Monday, September 1, 2008

Ceiling Fixers

Our recent holiday in England was a refreshing change from the Greek and Mediterranean culture within which we normally live. We had considered going to a Greek island, but decided in the end that we needed a break from all things Hellenic. Not only did I enjoy being in a place where English is the first language, where cucumbers are not served with every meal and where “full English breakfast” is redundant, I was especially taken by the English-language newspapers which litter the London underground. Published daily and without direct cost, the papers are always on the seat next to one when traveling from one tube-stop to the next. Although in my adopted home-town of Athens, Greece, I get lots of English-language news via the Internet, it was great to indulge the inky feel of newsprint in my hands again.

We were somewhere on the Piccadilly Line, early one morning, en-route to a day of tourism and shopping. As the clogged underground railcar churned away through the dark holes of its route, I was reading the want-ads in one of the papers. I could dignify this exercise and report to you that I was doing research on economic conditions in Great Britain, but the truth is, I was bored; I had read everything else in the paper, including the society pages’ unending reports of Peaches Geldoff’s recent, perhaps impulsive, marriage to a new friend in the United States.

I found one classified ad particularly interesting. It was an advert for “ceiling fixers.” I can only assume that these are “drywall” people who “tape and float” sheetrock or its equivalent and who repair damaged ceilings in home make-overs. At any rate, there is apparently a great need for these people at the moment in the greater London area.

Ah, there seems always a pressing need for people who can powerfully fabricate ceilings and thus, limit the potential of other human beings! We have heard about the glass ceiling, but we also know that there are many other kinds of ceilings forced on the human spirit. Intended by God to soar, sinister and self-serving social forces often restrict the upward flight of humanity and hold its feet too close to the ground. The stale air and vested interests of “normalcy,” the suffocating vacuum of repressive authority and the damning downward force of unquestioned allegiance to tradition can easily suck the air from aspiration. Lacking the enervating and enlarging, heaven-bound wind currents and natural updrafts so readily available in the upper stratosphere, so many so easily have their dreams extinguished by socially imposed “ceilings.”

I am certain that I want to spend my life helping others to break through restrictive "ceilings," rather than repairing them and keeping people "down!"

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