Junior

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It is nice, in this case that both Sr. and Jr. are notable, and a simple search reveals much. First, it reveals that you must specify Sr. to find him, as the world defaults to Jr. I am glad for this because I have always wondered about men who name their sons after themselves, and then append a label of sorts: Junior.

So, here we are today with a success from that misadventure. It is not always the case, however, that sons surpass their fathers. I am no junior, but am in a way. My own crudeness does perhaps surpass that of Dad, although he did tell that joke about catching a polar bear, and it is so funny and delightfully crude . . .

And, he was uneducated relative to me, at least formally. But, his wisdom? Well, I do aspire, and I am growing in that, may God help me.

His strength? Well, he was–going imperial here, not metric–6’3″ and a solid 230 lbs. at his most dense. All-American in multiple sports. An intimidating presence, and literally if the two of us were in proximity he would back over me and barely realize it, not that I walked around in his shadow. But he was large in many ways, and I am distinctly average in those same ways. I always told him that I could go places he simply could not go:) Yet, there are many kinds of strength, and I was undefeated as a wrestler back in the day.

His intelligence? Forget tests. I would win, but tests are a stupid metric. He had the ability to look at something huge and quickly grasp its quantity and quality with a striking degree of accuracy. It made him a fair living as a bidder for a construction company when he could look at the earth, and just know how much had to be moved to build a lake, or a highway. Later, he made a lot of money for a short time, doing the same with timber. He could look at a forested acreage and within minutes of walking around trees, he’d say X number of board feet. And he was right. So, wealthy men fronted him large sums of cash which he’d deposit into his own account. I was in his pickup truck with him once, when we went through the drive-through of a small town bank, and we deposited a check for one million dollars. It happened. Then he’d go to the land owner, the weathered old farmer who was ready to retire, and he’d write a check for those trees. And the farmer would later have his land still, and Dad would take the trees, give them to the rich guy, and walk away with a hefty commission from it.

Yeah, I can do that too, not with soil and trees so much as with ideas and concepts. I write of space-time as a tapestry made from a single loop of the finest silk, and weeks later I will read of loop quantum gravity in a marvelous book by Carlo Rovelli where he says he is writing as a world-renowned physicist, his words, ” to attempt to explain a world where space and time do not actually exist”. So, I got that from Dad and his earth and timber, and I take it into all of reality and beyond into the spirit.

And, thank God, it is in and within that spirit realm that Dad and I are really doing and saying and thinking the same thing. I am grateful. And it makes me laugh that I can make no money with it. I would not want to really, unless something or someone needed that money and I could just front them the cash for that need.

I am thinking about all of that always, but today as I think of the Juniors of the world it takes on that particular focus. I do focus, like the “laser focus of a sniper’s sight”, sometimes, but usually I just see it all. All the time, and beyond that time with its minuscule t. Not practical, no dollars there, but immensely rewarding, and I will not change. It is who I am. I am no junior, just another Waugh who covers it here in his paper.

But, those Juniors! What of our tiny king here in the U.S. who bestowed a “Jr.” upon his own son? Two of a kind, and that is good for them, not for us. It will all end soon enough, thank God, because that sort of thing is simply not sustainable, even with the reality of entropy in a fallen world. It will come down, and good will remain.

The Good that is beyond the quanta of the physical realm, even with its living soil and trees that talk through their root-wires and in waves of pheromones through the air, and with all of the stunning beauty around us with its inherent wonder–all of it is barely on the cusp of Truth, of a reality absolute and ever present and all-pervasive–it will fade away as a Junior relative. It is only a temporary, bestowed honor.

We, however, you and I, may walk as royalty into the beyond and we will greet the king, not as juniors in any sense at all, we will walk boldly to the throne. It is already here, all of that kingdom, that realm, and we will see more and more and more. Until we see it fully in the never-end.

Happy MLK, Jr. Day, everyone.