1928 - Alderson High School - 1968

 

 

Dreary: Causing or manifesting sadness

or gloom. Dull or monotonous.

They say and I believe through experience that the darkest hours of the night are those just before dawn. In those bleak and dreary hours all of our deepest thoughts shoot through our mind: "If I had just done this or if I had just said that!?!" We have all experienced them. Even Snoopy sitting atop his dog house with his typewriter always starts his novel with, "It was a dark and stormy night....." We think of horrible things that are yet to come and even in the coldest of nights break out into a sweat. "My goodness." we say to ourselves, " there arenít enough people dumb enough to nominate her, much less enough to elect her to the presidency." "Another Manning in the super bowl, could it be that the brothers will win back to back super bowl?" I shudder to think it all. We picture our own death or see the IRS pounding down our door. We see the mother in law pulling up in the drive way with a U-Haul. We think of the things we did at work or the things we forgot to do at work. The mind wanders through the maze of thoughts with the hope of finding our way out, to slip back into the world of dream before the dawning of the new day.

We all have those nights when the morning finally comes the bed looks as if a grenade went off sometime after we turned down the sheets. There is no age limit. From youngest to oldest we all find those nights when we cannot grip sleep and the time passes at an infinite passing as if the world suddenly went to slow-motion. Drinks of water and staring out the window only seems to slow it even more. Because of the hour of the night and the stillness of the outside, we feel as if the rest of the world is in blissful slumber while we go through the agony of the next minute. Finally, after what seems like an eternity we wander back to the bed and finally we wander off to sleep for a time.

I am sure that more learned people would have volumes to say about our condition and why we go through these things. I feel that it is the times and circumstances in which we find ourselves. We live in a society where its me and my and I and no care is given to we, you and they. Decisions are made knowing that dire consequences will result down the road. We may not be the one making that decision, but most of us wind up being collaterally damaged because of it. Just like we are all hooked together by the so called "six degrees of separation" we are all caught up in bad decisions by the same measure. So how do we separate ourselves from the bad decisions or collateral damage? Well, unless you have moved into a cave and become a complete hermit, we donít separate ourselves.

We can minimize our exposure, we can surround ourselves with people who we know or hope to we know donít make those decisions that pick us up and carry us on in their wave of self destruction. We can try to educate our family and friends and hope they will use their God given common sense in making life decisions. Even, after all of this there are no guarantees.

It must have been on one of those sleepless, dreary nights that the writer Edgar Alan Poe wrote The Raven. Poe, finding himself in those hours of dark self pity, took the time and opportunity to make a beautiful poem out of his dismal circumstances. Maybe like Poe we can take advantage of the moment and change it into something positive. Sure as anything if that hour grips us we must also find a way to turn it around to our favor. Like Hemingway we must convince ourselves that the sun also rises. There is another day breaking and with it we have a new opportunity, a new start, an new chance to rectify any wrong we did yesterday and make something great happen in this new day. If we do enough good things and minimize the negative things we do, the less time we will wake and hang in the bleakness of those wee dark hours.