Finding Thursday

I need Courage

Some days seem to get more attention than others: Monday because everyone groans about going back to work; Wednesday because it’s “Hump Day” and Friday gets its own acronym, TGIF. The weekend gets major attention because it is, well, THE WEEKEND! Whoohoo! Sleep in. Party. Shop. The good stuff.

What’s left are Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday does get somewhat overlooked because it’s just the bridge to Wednesday, the day we can feel like we reached the peak of the week and it’s down hill from there.

Except that it isn’t. We run headlong into Thursday and realize the week is far from over and we’re just beginning to feel the burn in our legs. Thursday becomes the day to “just get through”. Grit your teeth, ignore that blister forming on your left foot. Don’t look up because there is a steep grade ahead and you can’t see the top. It’s the last mile of the marathon you tell yourself. Thursday doesn’t inspire us, it resists us.

We want to get to Friday and coast to “THE WEEKEND”. Consequently, Thursday gets little attention. It’s like driving through a rough neighborhood. Roll up the windows, lock the doors. Don’t stop for lights if you don’t have to. Don’t look around, you might see something you don’t want to see.

Perhaps this is why we don’t find songs written in tribute to Thursday. No one likes to be reminded that the work week is still two days from over. It reminds me of the old prayer of the hung over drinker: “Lord get me through this and I promise I’ll get through the next one on my own.”

I did find one song by the group, The Weekend, titled “Thursday” which I think is about anticipating hooking up with a girlfriend on Thursday. I will say it has a kind of anguished, languid sadness that matches the feeling of Thursday. Then there’s the band called “Thursday” known as, “ one of the key bands of the metalcore/screamo, alternative indie, genre”, according to wikipedia.

Other than these artistic renderings, it seems Thursday is pretty much overlooked in the musical world. It gets so little attention on our race to TGIF and THE WEEKEND.

When I started thinking about Thursday, this past Thursday, it occurred to me that as a world we have reached our own “Thursday”. We are not really looking around much. We just want to get past this virus that continues to disrupt our lives. We want to be over all the racial tensions. We long for closeness and kisses from our families. We want to embrace our friends. We want a good meal in a restaurant. Youth wants to get together and do what youth does, up close and personal. Sports fans want their games. Music fans want their concerts. Parents want their children to go to school. Please!!!

The problem is, wanting is not enough. We have to take Thursday seriously. We can’t get to TGIF and a restorative weekend until we find the courage to help Thursday with all its inequalities, its injustices, its poverty, its divisions, its anger, and its pain.

In the past, society has sought external answers: welfare, food stamps, more police, a war on drugs, stop and frisk, mass incarcerations, stand your ground, background checks, deportations, Title I, Title IX, even a wonderful program like Head Start. All of these and many more, collectively or separately, have not fully gotten us past Thursday. This is because the answers we have tried come from wanting to hurry past Thursday and get to where we can relax and not think about our problems.

Thursday is a tough day to reckon with. We are tired from the first days of the week’s demands. But just like in a race we have to extract the untapped strength in ourselves to run that last mile. We have to find the will to call out our leaders when they tell blatant lies, or seek to set us against each other, or keep us from voting. We have to find the courage to stay the course, to not hurry to Friday and the weekend. If we don’t, we will be in the same place next week come Thursday, trying to not see what is going on around us and mortgaging our souls to drink a favorite beverage and pretend that we are all just fine.

The genesis for this essay today came from a poem I wrote. I share it with you here in the hope that it amplifies, in the way only poetry can, the challenges we face in this pandemic and era of great social change.

FINDING THURSDAY

I found Thursday

Out walking one summer night.

Thursday had on a purple jacket

Perhaps out of habit.

Maybe there was no closet

To hang it in.

Thursday was tall.

Taller than the other days

But rather too thin.

Maybe the food was gone

By Thursday

Eaten by the previous days.

Thursday said, “I’m feeling weak”

I handed Thursday a sandwich.

“I don’t need food. I need courage”

“People count on me, you see”

I didn’t see.

I felt stupid.

I never really understood Thursday.

Always in a hurry to get to Friday.

TGIF

How could I have been blind to

Thursday for so long?

What have I missed?

I must do better.

I still have time.

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