, but the Bear would hate to have to categorize Servant of Love. Anyway, this is what she said in the interview:
"At this point in my life, a lot of seeds just ain’t ever going to come up. What I got planted, what I dreamed I should plant, has been planted now,” Griffin told The Associated Press at a deli near her Austin home. “There’s this feeling of fatigue that takes over. It’s grief for things that have passed you by because of your age and will not happen."That's a kind of melancholy acceptance, but one with which the Bear can identify.
There is a more peaceful kind of acceptance, which seems to have been a theme of late. The Bear found this quote from a San Diego therapist named Leonard Noel.
Acceptance does not mean that we agree with what is happening or that we believe it must continue... Acceptance means that we are able to gaze into the face of the present and say, "You are in front of me, and I acknowledge you are here."Just that. There are other things in front of us. We choose what to give our attention to. It makes sense to choose things that we can do something with. Too often we see, react, and we're off to the races!
The sound byte, the agitprop, the inflammatory essay. Basic methods of psychological manipulation are now in the hands of everyone. They have all combined to turn us into hand grenades, just waiting for somebody to pull our pins. That energy is inside of us, latent, waiting. What is it doing to us in the meantime? The Bear is not qualified to say.
A woman named Jackie in our parish passed away. She used to take communion to the elderly at the nursing home. She may have been concerned with greater things, more riveting matters of ecclesiastical politics, but if so, the Bear doesn't know. He doubts those things are of much importance to her now, or are more important than what she did.
Jackie had no family. She had no money to pay for a funeral. The Bear could contribute toward it, not much, but some, and say a few prayers. Burying the dead is one of the corporal works of mercy.
Jackie is among the matters that are before the Bear today, respect to her body and the welfare of her soul. Other matters are considered, and calmly set aside for now.