2007.04.04 Spring and All

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

I walked around the block today, pondering the meaning of Easter, which, even though the Biblical story is about the resurrection of a man (ahem, Man, I should say), it can also be considered a story of rebirth, right?

After all, the Bible recounts the death of Jesus and his rise from the grave as a beginning of a new relationship between man and his Creator. Or am I getting this all wrong?

I’ve been introspective lately. This is kind of an exciting juncture in my life.

My nephew, Johnny Five, is a spring baby. Or will be. My brother John and sister-in-law Stephanie went to the hospital this morning and doctors began inducing labor.

(I should note that I’m writing this on Monday evening).

For some reason, I thought induced labors were kind of like...expedited...labors, that they didn’t take as long as traditional “wait and wait and wait” childbirths. Boy was I ever wrong. The process started about 12 hours ago, and John just told me he doesn’t expect to see his son until the wee hours of the morning.

When I talked to him, Stephanie was waiting for an epidural, after which both she and John planned to nap. John had just finished a hearty dinner of two sandwiches from Panera bread, delivered by my mom.

“I smashed them,” he said. That’s our code for “I wolfed them down.”

“Oh yeah? What kind were they?”

“I don’t know,” said John. “You know the names of those things?”

“Yeah, man. I love that place.”

“One had bacon and turkey and was on big bread.”

“Bacon Turkey Bravo. What was the other one?”

“I don’t know. It had like roast beef and salami and some other meat on it.”

“Oh,” I said. “I don’t think I’ve had that one.”

“Ah.”

“Other than that, how are things?”

“They’re good, man. Things are going well,” he said.

“All right. Well I guess I’ll let you go,” I closed. “I love you.”

“Love you too, man.”

Springtime. Birth. Rebirth. The resurrection. The egg and the blossom. The rabbit. The Kora, who comes out of Hell and brings with her the warm season.

The spring archetypes are the happy archetypes. Things go south in the winter, but in spring, everything is almost good again.

I was up nearly all night last night, half-dreaming and half-hallucinating, pastoral pinks and blues and yellows flushing around behind my closed eyes, commingling occasionally to form a pleasant face or a vision:

—Darla the dog

—Sheets, fresh from the dryer, heaped on the kitchen table

—An elementary classmate’s turquoise shoe soles. I chased her.

—Worms glowing under a bridge base.

—A swaddled infant sleeping in the sun.

He was my brother Jamie. My mom said he wasn’t quite ripe when he came out, so she would set him atop a folded comforter in a laundry basket. She would place him in the square of sun that shone through the basement sliding door.

I think this is what the poet William Blake meant when he talked about the sublime—it’s what you feel when you have too many feelings to feel. You just kind of put your mind on autopilot and see what tricks it can pull on its own. Opium helped Blake “break down the doors of perception.” I don’t have his drug connections, so it’s a rare experience for me, coming usually after extended periods of excitement and sleep-deprivation. Like on Christmas Eve.

But last night was better than Christmas Eve. It was like Christmas Eve 2: Christmas Eve-er. Tonight, I suspect, could be even worse—Christmas Eve: With a Vengeance.

I mean, come on! It’s a baby! It’s spring! It’s Easter season! Ham is on the way!

We’re alive!

UPDATE—Stephanie gave birth to an eight pound, seven ounce baby Johnny Five a little before 8:30 this morning (Tuesday).

    – April 4, 2007
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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