Sunday, September 14, 2014

It could be a blue Christmas ,,,

This has been a strange September. Normally I don't get the blues this early - they tend to wait until winter enshrouds us. But the other morning I was so down I wondered what would happen if I just quit my job; I didn't want to face it. I was lapsing into silence, unable to work or focus.

Even my haiku began to take on a darker edge.

just before sunset
is often the darkest time
winter's come early

into the darkness
step from shadow to shadow
listen to that wind

on a night when clouds
conceal the moon and the stars
one candle still glows

a slug among weeds
has days when each song he sings
comes out as the blues

a slug among weeds
is sometimes overwhelmed
by the sound of her soul

I didn't quit. I did get up. I did do what needed to be done. No thoughts of suicide. But not in good spirits.

This had begun to creep in a couple of weeks ago. Maybe the final straw was discovering that because of a contract I signed last year I will not be able to work as Santa at the mall this year or next.

A new company took over the local mall Santa concessions, but the old company had had us sign an agreement last year that we could not work for the mall or another company for two years. I had signed it; it was one of many papers shoved in front of us, and I had no suspicions that the old company would not continue running the mall operations.

People suggested that since the old company is not working in this area any more and that the "no-competition" agreement may not really be legally binding that I could just go ahead and work for the new company at the mall. But I did sign it. I gave my word. I feel ethically bound to keep it - what kind of Franciscan would I be if I tried to use legal loopholes to get around having given my word?

But it is so late in the season to find another gig, and I'm not really one to market myself. So except for two volunteer parties, I may not be doing Santa this year. There's one place to check, but that's all I can think of.

I even trimmed my beard a bit for the school picture. Ho. Ho. No.

That's enough to bring up the blues. But it's more than that. This year it's hit early and hard. Harder than usual. Thank God for God - and my faith. The candle I mentioned in one of my haiku is the hope my faith gives me.

But I need to watch this. Right now I'm in better shape - but what if it hits again?

Pax et bonum

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