Could Sunday save the World?
I’m always trying to understand why we’re destroying the planet.
Why and for who’s sake is it, that we are eviscerating the biosphere? Is it for us, for our children? Is it for the accumulation of wealth, power and influence?
None of those answers hold much water, when our worlds cities are going to be 30 feet underwater.
It’s a mind bendingly sad and confusing conundrum, that makes me wonder.
Would we know how to slow down all this rudderless progress, even if we wanted to?
If we all woke up and had the sudden need to steer our globalized machine away from this impending apocalypse. How would we go about doing that?
How would we even formulate the answer to such an all encompassing question about our communal destination? It makes me wonder.
What ever happened to a time and place called Sunday?
What became of the idea that once a week, every week, we’ll all take a day off together. A time devoted to doing nothing much at all, whilst we ponder the deeper questions posed by reality.
What consequences have come from our abandonment of the art of the seventh it’s what has its absence done to our world?
What I’m talking about is not the mind numbingly boring formalities I remember from Catholic rituals. I’m talking about that final act of the week. That full stop in the immediate future. A day you could set your body-clock to.
In such a relentlessly busy and frentic world I feel the absence of that day of rest. Sure who wouldn’t?
A unique day where all the neighbourhood would coalesce in a big, beautiful, well-lit room. Where the order of the day was to enjoy doing nothing much at all together. Like a gaff party but it’s everyone’s gaff and the vibe is tame.
A place where it’s safe to play with ethereal thoughts about the nature of the world outside. Where you’re allowed to ask the bigger questions, like;
“What the hell is going on?”
A day dedicated to wondering in that contemplative space with pleasant company. Circling around the answers and never quite getting there. Meandering together in this Earthly garden about the ultimate truths, whatever they may come to be.
Defining universal meaning not through political discussion but through singing songs and shaking hands. Forgiving each other and getting to know what it feels like to not be alone in our human humility.
That day off we spent together was good for us, on some level. In someway, somehow, it did us a valeuable service.
Forget God on his high horse, Sunday was meant for us mere mortals. This musical band of celestial gipsies; searching for and creating the meaning of the thing we’re after all at the same time.
Besides the deep stuff, Sunday was a lovely bit of old peace and calm, like a festival for the soul. A day of festivities that had been worked on for centuries.
The craft of taking time off distilled into communal rooms, filled with silent-light and transcendent music.
A day, a place, where everyone was supposed to be welcomed and the normal considerations of the week didn’t count. Where the word “community” could stop becoming a platitude used by laté-liberals and could start to become something tangible, enjoyable, useful.
A day where the endless streams of commuters could start to become real, identifiable human beings. The farmers, the supermarket workers, the car parking attendents, the barbers and the butchers, the brothers and the mothers, the tailors and the tax-makers, the craftspeople and the kids could all come together and get to know how to relax around one another. A day set-in-stone so you didn’t have to worry about missing out.
“Sure if I don’t catch you in the week I’ll see you next Sunday.”
“It’s been ages since we saw each other but I’m sure we’ll cross paths at mass before long.”
But I also understand why it’s gone, why Sunday got chucked out with the bathwater. We can’t allow those bastions of togetherness to be held by evil creatures.
I will not put my penny in the poor box knowing it goes to Rome. To pay-off paedophiles and to gild the roofs of tourist attractions in ever more guilty gold.
But for a second, for the sake of the seventh. Forget about them and their landlord. The God of that empire is not mine and I am not his. I belong to the locals and them to me.
And back before my day arrived my ancestors had made some pretty good places inside those temples built for the sake of the seventh. Places that gave a home to some fairly odd and worthwhile traditions, handed down by many centuries of anonymous strangers.
Granted, the last time I went to church I felt like the paint falling off the ceiling I was so bored. But those places needed to be updated, not chucked out. Those unfinished symphonies, those big, calm, communal rooms in the very centre of town.
The biggest buildings built on the best land, right in the middle of the noise. Sanctuaries of silence that gave shelter to tender thoughts and prayers.
Contemplation chambers where one might ponder the nature of forever. In whatever form and shape it took to take in that time and place. I wonder what we would make today?
What sort of peaceful places would we build in these frantic nowadays? What sort of modern silence would we adore?
How would we define what’s now eternal forever? How would we raise the roof and keep those under it well fed and warm? How are we going to survive the flood that flows from the future without these life-rafts devoted to doing nothing much at all?