Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Good Friday

Published in Strays.

Getting to there from here has almost always felt like the point. This moment, just something to bear on the way to right now becoming something better. This experience a lesser version of what I’m really preparing for. And suddenly the future disappears. With countless conversations touting the value of mindfulness behind me, a feeling has finally caught up to the concept. My eyes look through the book I’d been reading and I focus on the ground. Then the distance returns, separating me from the present. I grab my phone and scramble to type, my digital shorthand capturing a moment, maybe to process it, maybe to drop an anchor tethering me to a place I hope to return to. For a moment there, an ideal had become practice.

Having returned to my baseline, my range becomes broad again. My attention is lost and focus strays to a group of teenagers off in the distance — singing, playing guitar, keeping a beat, a dozen of them in a chorus of praise. Some sway, some raise their hands casually to their shoulders making an exaggerated shrugging gesture as if trying to prove their exaltation by way of awkward physicality. My judgement flails, striking out at them for them being them, then back at me for mocking them, then again back at me out of jealousy: Never can I recall being so committed to a moment, sober, as they seem right now. For some, a better Friday than for others. I walk away thinking how an epiphany marred by regret is still an epiphany.