• relatively •

When in church, as a kid, if my mom couldn’t get me to sit still, in the pew beside her, she would cross her arms and pinch a piece of me with her vise-like crab claws (you know, the tender part of that ‘turkey flesh’ between your armpit and your elbow), and then, she’s give it a mighty twist. Glory be, did that ever hurt! She’d be sitting there, singing as prettily as you please, and all that time, she would be putting a fire in my flesh, with her goat-hooks, like Beelzebub, in a pillbox hat.

I often think: if I had only had the communication skills, back then, that I do now, why, when my mom told me to ‘sit still’, in church, I could have said, so very politely, “But, mother, I can’t sit still, you see, for the simple reason that it is an impossibility, as I, you, and everyone, and everything in the universe, are always in motion, relative to something else. It’s just the nature of the big wide world, mother, dear, and I am one with it. You see?” And then, I would bat my enormous eyelashes in her general vicinity.

And then, when we got home from church, I would have received a well-deserved beating. (She’d make dad do it.) Now, that’s what I call relativity.

~ Tim Burchfield



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