Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Keillor wrote in his latest book about an idealized world where people take care of one another (he called it St. Paul:) (Jan Karon calls it Mitford:) (and he attributed it to a society of Democrats, of course:). That "taking care of" aspect of relationship always interests me. It brings me back to my Grandma Cora whom I still see in the headlights of my former little red pickup, waving farewell to her granddaughter and her husband, smiling and yelling earnestly, "Take care [she pronounced it Keer] of each other, okay? Okay?" Her bright head of celestial white hair shone out. She waved over and over like a child.

It was a searing image and moment, and the "taking care of" aspect became a loving grandmother's wise edict, and a litnus test of love forevermore.

So, yesterday, a Dillards salesgirl unknowingly became a lit lamp, revealing that the Divine takes care of his own in some way or another. I'm still smiling over the encounter.

My daughter and I were purchasing earrings, when the sales girl noticed my daughter's school t-shirt and asked what year she was in, and then said, "I know it doesn't seem like it now, but it's almost over for you. You'll look back and it will have been like no time at all. Do you have Mr. ____ as your principal? He's really sweet and caring, much better than any of the others." She had graduated in '03. It was amazing. She spoke directly into the heart of the current struggle. I felt like calling her later to tell her, "You have no idea how God spoke through your words." Maybe I'll stop by her counter before too long to thank her and let her know how she was used for a higher purpose. Maybe I'll pray for her and for help during her struggles.

I love God's active care and audible affirmations which makes me feel calmed and humbled by his powerful beams of love.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Returning home, we encountered some expected words from the school, from the grandmother, from the daughter, and then a note. And, so, we're waiting given the words that were written in haste and defiance. It's quite difficult to allow a child the freedom to be exceedingly vulnerable. All I could think of were the stories of women who've entered my life who were transparent enough to reveal that they too struck out, they too experienced, they too became needful of God's hands and words. I entrust all to you, dear God. Please protect.

One of my women friends is writing a book from a mother's perspective, which she's allowed me to edit when I have time. Within it, I'm allowed the glimpse of what might happen and what to do and how to bend to the process. I've had to integrate this several times already. Now, I'm prepared to do the work, yet, of course, it feels uncertain and, underneath, sad.

Last night, I went out with three women friends to a restaurant and musical coffee shop. It helped to continue on. Taking care of oneself, while devoting yourself to the obligation, is supposed to be best. Fretting and stewing only compounds the wintery mix.

Today, I will wait. Seems like many of us live in the ambiguity of process, transition, gaining awareness, waiting.

I turned to Romans 14 this morning which begins with the worthy verse: "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters". Acceptance for where a person is can extend to daughters. Lord, stretch your arms in this fold, please.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Not as many interesting words today in Arkansas. A wind, yes, a wind! I think we may have a tornado watch here tonight, but in the hotel, we live in a fake time zone without our belongings around us that we have to catch and capture before they rupture out the window.

Because my husband is still unfortunately sick, I went out to give him peace and shopped. The words in a department store are decidedly streamlined for regulated response: "Hello. How are you today? Is there anything I can help you with?"

"No, I'm just looking."

I felt depressed walking around, looking at bad clothing on the 75% off rack, wondering why I wasn't reading in a coffee shop, worrying that I looked like the rich, bored ladies who have the lost-luggage faces. All the shopping words were clipped, damaged bringing no sign of vitality to the participants.

Finally, I just decided to drive and explore more streets which I did as I listened to some more Keillor, whom my friend used to see walk by his apartment porch all the time in St. Paul. The chapters I listened to made me think of my friend V and an old debate we get into all the time at our book club meetings. She is incredulous that a 'born again' Christian (she spits out the phrase 'born again', because Catholics like herself don't see the need, and because Pat Roberston and others have used such phraseology for division purposes) could be a Democrat. (Although, I've tended mostly to be a critic of both parties -- a type of unfortunate noncommital in a way which I'm seeing more harm in.)

V and I love each other, hug, dialogue, debate with emotions, and walk away saying, "Don't change, but if you do, I'll still love you!" She's a liberal 64 year old, punching theatrical sort who embraces life and ideas with passion. I'm quite blessed to know and enjoy her.

Anyway, the book reminded me of our ongoing debate which caused me to write her today at length. Words more words began to happen. One day, I'll die (maybe tomorrow), and there won't be any more. I really do like them.

Well, my husband, who is still sick, and still out of it, poor guy, -- he even thanked the vending machine today when it remitted his candy -- has asked me to silence the typing of the words.

Shhhhh... too many words! is that even possible?....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"An Arkansas man's invention ... it's a waterfall in your fireplace at the touch of a remote!"
"Are dry counties really dry? Our report shows that over 700 liquor licenses have been granted in these dry counties."

All day long, words have dropped their precious or irrelevant seeds all around me, like the just heard above words from the Little Rock CBS affiliate's news broadcast. It began early on the dark forested road leaving my parents' secluded farm when, heading South with a sick husband as passenger, I inserted Garrison Keillor's velvety voice as he read his book "Home Grown Democrat". Luscious, plump vocabulary, made me laugh, made me question and accept his liberalism, made me think about the power of words to be strung together for this or that argument, for either side. Like many, I've been an admirer of Keillor's Prairie Home Companion; it was first brought to my attention by a fellow Christian college friend, who just wanted expansiveness in both language and ideas combined with the nostalgia of recalling the individual that matters in a story. I discovered that I needed that too. Twenty some years later, still enjoying that voice, particularly that fishing with the language lure for that snag! catch! feast!

Then upon arriving in Little Rock, I dropped the ill worker off at his building, and drove down Markham Street (the most gratifying street ever because it connects all and surprises you at night with a road's edge Lutheran church stained glass window Christ reaching out to you, even you, on a false road) and found the Clinton library.

There, with techno doublewideness, words sprayed everywhere in each booth. The words of politics, Mandela, Americorps, takes a village, health care for all, deficit reduction, Chemical Weapons Convention, impeachment, acquittal, forgiveness of third world debt, AIDS, crystal glass Christmas tree, saxophone, new beginnings, Starr report, legacy.

It's quite luxurious to be in this well of words right now, in the hills, in the city, off Markham, with Bill, G, and the windowed Christ. I can hardly wait to hear what tomorrow brings!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


years of anger following
hours that float idly down --
the blizzard
drifts its weight
deeper and deeper for three days
or sixty years, eh? Then
the sun! a clutter of
yellow and blue flakes --
Hairy looking trees stand out
in long alleys
over a wild solitude.
The man turns and there --
his solitary track stretched out
upon the world.

William Carlos Williams

Thoughts of snow in the air as the Northeast luxuriates (thrashes) in a bounty of it. I love the images in Williams' poetry: the mix of earth / spirit in a clasp. Our snow garcon has become a petite fille, a small girl with a delicate waist and an upturned nose. Soon, she will spill over, being vulnerable in air. I've grown to love her, like my cats, and I wonder why does love travel to temporary uncertain things so easily?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Something significant stopped this week. Something I didn't expect but consciously chose when the time came. Something that was once incredibly important but became little by little tiring, uninspiring, inconvenient.

I stopped going to my women's ministry meetings at church. Last 'semester', I led a book club and participated in the core leader's group, but this semester, with the travel to Little Rock and the conscious burrowing into parenting teen obligations at a tricky time, I withdrew. Wow, unbelievable: withdrawn from women's ministry, their issues, faces, exploration, transparency (in some cases), friendship.

But after six years of serving there, I feel nostalgic but ... liberated. I can travel more with my husband, focus on the friends I have, spend more time with my children before the big change happens, hunker into my running or guitar. Yes, unashamedly, this feels good. Although community is important, it can come in various ways or seasons.

Confession: I'm not sad, or ready to admit it.
The snow garcon still liveth! I see him standing straight in a bare lawn of greening winter grass; he looks forlorn, yet determined. The day is a 38-er; he should be au-revoiring soon. He's a sight because he wasn't there earlier this week, and now he liveth, and we comment upon his weight loss, and his fluttery scarf, and his scaring the crouching cat who sniffed at his arm sticks. Soon, he'll be off to le maison, his home, his own mere and pere.

My daughter and I were talking last night as we finished a 1000 piece puzzle how it is sad that our two week Europe trip is over. That was in June, this is February. We felt nostalgic or resentful about the new group that's going in June with the fun teachers who plan an amazing trip with a delightful English tour guide named Albert. For both of us, the trip exceeded expectations -- her, for shopping, sights, old friendship -- me, for sights, senses, new friendship. Europe, wow, I'm still reeling with the amazement that I actually went. I always think of the Arc d'Triumph as the heighth of this feeling. We ran up the steps and were struck by the beauty of the Champs Elysses below in the night sky, gleaming. I stared and stared and couldn't get enough. So far from the Ozarks, so far from the cul-de-sac.

Well, the new group will go and will experience the same awe. I will be glad for them, I will try to be glad for them, I will be crying in happiness for them, I will ask for forgiveness ....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Which one do you think is the cutest?" asked Cody. Hmmmm... the one that doesn't have leaves and bald cypress ferns mushed into its body? Or, the one whose mother taught him to stand up straight? I'm not sure, but one will be around tomorrow while the other one travels off to Paris shortly. I'd better be political in my answer.

Whence cometh divine flakes which floateth into my eyeball at early dawn? I believe that running in snow or warm rain tops most sublife experiences I typically have. I mean I should have been between flannel sheets at six a.m. this morning, leading the unexplored, nonnationalgeographic life of routine and nonexposure instead of throwing myself down a silent cul-de-sac (into the Arctic wilds of snow-emblazoned utility boxes and driveways) in a silent, breathful pace. Should have been in bed. I've never been too sensible. However, once out, it truly was worth it to experience that joy in being in the raw, on the fringe of society in which Nature reasserts itself as the conduit of what is elementally good. Nothing else can imposter this. (Annie Dillard examines both the positive and the cruel in nature in her wonderful book "Pilgrim on Tinker Creek.")

When I was younger, on my parents' farm, I always needed to escape the small home where we lived, and, so I would go on woods walks all the time. (One time in junior high, I even brought a copy of Wordsworth to this amazing clearing by cedars and mossy big rocks -- I can still see it now -- and at one point, I felt that old transcendental surge -- or perhaps it was the holySpirit swoosh -- or perhaps it was the recollection of prebirth, or prelapsarian life -- or Pan -- or psychological respite -- anyway it was real enough then to recall the tingle of it even now.) But, snow woods walking was extremely memorable: the tracks, the sounds within the silence, the unfamiliar familiar, the perfect icing on a log, the accentuated movement of the dark creek. It was all so beautiful. Although we never traveled, I felt faraway in another space and time where a poor hill girl was invited with flourish.

So this morning, heading out into the snow for a four miler, those old feelings rushed back and made me inspired to once again notice and be a participant and be grateful for the open invitation.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I lifted the following from another blog (Bridget Jones Goes to Seminary) because they deserve to be passed on.

Please read these words of Bono as he addresses a faith breakfast in Washington, DC earlier this week. May they serve to both capture our hearts to God and set them free to love God's world.

If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.

Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.

Well, I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural...something unseemly...about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the south of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert...but this is really weird, isn't it?

You know, one of the things I love about this country is its separation of church and state. Although I have to say: in inviting me here, both church and state have been separated from something else completely: their mind.

Mr. President, are you sure about this?

It's very humbling and I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned - I'm Irish.

I'd like to talk about the laws of man, here in this city where those laws are written. And I'd like to talk about higher laws. It would be great to assume that the one serves the other; that the laws of man serve these higher laws...but of course, they don't always. And I presume that, in a sense, is why you're here.

I presume the reason for this gathering is that all of us here - Muslims, Jews, Christians - all are searching our souls for how to better serve our family, our community, our nation, our God.

I know I am. Searching, I mean. And that, I suppose, is what led me here, too.

Yes, it's odd, having a rock star here - but maybe it's odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was...well, a little blurry, and hard to see.

I remember how my mother would bring us to chapel on Sundays... and my father used to wait outside. One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.

For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land...and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment...

I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.
Even though I was a believer.
Perhaps because I was a believer.
I was cynical...not about God, but about God's politics. (There you are, Jim.)

Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick - my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world's poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord's call - and were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from an Irish half-Catholic's point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.

'Jubilee' - why 'Jubilee'?

What was this year of Jubilee, this year of our Lord's favor?

I'd always read the scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)...
'If your brother becomes poor,' the scriptures say, 'and cannot maintain shall maintain him.... You shall not lend him your money at interest, not give him your food for profit.'

It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he's met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he's a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn't done much...yet. He hasn't spoken in public before...

When he does, is first words are from Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,' he says, 'because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.' And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favour, the year of Jubilee (Luke 4:18).

What he was really talking about was an era of grace - and we're still in it.

So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate - in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn't a bless-me club... it wasn't a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions...making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people.
But then my cynicism got another helping hand.

It was what Colin Powell, a five-star general, called the greatest W.M.D. of them all: a tiny little virus called AIDS. And the religious community, in large part, missed it. The ones that didn't miss it could only see it as divine retribution for bad behaviour. Even on children...even [though the] fastest growing group of HIV infections were married, faithful women.

Aha, there they go again! I thought to myself judgmentalism is back!

But in truth, I was wrong again. The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age.

Love was on the move.

Mercy was on the move.

God was on the move.

Moving people of all kinds to work with others they had never met, never would have cared to meet...conservative church groups hanging out with spokesmen for the gay community, all singing off the same hymn sheet on moms and quarterbacks...hip-hop stars and country stars. This is what happens when God gets on the move: crazy stuff happens!

Popes were seen wearing sunglasses!

Jesse Helms was seen with a ghetto blaster!

Crazy stuff. Evidence of the spirit.

It was breathtaking. Literally. It stopped the world in its tracks.

When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened - and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even - that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying...on AIDS and global health, governments listened - and acted.

I'm here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world.
Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.

Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone.

I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill. I hope so. He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff. Maybe, maybe not. But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.

God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places."
It's not a coincidence that in the scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times. It's not an accident. That's a lot of air time, 2,100 mentions. (You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor.) 'As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40). As I say, good news to the poor.

Here's some good news for the president. After 9/11 we were told America would have no time for the world's poor. America would be taken up with its own problems of safety. And it's true these are dangerous times, but America has not drawn the blinds and double-locked the doors.

In fact, you have doubled aid to Africa. You have tripled funding for global health. Mr. President, your emergency plan for AIDS relief and support for the Global Fund - you and Congress - have put 700,000 people onto life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and provided 8 million bed nets to protect children from malaria.

Outstanding human achievements. Counterintuitive. Historic. Be very, very proud.

But here's the bad news. From charity to justice, the good news is yet to come. There is much more to do. There's a gigantic chasm between the scale of the emergency and the scale of the response.

And finally, it's not about charity after all, is it? It's about justice.

Let me repeat that: It's not about charity, it's about justice.

And that's too bad.
Because you're good at charity. Americans, like the Irish, are good at it. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can't afford it.

But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

Sixty-five hundred Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity, this is about justice and equality.
Because there's no way we can look at what's happening in Africa and, if we're honest, conclude that deep down, we really accept that Africans are equal to us. Anywhere else in the world, we wouldn't accept it. Look at what happened in South East Asia with the tsunami. 150,000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, "mother nature." In Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it's a completely avoidable catastrophe.

It's annoying but justice and equality are mates. Aren't they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain.

You know, think of those Jewish sheep-herders going to meet the Pharaoh, mud on their shoes, and the Pharaoh says, "Equal?" A preposterous idea: rich and poor are equal? And they say, "Yeah, 'equal,' that's what it says here in this book. We're all made in the image of God."

And eventually the Pharaoh says, "OK, I can accept that. I can accept the Jews - but not the blacks."
"Not the women. Not the gays. Not the Irish. No way, man."

So on we go with our journey of equality.

On we go in the pursuit of justice.

We hear that call in the ONE Campaign, a growing movement of more than 2 million Americans...Left and Right together... united in the belief that where you live should no longer determine whether you live.
We hear that call even more powerfully today, as we mourn the loss of Coretta Scott King - mother of a movement for equality, one that changed the world but is only just getting started. These issues are as alive as they ever were; they just change shape and cross the seas.

Preventing the poorest of the poor from selling their products while we sing the virtues of the free market...that's a justice issue. Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents...that's a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents...that's a justice issue.
And while the law is what we say it is, God is not silent on the subject.

That's why I say there's the law of the land¿. And then there is a higher standard. There's the law of the land, and we can hire experts to write them so they benefit us, so the laws say it's OK to protect our agriculture but it's not OK for African farmers to do the same, to earn a living?

As the laws of man are written, that's what they say.

God will not accept that.

Mine won't, at least. Will yours?
[ pause]

I close this morning

This is a dangerous idea I've put on the table: my God vs. your God, their God vs. our God...vs. no God. It is very easy, in these times, to see religion as a force for division rather than unity.
And this is a town - Washington - that knows something of division.

But the reason I am here, and the reason I keep coming back to Washington, is because this is a town that is proving it can come together on behalf of what the scriptures call the least of these.

This is not a Republican idea. It is not a Democratic idea. It is not even, with all due respect, an American idea. Nor it is unique to any one faith.

'Do to others as you would have them do to you' (Luke 6:30). Jesus says that.
'Righteousness is this: that one should...give away wealth out of love for him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the emancipation of the captives.' The Koran says that (2.177).

Thus sayeth the Lord: 'Bring the homeless poor into the house, when you see the naked, cover him, then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery will speedily spring fourth, then your Lord will be your rear guard.' The Jewish scripture says that. Isaiah 58 again.

That is a powerful incentive: 'The Lord will watch your back.' Sounds like a good deal to me, right now.
A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it¿. I have a family, please look after them¿. I have this crazy idea...

And this wise man said: stop.

He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing.
Get involved in what God is doing - because it's already blessed.

Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing.
And that is what he's calling us to do.

I was amazed when I first got to this country and I learned how much some churchgoers tithe. Up to 10% of the family budget. Well, how does that compare with the federal budget, the budget for the entire American family? How much of that goes to the poorest people in the world? Less than 1%.

Mr. President, Congress, people of faith, people of America:
I want to suggest to you today that you see the flow of effective foreign assistance as tithing.... Which, to be truly meaningful, will mean an additional 1% of the federal budget tithed to the poor.

What is 1%?
1% is not merely a number on a balance sheet.

1% is the girl in Africa who gets to go to school, thanks to you. 1% is the AIDS patient who gets her medicine, thanks to you. 1% is the African entrepreneur who can start a small family business thanks to you. 1% is not redecorating presidential palaces or money flowing down a rat hole. This 1% is digging waterholes to provide clean water.

1% is a new partnership with Africa, not paternalism toward Africa, where increased assistance flows toward improved governance and initiatives with proven track records and away from boondoggles and white elephants of every description.

America gives less than 1% now. We're asking for an extra 1% to change the world. to transform millions of lives - but not just that and I say this to the military men now - to transform the way that they see us.
1% is national security, enlightened economic self-interest, and a better, safer world rolled into one. Sounds to me that in this town of deals and compromises, 1% is the best bargain around.

These goals - clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty - these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a globalised world.

Now, I'm very lucky. I don't have to sit on any budget committees. And I certainly don't have to sit where you do, Mr. President. I don't have to make the tough choices.

But I can tell you this:
To give 1% more is right. It's smart. And it's blessed.
There is a continent - Africa - being consumed by flames.

I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did - or did not to - to put the fire out in Africa.

History, like God, is watching what we do.

Thank you. Thank you, America, and God bless you all.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Her curly red ponytail richocheted in rhythm off her back, and up, off, and up, off and up. I noticed because I was a comfortable couple of paces behind her. I knew that she was military, in the Guard, dawn trained with mainly men which meant that I just had to keep up. The wind coldly challenged, and inside, I began to think about walking. We were on the trail which lends itself to womanly chatter, slow paced thoughts, observation of hidden deer or bluebirds or interesting leaf.
"You're a strong runner," I panted out.
She slowed down and said, "I go with the flow; if you want to walk, I'll walk. Trust me, I'll walk."
This is not what a faltering will needs to hear.
However, I knew I needed the distance. Once during a sermon, my preacher talked about "pushing past the quitting points." I use that phrase constantly now when I need to keep going. We exited the trail going up the steep incline to the road which eventually led to the mother of all hills. My friend and I agreed to try our hardest to make the ascent. I scuffled my feet up, barely going, feeling like I was choking after hitting this wall on the sixth mile of our seven mile trek. Gasp, splutter, cough to the top. I remembered my week and the parenting challenges and knew if I could make this hill, I could maintain strength in a pressing particular struggle. That got me up.
Afterwards my redhaired, relatively new interesting friend and I shared a pot of coffee at my house and plans for future mileage. We're training for a half marathon in April. I really enjoy being an aged athlete ... any pace or crawling or obtained goal is acceptable!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Nuts, bolts, rusted shed tools, industrial throwaways glamorized by marbles or shaping or tile all twisted together or smoothed or warped or stacked high for us. I have bruises on both knees to display as unlikely art as well (perhaps my skin cells can slip, slide, squeal with delight upon them). That's what I felt like today: some sort of micro-organism upon a new scenario that I must embark upon to reproduce (or something like that:). Cody and I went to The City Museum in St. Louis ( today, and we were enthralled, amazed, frightened, and happy we found such an unbelievable place. And, since I'm experiential Mom (since no one else is around to play with him), I found myself scaling wire cages high in the air (always a fantasy:), sliding down metal twisted slides, way up in a burned out airplane perched high on a steel pole, on my belly in a cavernous tunnel, and much more haven't-I-sacrificed-enough crooks and crannies than I can name. If you haven't been, go -- it's an artistic (new age gothic) as well as a Tom Sawyer land of adventure. Just be a kid, or better yet, bring two. :)