Moments in Between by Maria Fokas
There is a correctional facility behind these walls, and the lot beside it, has another facility; a high school. And I think about to what extent the latter is responsible for the former’s existence. Or is it the responsibility of the parents to keep those cells empty? Well, one could say if they are responsible for bringing up doctors, lawyers and teachers – thinkers, artists and builders – inventors, storytellers and the nurse who will hold your hand in your darkest moments, then yes, they are also responsible for a few cells in such facilities.
There is a church a few meters down that street. How much of the blame would you say that such a facility should take credit for those cells? Many churches offer daily meals to the homeless, as well as to the families who do have a home, but can’t feed their children. There are priests yearning to assist by putting food in the mouths of the less fortunate ones, and there are priests who assist by offering you their time for confession. Then, there is fasting, which creates cognitive dissonance; a theory that claims, if you commit a negative act, and then find a way to do good, you can erase that act from your conscience, and balance is restored. Do you think if fasting didn’t exist, maybe some Orthodox and Catholics would be better Christians? I’ve been told I can’t get communion unless I fast. And I wonder, not even if I spend that whole month doing good to those who Jesus said we should take care of?
I took a trip to the Vatican a few years back, and was overwhelmed by the wealth. The ceiling seemed to touch the sky, with endless pieces of art work from wall to wall and ceiling to ceiling. I wondered how much they pay for heating and lights annually, and who pays for it all. Am I sinful? And then I wondered about famine in the 21st century, and of course the homeless. There are many paths to choose from in the beginning of one’s life, actually at any point in one’s life. There is always a choice which will lead you to where you want to be or condemn you to be chained in a place you never imagined you’d end up in.
We all want a better life, and we hope democracy will find a way. So we vote for a better future, and hope that new blood in office will change what had been put in motion a time before them. And we believe in the promises they make. Not because we are naive but because we see no other way for things to get better. We decide to be positive because the alternative is unbearable.
And then I ask myself what’s the point of it all? So what, how I choose to live my life. It will not make a difference either way. And then I notice a tree, planted in front of that wall. Look closely and you will see it too. The people who planted it – I wondered about them, and their ways. Maybe they had dreams – never conquered, or maybe their dream was to plant trees. And if the latter is true; what a success story – to have captured the moment, and then take pleasure in knowing what you did that day, would be there after you were gone – to contribute even after you are gone would surely put a smile on anybody’s face. And then it all fell into place –
Maybe we take the beginning and the ending too seriously, when in fact, what matters is the moments in between.