Sunday, September 14, 2008

The So-Called Day of Rest


I feel funny about Sundays. Like the way you feel about a man you just don't trust, an ominous cloud in the distance, the too-quiet office, a Chinese place that serves hamburgers and Philly Cheese steaks. Somethings just not right. Some of my best days have been Sundays, and some of my worst. I forget a lot of things, really its terrible; but Sundays I just can't shake, like a fucking bad habit.

I used to spend Sundays with my ex - almost two years tangled up in the ritual of it all. Breakfast in and out of bed, NPR, showers together, conversations of futures, orange juice and coffee, music. Complete with a little afternoon delight and his isolating state of anxiety and inexplicable depression. Turns out he was just trying to figure out how to go back to his former life and didn't know how to break the news to me. I guess that can bring a perfectly good Sunday down for anyone.

So much time has passed since then; but even now I crave that ceremony in my Sunday; and yet want to bury it. I have new Sundays, new rites, but some where along my lazy day those hours spent with him rear up like the memory of a sin in church. Perhaps being a good Catholic girl has the same implications. I don't know what that means exactly as I have long attended tradition burials instead of Masses, but I continue to keep my spirituality undead (I suppose that implies that my faith is a vampire? Hmm.).

Every Sunday after church when I was a kid, we went to Nana and Granddaddy's for lunch to eat a big Southern meal prepared by Nana herself. Mac n' cheese, creamed corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, pot roast, jello pie. The cousins, all 17 of us now, played in the yard, built forts, hid fake money, learned how to win at cards. The adults talked about adult stuff until they got bored enough to teach us something cool. Just as we never lacked in sustenance, we never lacked in love, and every Sunday we surrounded ourselves in food and thanks for the many and plenty of our brood. Those Sundays are now reserved for birthdays and Holidays and infrequently occur on the actual day of rest. People pitch in and make a dish - each time cheapening the recipe with canned this or frozen that instead of fresh.

Much like the recipes, the family is changing too. People have died, are dying, live far away, somehow don't make it home again. Another Sunday ship sailed off the map. For the so-deemed day of rest I seem to find little of it.

Today, however, this Sunday, I do find comfort in knowing that I have a fridge packed with fresh okra, squash and tomatoes that I plan to cook tonight for my own Ex-Patriot Southern dinner. I find it in that I did not spend my Sunday with a man I don't trust. In that, there is not a single cloud in the sky while I sit on my porch writing this post. In that, I have an unidentified spirituality untied from built ritual that is mine and mine alone. In that, even though Sundays make me feel funny, they make me feel fine.

1 comment:

kmackay said...

Sundays make me feel funny too. I miss that I have very few rituals and traditions in my life. Sundays are a good day to have those things. I was just thinking today that the fact that I own so much stuff prevents me from finding a way to have order and ritual in my life. Not sure how to explain it, but living in the periphery of OCD makes you see the pluses and minuses of ritual and order, makes me even a little bit jealous of it.

side note: some of your sentences seem a little less than gramatically correct...a little awkward in terms of smoothness. just a comment with the best of intentions. nice to see your words today.