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
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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