This week a music student sat on my guitar, my twelve-string Simon & Patrick. The soundboard, the rosette, the bridge and the saddle … all BUSTED! And this got me to thinking … about myself … about my foibles … my sins so to speak.
The SEVEN DEADLY SINS (pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust) were a Christian classification of vices that was especially popular during the 14th Century. (I remind the reader that Chaucer, for whom my weekly CHAUCERIAN PARADE is named after, died in 1400.)
PRIDE is thought to be the original and the most severe transgressions of the seven deadly. Essentially, PRIDE is the belief that you are essentially better than others. This, for me is true, to a point, especially when I’m compelled to work in a group.
I’ve been a swimming instructor and a scuba diver. I still love to downhill ski in the mountains. I’ve run a few marathons and dozens of half-marathons. I’ve had magazine articles published (on scuba diving and downhill skiing), and two books published, one fiction, and one non-fiction. I’ve a Master’s Degree. I teach at the university. I am tall, dark, and handsome.
I could go on … but I won’t.
ENVY is to feel jealousy toward someone’s traits, abilities, and rewards. I know there is always someone better looking than I; there is always someone better talented than I; and there is always someone making better coin than I.
Am I envious of these others? Yes I am. I used to be jealous of the hockey skills of my brother-in-law, Larry Hornung, who played in the NHL (NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE), and those of my friend and line mate, Larry Hopfner, who played in the NHL (NOTEKEU HOCKEY LEAGUE). I am now jealous of the guitar skills of my new band mate, Darren of PHANTOM TIDE, who is a guitar virtuoso and a GUITAR LUTHIER!
WRATH is to express feelings of rage and anger. I’ve got this one under control. Even when that G^##&*% bull-in-a-China-shop student sat on my Simon & Patrick, I had this one under control.
SLOTH is usually defined as physical laziness. This is NOT me. And like the sin previous, I’ve got this one under control. I’m up at five o’clock every morning reading blogs; I’m in the weight room around six o’clock; I’m in my counseling office before 8:30. Every Monday evening I teach at the university; every Thursday evening I gig with the GRAND TRUNK TROUBADOURS (a community service band). On every sunny summer day I go busking (for a cause).
GREED is the pursuit of material possessions, money included. I will admit that I like nice things. I like my upscale downtown apartment. I like my Acura ILX. I like to buy expensive white shirts, long-sleeved with collars. I like to buy expensive black shirts, cowboy gothics. I’d like to purchase a $600 SEAGULL twelve-string guitar. I am greedy and I know it … clap your hands.
GLUTTONY is the over-indulgence and over-consumption, excessive desire for food. This is NOT me, save for JALEPENO & CHEDDER NACHOS or RED LICORICE or VANILLA ICE CREAM or THAI food or ITALIAN SANDWICHES or AMERICANO COFFEE (decaf).
(Attempting to suppress, so far, six deadly sins, I shall remind myself of the EGO DEPLETION THEORY. The EGO DEPLETION THEORY is the suggestion that self-control (willpower) is drawn from a limited oasis of mental resources, and when one has drunk the oasis dry, one’s self-control will, too, be drained. The EGO DEPLETION THEORY suggests that the harder we work to suppress our desires, the less likely we will succeed at suppressing further desires. In other words, the energy it takes to refrain from one deadly sin makes it more likely to succumb to the next deadly sin, and the energy exerted to refrain from that deadly sin makes it more likely to succumb to the next … and so on down the line. Resisting temptation after temptation after temptation proves difficult and, therefore according to the EGO DEPLETION THEORY, the next deadly sin, LUST, should be tough to resist.)
LUST is the intense desire for amours. Yes, dear readers, by the time I’ve resisted the previous six sins (to a point), LUST will be the ultimate test.
According to song-and-dance Parisian, Maurice Chevalier, I should never lust over someone under half my age plus 7 … but really … what does Maury know?
Should I ever succumb I would want someone zaftig. I would want someone juicy, luscious, and voluptuous. I would want a bomb girl, a bomb girl who is chary.
According to DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, such thoughts are not unhealthy, as long as these thoughts are not in excess.
According to SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, acting on such thoughts will no doubt create a difficult social scenario.
According to 14th Century Christians, we all have our inner angels and demons guiding our conscience.
According to EGO DEPLETION, the more times we follow the bidding of our inner angels, the more tempting it is to follow the bidding of our inner demons.
Alas … re-reading this introspective essay of my sinning reveals that I am delusional. In reality I am but an aged, addlepated busker ...
and there is nothing wrong with that!
- To close, I've but one person marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week. My son, Travers, has just returned from Kabul, Afghanistan, where he'd been studying the effects of war these past thirty days.