Monday, April 15, 2013

Floating on

Soon I will not have a class of students to teach how literature is God's word in story forms. I won't be able to talk about Northrup Fry's research; I won't be able to ooh and aah with students over Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne Elliott; or do choral reading of Lewis Carroll: or write a script in line with Ambrose Bierce's story about the horse&rider falling from the sky; or try to open students' minds away from narrow minded judgmentalism or the mystery of God.

I am sad, but I must move on. The river floats, and I'm getting on the barge. I hope it is waterproof. I hope that it takes me to just as delightful places. I hope it isn't an escape from low pay and lots of work. I pray I can serve God with as much fulfillment as the time after a really stimulating class. Like today with attentive students, listening to some of my cumulative knowledge, wisdom, and love for each one of them.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Today, I am feeling the confines. I sit on my back porch, and a neighboring deck has a person on it looking at me. I go inside and the television is on. I sit in the garage on the steps, and the clock ticks above me as I look out at the circle. I think about the bicyclist out there who is breezing through air away from their cul-de-sac, home, spiriting through quickly and escaping for awhile. I think of my friend out on the river, paddling, paddling, seeing the otters dive in and make a little splash while the rest of us sleep in our rectangular beds or sit outside in our lot. She is out there, and it shows on her face when she must be with the rest of us, in our confines and hers. Today, we play music with her, and I am glad because this music breaks down the confines until another one erects itself around it again.

When I sat on the back step, I remembered more times of sitting there thinking of getting away but unable to know where to go and what to do. I think this is more related to the eternal (or is that a pathetic acceptance of what isn't?). But, truly, I think we all struggle with being content. I just wish the neighbor wouldn't be there looking at me. I just wish that I had a blanket, and I was on my parent's farm, and I found a tree to sit under and let everything bleed into one full pulsating sad strain before a mosquito or an ant or a spider or a snake made me realize the comforts of home. I just wish. I just wish. I just wish for the culmination of Jesus or good music or an outdoor cafe with someone who I had no resentment with whatsoever. I guess that would be Jesus, after awhile, after we cleared some air, and took a deep drink together.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Bloomin' lessons

Mine and son's little peach tree is blooming, but I have allergies and cannot go outside this beautiful season. I have been spoiled in the past -- being allowed to traverse far and wide. I remember as a child crawling through downed trees in with their snakes, ticks, spiders, and upset possums. Yet they weren't really a danger -- I was able to make my "house" without their encroaching. Except those danged ticks in the right time of season. I must make allowance for their unfortunate aggression, those danged ticks.

But, today, I can't linger close to a blossom for fear of rapid fire results -- pollen switching my eyes and nose. So, here I sit, unable. My favorite season of the year sticks its tongue out at me through my window and over my big conglomerated nose.

However, I will never, ever, ever again think that my husband is a wimp during ragweed season.

I sit in humility, and I thank God for lessons which corrects my ignorance and extends my compassion to others.

(But, how long will I need to learn?)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Forsythia Sparks

In the moment:

the forsythia is trying to emit sparks;

the cats are lounging on cushions;

the birds sing, seeking companions;

moisture hangs in a cloud.

Early Spring, and we are still living. Yesterday, I went to a man's memorial in which two governors attended as they recalled the man who was a living, compassionate, good man but was taken by violent means.

I remember Tom as one who would smile and say hello to me, or anyone who felt inferior to his height and to most people in general. When you feel insignificant, the people who don't have to, but do, speak or smile can make a huge impact. That's how I felt with Tom as most people did. He was humble and kind.

And, his wife, an old friend of mine. Full of strong grace and beauty. Interviewed by Anderson Cooper, she talked about when darkness overtakes the godly (a scriptural reference) and how devastating that is. Yet, she chooses life over death, which means eventual forgiveness and a conscious choice to be the bride of someone who loved her rather than the widow of a murdered man.

Yes, questions can swirl, but this amazing example can help steady us as it steadies them.

Thankful for the forsythia today as it shows a spark of a fuller future flame which Tom enjoys in most abundant Life.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Helicopter pilot

Landing spots. Perhaps our autism kids are helicopter pilots, especially those with the "comorbid" (and surely there's not a more lovely word in the English language!) condition of ADHD.

I keep trying to visualize a place, a shelter with a roof and all, but maybe I'm thinking of the wrong  thing. Maybe our kids are helicopter pilots.

My son's landing was the local recreation center for a job lasting ten months. He somehow brought his helicopter down (or maybe God was in the controls or a persistent mom), but his flight vehicle came down and blew some grass and some rabbit ears as he settled on ground. And, he jumped out, and for awhile, there was a man there who welcomed him in. He was a man who could have shot him down from the sky, but he didn't.

And, my son got used to the earth and its smells. Other inhabitants greeted him, "Hello!" and he smiled a little smile and found an occupation of pulling weeds and wiping down dirty plateaus. Every single day, he would show up, having dropped earth pebbles to find his way since he couldn't look down from on high any more. But, he did it and consistently too and on his own which was really an accomplishment! He wondered if he could become settled down away from flight, although he loved the sky, but it had its moments when the stars and the clouds were beautiful but cold&remote.

However, he started forgetting a few things because planet life was not the same as atmosphere life. And several times the man saw him and he shook his head. On the surface of earth life, we must behave as if we will always be able to stay. We must be and do like those without wings; we must be like the industry of the ants and must resist imitating the whimsy of the mosquito. Someone else on the ground told on him for being a mosquito when really he was in fact a helicopter pilot all along. Maybe a royal helicopter pilot unknown.

So the man finally had enough and showed him to the landing spot. Rather, he had someone else show him there because he was too preoccupied with his ants. And, when my son got to his helicopter, he knew well enough that he would lift up, look down, and wave goodbye because after all as a helicopter pilot one becomes closer to the high, the wide, the deep, and the long vista which no one else was able to love experience or see.

Therefore, flight, up high, beautiful skies, the real life. Until perhaps one day, a new landing spot is perceived. Helicopter pilots always need to refuel and reprieve. They always want to meet someone who knows enough to care about the pilot who has come floating in by the air.

So, late at night, here's wishing and praying my helicopter pilot can be happy in both states, and, for me, I am going to resist defining the all elusive, the all frustrating, the entirely limited earthly view of  "Place."

Good night.