FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Sundays and Sins.


by Dave Markwell

My daughter is a homebody. On another gray Sunday morning, after I fulfilled her very specific breakfast requests (demands), she crawled back into the snuggly little cave of blankets on her bed, abandoning the previous plan (again, demand) that we go look at new living room furniture. She loves being tucked into her cozy and toasty cocoon of fuzzy blankets and pillows. I don’t blame her. I love this, too.

Now, to be fair, she also likes adventures and events and exploration. But, on a chilly, wet, Sunday morning, she understands that these things can wait and her bedroom is a pretty nice place to be.

I get this. I have traveled, tested, and flirted with (and sometimes met) disaster. I have spent plenty of time away from home and comfort. I am always happy to return. Nowadays, I am pretty content to sit on my deck and watch the freighters drift on by.

And, returning home following a day spent scratching and clawing and creating a life, a cold beer on the arm of a deck chair is a fine reward for a season spent paying for a life of sins. Now, my sins haven’t been hell-worthy, in any biblical sense, merely subtle crimes against those didn’t deserve them, probably including myself.

If crimes against ourselves are hell-worthy, I suspect I’ll have plenty of company on the southbound train. We are a self-destructive species. We undermine our own joy and potential through unnecessary and unfair self-criticism and expectations. These may be the most potent and destructive sins we can manifest.

Other sins are not so bad. Sins happen. And I rather enjoy many of them. Billy Joel called it right, “Sinners have much more fun…” I get this. So long as no one gets hurt, a little sin adds some color to an often drab palate. It’s necessary to our spirits to stretch and be uncomfortable and not conform to whatever expectations are placed on us, by others and ourselves. We need to feel free. Sin provides a vehicle for expressing things that need to be expressed.

Sins happen for a reason. We need to get “it” out. And, since there’s “more room out than in”…out it goes. And, I’m ok with this. I will endure the spiritual knuckle-cracks with the ruler as penance for those moments I cross the ever-shifting line between right and wrong. We usually don’t see this line until we’ve passed it. We can then shake our head and pledge to do better next time, as we smile inside, feeling alive.

This feeling is the “Why?” of life. Mark Twain wrote: “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” This feeling of aliveness is the “why”. It inspires and reminds and warms us. It is swimming in the calm, blue waters of “alive” that we know we are living. Being certain that the bottomless ocean of life is our ally and will not drown us delivers peace and liberation and motivation to keep swimming as we look up to the sun and sky, and feel grateful for all of it…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the new Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.


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