Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It was a bit regrettably cruel, I suppose. My friend, who is originally from southern California, and I met at six this morning, when the whippin' wind chill was below 0, and the temp was in the single digits. We were too layered to run gracefully, looking like those Antartica scientists who are not to be understood by anyone. Plus, we had to hurdle or skid over ice patches in the road, barely preserving our aging hips from a fall in the dark, dark, bitterness of this morning, which mocked global warming, and reprimanded us for being out of our beds, away from snuggly husbands, who still had their lazy forms prostrate.

As the wind snapped against our cheeks, I told her that I couldn't run next week as we will be on the sunny beach in Mexico for our fifteenth anniversary. She was not happy for me. Running partners are the most honest people anywhere. The elements just require it.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Letting go is seldom easy ~~ whether it's letting go of our children, our parents, or our childhood feelings. But jast as the root systems of plants often have to be divided for healthy growth to continue, the different generations within a family may have to pull apart for a while for each to find its own healthy identity.

Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way. Fred Rogers

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A wing

It's lovely and quiet at 3:06 in the morning. The wind is terribly cold outside.

I went to church tonight and found a spot on the last row on the second level. It's a good perch to watch people, to scout out my sixtysomething good friend and her husband. It's a comfort to see them: her blood pressure, his heart are functioning. She's still alive and spunky to affirm her life and me, which she's quite good at, without judgment or the righteous discernment. She bears with me, and she says it's reciprocal. A blessing. She blesses others too, seems to have a wing that she spreads outward, and we all know she's a safe retreat from cold wind. Once afer a terrible teaching day at high school, when the students failed to separate fiction from historical accuracy, when the other teachers grouped together, and I felt on the outside, I called her. "What are you doing?" An indirect scream for help. "Going into a department store to shop. What's going on? I can meet you." And she came over near the high school, my sweet reminder of women who cared, a Christ-abider who abided, and we had coffee, and she confirmed my identity in Love. She's one person who knows my thin tatters of being a human but can also recognize a royal robe on a beloved child. She picked me up to follow my daughter to the emergency room. She's prayed much for me. I'm quite blessed to have her in my life, like others whom she quiety nourishes.

Tears of gratitude.

Soon I need to sleep. We have a busy week ahead. We have a decisive week ahead as my husband must determine which of three offered jobs he will take. I'm wondering if we'll stay here. I'm wondering if my friend can still be part of my weekly tangible life.

I pray for courage and clarity

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"And why do we have all these troubles? Because they done gone and ate that apple?"

I'm still smiling at the excellent question and attitude she displayed along with it tonight with her reddish black cornrows glistening and her eightmonth belly projecting. The apple is what our weighty grief balances upon? The rebellion of two who communed with God in the best possible world, the Garden of Eden, caused this pain and suffering? It's all so ludicrous in a way, unbelievable, mythical despite the literal-reading demands of my earlier congretation. It's a question that once made me lose my faith (with help from Twain in "Letters to Mother Earth").

It's a question I still wrangle with and am more comfortable with the evidence of damage: corruption, death, sickness, terror, envy, anger, shame: more comfortable seeing the results than analyzing the components of the scenario from which it issued. My Genesis "willing suspension of disbelief" is set into action, although it is craziness to believe in it. I've heard the literal belief in the Adam and Eve story called backwoods. Primitive. Ignorant. So forth.

So be it. If it launches me correctly into what appears to be the truth of faith, then I'll believe it somehow with humility.

The truth of faith was there again tonight in the circle of women. Those who can state still, stated it. Those who can listen now, listened (there I sat). Those who can question, questioned with a gesture.

The clear visionaries and discerners told us about the truth of faith. I began to get a hope again in my heart that I can want a fuller presence again; that I will allow it. The top comes off and the pitcher pours something warm like chai tea to flood to the toes. Renewal of the mind ... who is your god ... being silent ... giving up others to His work ... support. All those words, morsels of juicy steak, began to become nutrition again to a daughter who picks at her food, quite preoccupied with minimizing, minimizing, minimizing, to make up for a lack and to create one. May you lay out your long table of delectables, Lord, within my Spirit again. Amen.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The doomsday clock in our homeschool kitchen reflects the fact that my son has few minutes until I punish by dire consequence of no gaming. The public school children are out gallavanting and sleeping and watching Disney channel (due to the ice), yet here he is writing a poem, rewriting, having a mother tell him why learning is important for him. Sigh. Will it click? Or, will the clock tick? Aiiiiii ... !

Monday, January 15, 2007

In MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, the crescendoing content of the rhetoric always causes me to sniffle a bit and pause while I'm going over it with Cody. It's just the most beautiful speech ever written by man, I believe. And, the courage and the fight for justice ... always brings out the idealist in me, and it makes me sniffle and happy that good can prevail over wrong. You can hear it and see it at this site:.

We had school today, even though the holiday, in which we paid homage to MLK, Cody ate a cupcake, and I sniffled. We also read about El Cid, health safety tips in hot weather (dreamy!), did penmanship, and the everpresent division. Perhaps there was more. I'm not sure.

I haven't been out of the house for four days! The ice isn't impairing me as much as my mental approach to the ice. It's as if my house is perched upon an icy slope high above Lake Lucerne, and if I go outside I might slide into the cold lake which I remember from the summer stopover in Switzerland. And, then Missouri might not even be a reality and I will be flailing my arms and panicing in the cold water and not doing the H.E.L.P float in cold water (which is like a cannonball posture) which Cody read about today in his health book. Ah, too many scary things out there, and I've got lots of songs and duties to perform here in the home.

I do have an appointment, though in a couple of hours to deliver some food to a family whose mother is dying. I need a cause like this to free me into the elements. If I slide into a ditch, I will get out and hoof my roast on over, because they live only perhaps a couple of miles from me.

It's snowing lovely flakes outside now. Isn't this what winter is all about: being secluded, resting up, accepting the mixture of harsh and sublime. Being in a stupor, eating too much, spatting with the husband some. Life in January in the Midwest. It's quite normal.:)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The news burst out tonight that the two Missouri boys had been found, even the one missing for four years! It is wonderful; my thoughts wandered many times to him and the sad mystery and his suffering parents. Now, he's found, along with the other innocent child who was snatched. Thank God!

There's been tiptiptapping all day on the skylights as the "wintery mix" descends, presses. Unfortunately, a bag of tulip bulbs went unplanted, I see, and now the ground is frozen again.

Life has been quite musical lately for me. Every Wednesday night (and some Friday nights), I pack my notebook of songs and mandolin and travel within a two mile radius (it seems that my area of town is an epi-center for bluegrass musicians unbeknownst to me before!) to an unknown man's house where I gather in the circle of unknown men. And, we uncase together, and take our turns to choose a song and perform a break if we're daring, or good enough. I'm not good enough, but I am daring and try fumbling along in a solo from time to time during the session.

The dynamics are quite rewarding within the group. I'm conditioned by women's groups where we link, connect, introduce, and reveal. Here, I just sit mostly silently within the men who quip their occassional one-liners, but are basically there to be submerged in the unity of the melody. No introductions are ever garnered. It's both aloof and all-inclusive.

Wednesday, I sat by an attentive man who let me try out his mandolin. He murmured encouragement after my song choices and breaks. It was nice but unnecessary. The week before, I sat by a clawhammer banjoist who must not believe in drycleaning frequently. My. I missed the women then.

On Thursday nights, I go to my women's group down town in a rougher part, where the women are transparent about rough lives which God has led them from: prostitution drugs gangs pregnancy divorce addictions caring for children. We cry and hold hands standing afterwards for prayer; even if we're strangers, we hug goodbye. The Lord is thick within, making everyone intimate and trusting.

Then during the days, we school. Cody grows grows grows! He is very interested in a woman being the president of the United States one day. He's very interested in Hiroshima. We're having a Knight's festival at our home next Friday, if this tiptiptapping will ever stop.

The daughter slides around, learning, growing, somehow she'll be okay. The husband tries to figure out a huge career decision which would cause us to move or stay.

Tiptiptapping, tiptiptapping, tiptiptapping, always motion, always sound; life mixes and descends to coat us in newness, experience

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Let the cleansing of bad, unhealthy habits begin again! I must admit, I must start anew myself.

For over two months, I kicked my unwholesome addiction to sugar with excellent results (five pound weight loss, better mental clarity, less emotional ups and downs). It was one of those healthy worth-it experiences. All the evil sugary foods were replaced by those with nutritional content which had been placed to the side. Fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts never tasted so good. I felt healthier than I've ever felt before.

Immediately post-Halloween, I succumbed to several Butterfingers ... and then, slowly with moderation, but surely, I began to intake more sugar again. The crescendo began around my son's 12th birthday party (did you see the picture of that cookie cake? Mmmmmm...). Then around Christmas time, I began eating whatever I wanted, thinking of the purging to come on January 1st.

Now, it's January 1st, and I'm excited to resume back to life without sugar. For me, it's a much better life physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I would be stupid to not go back to it.

The cleansing feels good, too. Christmas, to me, bah humbug, can get so overridden with junk of much kind. I like the minimal season that's approaching, and one that readies us for the flourish of Spring. We'll have Valentine's Day when the stores try to overwhelm us with red and pink, the chocolate, the due-to-us emotional sugary rewards. But, for the most part, the months will be quiet and preparatory for a warmer time, another spiritual season which we can approach stripped down and dependent once more upon the better Sustenance. Plus, those coming bathing suit days .... ah!

If you are wanting to take out sugar from your diet, I would suggest joining the kicksugar yahoo group at
kicksugar@yahoo.com There's excellent advice and support from these people who put this together. If you want support from me, just let me know, and we can be accountable to one another.

Take care, and let the new healthier year begin!