One of my favorite parts of the local newspaper is the kids' page. I know I try to make out like I hate kids. So sue me. They aren't so bad in print. If I could have had book-children instead of physical children, I might have done it.
Some of their little stories and letter are so wise.
One little girl wrote a short story - I mean a kid short story, not like some Updike thing - about 5 lines. It was about a good little girl and I will never forget the last two lines.
"She was a good little girl.
She kept everything in order."
Wow. What a wise kid. Even at her young age, she knew one of the deepest human desires - to keep everything in order. Or to at least look like we are.
That's it, isn't it? We walk around in this world, hoping, praying, that somehow on this day, at this time, we will manage to keep everything in order for ourselves and for our loved ones.
So much of what we do is to keep the disorder at bay, to stop the scary thing from happening.
And our levels of order are different. Some people feel the world is all wrong if they don't have a 5,000 square foot house on the golf course and a thousand employees, while others settle for much, much less.
Today I was walking in the park and there was a guy kind of camped out there. He had his bike and a bunch of stuff, a sleeping bag, and he was just sitting at a picnic table with his back against it, his head on his chest, his arms crossed in front of him, dozing.
I wondered about him, how he had ended up there. Some people are so hurt and broken that a small bit of order is all they can put together at one time - to hang onto the bike and sleeping bag, but not a home or job or family.
Or maybe that's all the order he wanted. Maybe he felt free there, snoozing in the breeze while I had to rush back to work.