In His book A Grief Observed CS Lewis writes “It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on.” This came to mind last night as I fought with my computer. You see it decided last night to go on the full fritz. I thought of that quote because it really does not seem to matter what I do sometimes it always turns out the same way. I have often said to my friend Steve that there is a black cloud that follows me around. I remember being told as a child in the school yard, in the gymnasium, during a game of cards, or worse when we were troutin’ that I was a “jinker.” For those not familiar with Newfoundland English it is a term to refer to one who jinks things. According to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, “Jinkers are common enough; men who always carry bad winds and weather with them. Such men usually acquire nicknames like ‘Foggy Bill,’ ‘Heavy-weather Jack,’ or ‘Squally Jim.” Accordingly, I would have a fitting moniker. Perhaps I would become “Condensation Kevin,” or “Pouring-from-the-Heavens Kevin,” or “Jinker George.” Either way I am certain some days that I put the fun in dysFUNction! Last night was one of those nights.
In the end I had to do a system restore on my computer which meant that I lost a load of data that I had saved. For instance there is a distribution list for this blog that I no longer have. If you are receiving a reminder of the blog today it is only because “Jinker George” was able to download all the emails that were sent to him in the last 10 days, and from that list he formed a new distribution list. This means of course that you have been in contact with “Jinker George” and as a result you may have jinxed yourself. My advice would be to lather up with some form of “Positive Purell” to ward of the “bad-luck bacteria.” In the meantime good old “Jinker George” is very thankful that you still communicate with him, and associate with him.
It’s not all bad – I was able to get things working again and here I am blogging again. In the meantime there are no doubt many people who I normally email to advise them of the update to this blog who will not have received that reminder this morning. If you know someone who normally reads this please let them know that if they email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I can add him/her to the distribution list.
In the meantime life charges on – even when it’s not all going according to plan. Jane Cornett was at the church tonight working hard to keep good things happening for the children in this parish. Jane gave me some photos of last Sunday’s Memorial tree dedication service at Holiday beach which I have posted in the photo section (If you were at the event and have photos to share, I would love to post them). I offered what was called “special thoughts” at that dedication this past Sunday. This annual event is to honour all who have died in the past 12 months. The Marcotte Funeral Home along with their partners Sutton Funeral home, Janisse Brothers, Morris Suttons, and Melady Funeral home plant a tree for each and every funeral that they have. This is a large contribution to an area desperately needing reforestation. It is as well a great way to remind the grieving of new life in a wonderfully beautiful environment. The service is a moment of hope. Even “Jinker George” could not spoil such a good day. I am not sure how special the thoughts were but I was thrilled to have an opportunity to be out to Holiday beach on Sunday standing in solidarity with those who were grieving and hurting.
Remember that I started this rambling note by quoting CS Lewis’ book A Grief Observed. In that same book, the great 20th century theologian offers this pearl of wisdom as well – “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." It is a scary place – the garden of grief. On Sunday I saw that put into context, into the proper soil, grief is becomes less like fear when the seeds of love, support and compassion are planted. There was a great sense of support and tenderness at this 17th annual event and I am pleased to say that it was a moment in which I felt like all the world was right – even though I was surrounded by people in grief – the garden of grief was so very clearly a garden of goodness and love. When more than 2500 people come together to share their common experience there is a tremendous sense of support and understanding.
It was a good reprieve from being “Jinker George.” Many Thanks to Jerry Marcotte for the invitation. I need to get back to finding things to touch that might turn into….well you know – as long as I can laugh and others can laugh at me – I am a very happy man!