I never took note of how many circular objects you can encounter in a day. It can start the moment that you get out of bed…for me it is taking my walker (circular handles) to the bathroom and brushing my teeth. Circular toothpaste tube, toothbrush handle…the hair accessories such as mousse, hairspray–I finally resolved my shampoo and conditioner bottles had to contain the pump lid or I didn’t purchase it.
Then you enter the kitchen: cups, retrieving coffee creamers or my water bottle from the refrigerator, medicine bottles (specifically a big container of Miralax that seems to enjoy being dropped to the floor,) my special utensil handles, the coffee pot handle (mugs included) and many food itemed jars or containers. Let’s not forget to mention food…even just a few minutes ago it was my sweet potato. You have handles on the stair railings, my painting tubes and paintbrushes, and even the mouse that is battery connected to my laptop. This is just a few things in my house…the list can go on, even down to the Communion cups at church (someday it will be impossible for me to hold one of those without spilling!)
Psalm 150 describes praise to God: praise Him in all things and for all things. You can praise God with your life in many ways, but the psalmist goes on to describe musical instruments, in which can be a mode of how you make a joyful noise to the Lord (in praise): verses 3-6
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
I’ve never been one to consider clanging, or loud clashing, of cymbals to be melodious. And it is not my intentions to have problems grasping circular objects either. It comes as the numbness in the hands increases. Numbness makes it not only weak in grasp, but my fingers to be slippery as well. [The same for my feet: if I am barefoot and standing on carpet, my feet will slide. It is very strange.] In all this, there are some days when the hands just can’t seem to get it right and I spend most of it sounding like a parade of clanging cymbals.
I think by now my parents are used to the excess noise. However, there are a few times in the mornings where they check in to reaffirm that all is well. In these cases, especially the ones where my hands can’t seem to hold the mousse or hairspray bottles, I think of the Muppet’s character–Dr. Teeth. In Jim Henson’s The Muppet Movie (1979), Fozzy Bear and Kermit the Frog first meet the Electric Mayhem in a Presbyterian church. In their rock and roll fashion, the band doesn’t see the visitors until their song is over, to then Dr. Teeth acknowledges: “Our gentle morning melodies has attracted wandering admirers.” Some morning, I might have to quote this. 🙂
Because I am deaf, I don’t hear the volume of loudness or crashing dialects when items fall out of my hands. But since I have an imagination, I perceive that they do not all sound alike based on heaviness and materiel make. In saying such, I was startled to find that my “morning melodies” did not cause Mom’s appearance to the kitchen at a faster rate. In dropping items, it normal to have my inner independent pride state phrases as, “I got it!” so it is known that I am fine. If Mom heard the noise, she had every right to assume that I had the situation controllable…which in this one, I did not.
I had been rummaging through my pantry shelf when I discovered a hidden jar of instant decaf coffee pushed to the deepest back corner. Retrieving it, I picked it up (with the right hand) by the lid (Yes, a very silly error on my part!) About middle to the shelf opening I reach my left hand in to help hold the bottom of the jar and fully retrieve it. All happening so quickly, my right hand slips and in doing so, the lid pops open. Trying to save a mess, I fumble with the open jar, but alas, it crashes down–taking with it the remains of instant decaf coffee beans. It just about covered the food and picnic style items we store there on the last few shelves of the pantry. Somehow it got a circular coffee bean slogan on my shirt and all over the floor as the jar (which resemble glass) finally touches ground. (Did I mention that morning I was barefoot?)
I stood, did a little “gasp” then muttered,”Oops,” with a little giggle–though at this point I am contemplating two things: Mom’s reaction and how I am going to clean the mess. My phone was with my walker a few feet over, so I could not text Mom. I didn’t think the story was one for a Lifeline call, so I didn’t press the button. I wouldn’t want to start their morning with this kind of conversation:
Operator-“Melinda? Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I just spilled my coffee.”
Still no Mom, but I was still apprehending the conditions and not really trying harder to get her attention. I suppose I could have just tried blurting out her name, but there I stood, motionless and bewildered. And that’s how Mom finds me when she finally entered the kitchen. One look at me and she bursts into laughter. Laughter…it puts me at ease and I can finally laugh myself without guilty thoughts of finding the situation a little hilarious. Mom gets the vacuum cleaner and the clean up begins; she didn’t inquire about the happenings, though I told her the story anyway.
As much as I try my best, there are some days when my body just can’t seem to get things right. It resembles morning melodies much like a clashing cymbal, so vastly different from the boldness of trumpets, the soothing lure and harp, or graceful dancers that I could desire it to be. And while everything around me clashes simultaneously, I stand motionless, bewildered as if apprehending my current and future state for the first time. But I am not. It has been years of journeying to be able to reaffirm that in all things, God has something greater in sight; to say this doesn’t make me a hero, it makes me vulnerable..because all I currently see is the remains of spilled instant decaf coffee.
Praise isn’t just the simple morning melodies. It’s a trust–and every time a little more of what remains is taken, God says, “Do you trust me?” It is now up to me to decide.