A Weekend Filled with Gods

A Night's Stroll on Sundance Square

A Night’s Stroll on Sundance Square

No one suspects the days to be gods.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I believe Emerson called that one right, but despite my monster load of grading that endured throughout the weekend, I determined that the chore would not rob me of quality, so I found things to do to keep my mind from dulling as I read paper after paper after paper.

Last night I published a blog about grading alongside the fountain. As the hour grew later, I was pleased to see throngs of people still strolling about. After all, it was a Saturday night, and the temperatures were cooling delightfully. I intentionally omitted him from the photograph posted above, but a street preacher was standing atop a step stool near this clock, delivering a sermon to the passersby. I listened for awhile, sympathetically. Being a preacher myself a long, long time ago, I cannot say that he mentioned anything I haven’t heard throughout my life. And I don’t write any of this to cast a negative light on him. Two police officers were nearby, perhaps to keep the peace. At any rate, I was glad no one verbally abused or accosted him in any way. A few stopped to talk with him, and the conversations seemed irenic. I sat close enough to hear most of the sermon, and wondered if the setting had parallels with first-century Jerusalem or Athens or Rome. I wondered how often Luther heard such public proclamations during his sixteenth-century wanderings through urban settings. I wondered if Shakespeare heard these kinds of sermons along the streets outside the Globe Theater in his day. The longer I sat, the more prompted I felt to write in my journal these ideas about days being filled with gods, much as Emerson wrote.

Waking this morning after a good night’s sleep, my first thoughts again were on “higher laws” (Thoreau’s words).

Coddled Eggs for Breakfast

Coddled Eggs for Breakfast

If I was going to spend the day grading, I at least deserved a decent breakfast before entering the grind. A few hours after breakfast, noticing that the sun was bright and temperatures were moderate, I decided to return to Sundance Square.

On my way into Starbucks for coffee (and grading!), I passed last night’s fountain, and found it full of people! What a way to wash away the heat, eh?

After grading another large chunk of essays, I packed my gear and decided to stroll downtown Fort Worth as I had the evening before. And like the evening before, the city streets seemed to be filled with gods. I drank in the sunshine, sat on shaded benches, scribbled in my journal, and took in the occasional shop. The day was a genuine delight.

Now, as night descends, I have finally finished the grading. I would be in a sour mood had I allowed the grading to fill up my entire weekend, leaving nothing for me to savor. I believe the breaks for Sundance Square strolling were a good decision. Many speak of stopping to smell the flowers; I just chose to stop and feel the gods filling the hours.

Thanks for reading.


6 Responses to “A Weekend Filled with Gods”

  1. certainline Says:

    Some good advice there – many thanks. Great that you got your work done and savoured the moment too.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you for reading. Today (Monday), I’m somewhat rested and glad that I found a way to mix some pleasure with the odious business of grading essays. Getting a good night’s sleep didn’t hurt either!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Myro Judd Says:

    I grew up in Texas, born in Houston. After we moved to California, the first thing I did was to change my speech, in the fourth grade I wanted people to understand my words. Reading your blog posts about going to street fairs and one day art shows lets me enjoy time in Texas without really being there. And amazingingly California has just as many street fairs and one man shows.


    • davidtripp Says:

      I am certain I would trade in my Texas environment for a California one in a heartbeat, if it were offered. I spent four days in L.A. a few years back, and really loved the surroundings. I still think of it frequently. I do enjoy the art shows when the weather cools (but it’s still hot in Texas, even in October) and envy anyone living in a climate that actually experiences autumn weather. It doesn’t happen here.


  3. Xraypics Says:

    How good to be able to spend time marking your students papers in Starbucks and beside a fountain. We don;t get many street-corner preachers here. I wonder how they would be received. We are about to enter a hot dry summer courtesy of el Nino and people are already beginning to talk about preparations for cyclones which may occur anytime between now and February next year. I had to look up Irenic – a word that sounded familiar but I couldn’t quite define. By coincidence my wife has just returned from a Bible study given by a rabbi correlating New and Old Testament using rabbinic law. Sounds fairly irenic to me too.


    • davidtripp Says:

      What fun to read your comments! Street preachers are very rare here as well–occasionally we get them outside of movie theaters (so immoral for Americans to watch R-rated films). I shudder to think of an environment that has to endure cyclones. As for “irenic”–I’m not sure why I chose that word, I hadn’t heard it since seminary days in the 1970’s, but there it is. I love words, and really appreciate others who take them seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

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