I thought I wouldn’t write tonight. I wouldn’t spare the 5 minutes because the hours before this deadline are ticking by so quickly. But I regret missing last week’s prompt, which was joy, because I may have literally missed joy last week. And so I came ready to be inspired, to be spoken to by the words and to pray for an otherworldly grace to flow out through the process of tapping these earth-scarred fingers. Sometimes that grace comes, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Today’s prompt is “bacon,” so I just knew no inspiration would come. All that comes to mind is the study that just came out this week about processed meats and cancer.
But bacon. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own thoughts that I forget about the simple pleasures in life. I have wracked my brain for the last 3 months preparing for this exam that will determine whether I can go forward to my degree. It is big; it is scary; it is daunting; it is necessary. It is sterile and cerebral and logical. And I had kind of forgotten that such things as bacon exist. Oven-baked maple bacon. Sweet, thick and chewy with just the right amount of crunch. Perfect for vacation, sitting with mountain views and French-pressed coffee and a day to explore nature. These days, I have been subsisting on a soup I made that I don’t really like. It’s what I have and it will sustain me, but it is not enjoyable. Much of my life feels utilitarian.
So tonight, even if I don’t have any bacon to eat, I’ll at least think about bacon. Tonight I’ll stay at my desk until I’ve sat here for 17 hours straight. I’ll fight the stress and anxiety and plain tiredness to focus. But I’ll drink deeply of aromatic “stress-relief” tea. I’ll breathe deeply of the crisp, fall night air on my walk to the car. Driving home I’ll sink deeply into a song with mesmerizing lyrics layering “Peace, be still” over lyrics of depression and worry. And I will know that these gifts of beauty and pleasure are all around me, given by a loving father who has everything else under control.