Tuesday Last Week of Year II

Look around you – no go on look! — all these things you are gazing at now – the time will come when not a single one will be left – all will be destroyed. … Just take another look – what do you see? walls and floors and furniture, people, friends, strangers – precious or not to you but precious to some… Faces, flesh, living, loving, breathing … precious.
All going, all passing, all fragile. We already know that I guess. We know but we don’t feel. We daren’t. Nothing lasts. And we live our lives balanced between denial and zeal.
Denial of time. Denial of death. Denial of the economy of letting go to let live. All around outside the world is letting go—the trees, the grass, even this day is letting go to let life live. Inside here, in warmth and light, you’d never imagine we had a debt to pay to time at all.
The denial’s all too obvious but how could there ever be zeal? How could you ever be eager for ending? Hungry for handing over? Maybe that’s why we find the apocalypse so hard to take. All that sickle sharpening, all that fire and reaping. But the other side of the sickle’s sharpness is the grape, juicy in its vintage, dripping on the vine. The cereal heavy in the field, bowing down with grain. Isn’t there a time for harvest, the rope moment for yielding fruit, for producing the goods? Isn’t there the faintest echo of something zealous when you hear the ‘harvest of the whole vintage of the earth is placed in the huge winepress of God’s anger’?
Isn’t there anything coming to ripeness in you right now? Isn’t there anything ready for the picking? Is there nothing that another week, another day, another hour will take past its best and render rotten, overripe and beyond all use?
And isn’t this the time of year to ask those questions? Before the passing year dies; while the possibility of the next lies still unborn.
What’s ready? What’s ripe? What must be used now … or never used at all?