Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Linger and the March

I feel afflicted with a LowGrade winter Linger (even though today is the first day of Spring). These last couple of days, I've been fatigued and walk around lifelessly. However, an unplanned moment can be medicinal. Today when driving Cody to school, he turned on, as usual, our TLC (Teri, Linda, Cody) c.d. that we're creating and which he's been appreciating musically in increasing measure. He played the track of "Radetsky March," a recent recording in which Cody plays the keyboard, I'm on guitar, and Linda's honks on the accordian. Suddenly, in the van, Cody and I couldn't help ourselves as we wildly began clapping and grinning like Austrians at the new year. I had the energy to punch the air a couple of times in coordination with the accent staccato notes, and Cody imperiously titlted his head back and forth to the march beat. We laughed appreciatively at each other's antics before the song was over and we slipped back into our own lingers. Breakthroughs are simply the best.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thu, thump; thu, thump

Wow, I showed the man-with-tools a borrowed marimbula. He sketched it, took measurements, and called me with a few muttering questions. And, look, somehow he let loose a real living marimbula which I brought home today! A marimbula is a bass type instrument which originates, in varying forms from the Carribbean. It sounds great with bluegrass and replaces the cumbersome, expensive stand up bass fiddle. I was instructed on how to stain and tune it. I'm still amazed and am engaging in full-fledged idol worship!
The orange and black belt warrants a couple of grins after the belt ceremony. If I thought Cody was an intense air-choppin' dude while an orange belt, I will have to prepare myself for the total destruction of the orange and black tornado. Lord have mercy on us innocent folks.

Monday, March 10, 2008

about a boy

I'm so worried about Cody today. Last night at a birthday party for one of the men in my bluegrass group, I was surrounded by their inquisitive wives and other women. They had multiple questions for me about Cody's perfect pitch, about his Asperger's, about, about, about. Today, fresh upon the thought, upon the concerned faces and encouragement, upon the memories of that lost little boy struggling desperately within normal expectations, I woke up realizing our journey and worried worried about his future path. He has found his gift of music, and we engage in it daily, yet he feels still so alone as it relates to his peers. The fear has gripped me again. Please, God, help him grow, releasing inhibitions, toxics, anger, fear, the harsh outer words of the world. Release me to trust you to take care of him. Amen and amen.

Egg shaking

The hardest thing to do was to shake the Shabbot egg and sing in Hebrew all at once. But, there I was, alone, near the back, near the sunny windows of the bright synagogue, trying hard to participate in an old Jewish rite: Bat Mitzva. My friend's thirteen year old daughter glowed, particularly when carrying around the Torah in a cloth around the warm, small, bright sanctuary. My friend spoke about the Jewish sense of community and how it had wrapped itself around his daughter, and how her deceased mother had converted to Judaism on the same day many years before. My friend's love interest wiped her eyes one row over in front of me. The ceremony was long, three hours, intense, joyous, mournful (chant for dead), and family-involved with aunts, uncles, cousins arising to read parts of the Torah on their "daughter of the commandments" behalf. The cultural conviction of a spiritual value was high; I felt peaceful. I wondered if, location different, I would attribute this to the Holy Spirit. But, in a Jewish synagogue? I wondered about the relativity of religious belief. I inwardly reaffirmed belief in Christ, although the spiritual expression in front of me impressed me with its call upward to an old Light, to God, to a way of Life. The prayer book was lovely with interpretive readings, poems, insights to which I felt extremely compatible. I wondered about the expressive depths of my Christian heritage, particularly as a "low-church" attendee. It seemed awfully lacking, shallow, reliant upon one's own emotions which often were tangled anyway. The Bible, yes, yet, the Bible used for certain agendas, certain formulas for thinking. Here, certain sacraments were holy, sacred, a bit like the Catholic church. Perhaps they have the same issues of the Catholic church -- rites becoming meaningless with overuse and lack of personal attachment? But, my friend's 13 year old daughter said in her speech that this would not mean for her "rites without personal meaning." We all reach, don't we?

My friend gave me a hug afterwards as he received the congratulations of his friends and family. He is a good person and lives his cultural faith well.

I affirm my belief in Christ, yet I could have easily been born Jewish, believing that the Judaic version of truth passed down from Abraham is the Truth. What do others do with this thought? Perhaps it affirms their selection into a God-ordained slot; perhaps we all want to believe exclusivity.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


The week was full of people, good and smart encounters, up until the end. Talks of creativity, spirituality, relationships, aging, film, music, writing. But by yesterday, I was entirely wiped out and feeling that codependent emptiness, which intense focus on others brings to me. Thus before my day of friend and film festival begins which will inevitably pour more of the world's amber liquid into me, it feels essential to hear grounding words for my wayward, wandering nature. And, here they are to root, anchor, restore straight from the third chapter:

baptism into new life
wind hovering over the water
formed by the Spirit
questions procrastinate against evidence
Son of Man
lifted up
look up to him for eternal life
God loved the world
God gave his son
no one needs to be destroyed
whole and lasting life with belief
He came to help
no longer under a death sentence
God-light streamed into the world, but
men and women ran for darkness, not
interested in pleasing God;
practice of doing evil rejects God-light
fears painful exposure.
But anyone working/living in truth/reality
welcomes God-light so that the inner and
outer work can be seen as God-light in us.

Father, help me to not scurry into darkness but to always be exposed to your God-light, even through addiction to fear and unknowingness. Help break the cycle. Forgive my created plights. Thank you for hope and life.