Sitting here, in front of my computer, I feel a sudden jolt of sadness shake me. And then it crosses my mind—it’s sunday. Sunday evening. Hello darkness my old friend; LoS is back. Like on Sunday. A sense of sorrow, of regret, that all good things were coming to an end and there was nothing left to look forward to. In my journal, after trying to explain it a couple of times, I started just saying that I feel “like on sunday”, and then just abbreviating it LoS.
Originally, of course, it was about the weekend—a time that had been so bright with promise friday night reduced to ashes of might-have-beens on sunday. A time when the consequences of procrastination had to be faced and that massive assignment given two weeks ago actually had to be done in a handful of hours. A time when the demons danced and the forces of hell rejoiced.
But for most of my life sunday evening has meant no more than any other time; my schedule is as likely to involve me doing something on the weekend as doing something on weekdays. And yet, still the feeling comes. There is something basic, primeval, in this rhythm of despair. The number of times I’ve had the sense of LoS wash over me on a sunday night cannot be counted.
And therein lies the rub. Cherry-picking, confirmation bias, all that sort of thing. Does LoS really happen on schedule, appearing on the summons of a long-ago school schedule? Being more than usually self-obsessed I’ve actually kept records of this feeling, along with other irrational shafts of displeasure, and—at least while I was actually keeping the record—discovered that LoS was no more likely to happen on a sunday evening than at any other time. Nor was I particularly prone to it on a sunday. I just notice it more, apparently, when it does come then.
And yet—and yet it feels to me as if it does. Many times, like the bolt from the blues just now, I have felt the familiar stroke of a minor chord across the strings of my spirit and believed myself to be participating in a long-dead ritual set in the stones of my childhood and mindlessly perpetuated by some sort of cosmic clock. But it probably isn’t. Far more likely it is nothing more than the consequence of a choice of label given when groping for a shorthand to describe a nameless impression a long time ago.
ReligionProf Podcast with Katie Day and Deirdre Good - My guests on this week’s podcast are Deirdre Good, whom I had the pleasure to meet when I guest taught a class at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan...
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