PART FOUR

 

 

 

THE CHILDREN

 

 

22

It takes a lot of water to wash away New Orleans…

–The Band

 

            Quitters never really quit.  You always start something else, even if it’s merely that process of quitting—that change.  When you quit something there’s always something else to quit.  Quitting is good when you quit something bad.  Bad when you quit something good.  There’s always mixed reviews on that.  Some pulling you one way.  Some another.  And nobody wants you to quit them.  Not unless they quit you first.  Sometimes quitting is easy.  Other times very hard.  And maybe that’s how you’re judged a quitter or not.  How easy it comes for you.  The pain involved.  You can be branded a hero, a winner, when you walk away from something hard.  A coward, a loser, when you’re viewed as just walking away.  Sometimes it takes balls, for lack of a better word—to face that fear of quitting and what it entails when the losses are gathered in.  Or you might be judged as never finishing what you start, no matter how many times or how brilliant the start, but at least you try—you’re given that—and a weary wisdom is attained.  A world weary wisdom.  When you see other people finish what you started, and see what that means.  How it really means very little.  For you can love yourself either way.  All you have to do is look at all the fucked up lives out there.  Countless failure and loss.  The successors ugly somehow.  Even if they’re all washed and clean.  Even if they smell nice.  For you know they smiled once.  They once stared without blinking an eye.  And lied.  They’ve died without being born.  It’s the failures, the quitters, that are born again, and they never die.

You can love yourself either way.  If you feel like you need a change, or if you don’t.  The constant is still you.  Change for good or bad—it doesn’t really matter—it’s going to happen anyway.  What you stop is always another start.  And what you start inevitably stops.  The journey of changes are your mantle, but it doesn’t change what’s inside, what’s been you through all of it.  You carry it or it carries you.  It just depends on what the love is founded on, and that is only discovered in storms, not in just fair weather friends…  David Threnody prayed.  He prayed when Bethany told him she was pregnant.  He prayed a righteous fear.  A righteous anger.  He vowed to quit what needed to be quit so that what had started could be finished.  He was afraid of what he’d done, and mad to do what he needed to do.  He began making comparisons, and that can be a tricky thing.  It all depends on what you compare yourself with—you make that choice first.  Like you’re all lined up in your physical education class, ready to choose your players, and that depends on the game.  You make the judgment if someone is better than you before you make the comparison—that’s just the details after, the reasons—what matters is that first choice, who you judge to compare yourself with.  This is the essence of your esteem, your self-worth, your love.  And that’s why maybe you quit something because it’s not good enough for you, or maybe you’re just not good enough for it.  These the measures of pride and shame.  And depending on what you come into contact with, what game you’re playing, you can love yourself either way.  Maybe it’s just not your game.  Maybe it’s not your people…  David wondered what game he was playing, who his people were for this unborn child.  And deep down he wondered if he loved himself enough to love this child, or would past sins have to be paid.

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