Thursday, December 13, 2012

give it away


Slid out of my dreams like a baby out of the nurse's hands
Onto the hard floor of day
I'd been wearing OJ's gloves and I couldn't get them off
It was too early but I couldn't sleep
Showered and dressed, stepped out into the heat
The parrot things on the porch next door
Announced my arrival on Chartres Street
With their finest rendition of squealing brakes
Down in Kaldi's caf the newspaper headlines promised new revelations
Concerning Prince Charles' Amex account
A morose young man in old-tim Austrian drag
Stares past his long mustache at the ground
And last night's punks and fetish kids
All tattoos and metal bits
And in the other corner (wearing the white trunks)
Today's tourists already sweating

Deep in the city of the saints and fools
Pearls before pigs and dung become jewels
I sit down with tigers, I sit down with lambs
None of them know who exactly I am
I've got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away

Languid mandalla of the ceiling fan
Teases the air like a slow stroking hand
Study the faces, study the cards
Study the shadow creeping over the yard

I've got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away

Trouble with the nations, trouble with relations
Where you going to go to find illumination?
Too much to carry, too much to let go
Time goes fast - learning goes slow

But I've got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Grey Cup

see the excitement in my eyes?  it's amazing to me how nervous and anxious i was at the prospect of getting my pic with the Cup.  i already have a pic with the Vanier Cup but i really hadn't anticipated getting this shot at any time.  yes, it's pretty shallow but there's also 100 years of history in that mug.  100 years of sweat and dedication.  100 years of smashmouth and then helping a man back up at the end of the play.

notice that i'm also wearing my Ref's jacket?  it carries some extra worth to me because i've also poured 10 years worth of dedication to the game of football on an amateur level.  that's 10 years of my own sweat and vision toward a goal.

i got so hyped that i asked a buddy to take another picture.  that way i'd have a couple shots for the memory of it all.

we were told when we got there that we could touch it, we could kiss it but we just couldn't pick it up.  too bad, i would've loved to have held it above my head for a few moments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

and then she sang a lullabye

i live in a gentrified community.  it used to be considered the poor part of town complete with dilapidated housing and slum lords but about 30 yrs ago families started moving in and changing the makeup of the community.  my own church community moved into the area about 30 years ago and began to set up family homes or households of different family makeups so there are some (including me) that believe that Grain of Wheat Church Community had a significant hand in the rebirth of our part of town.  when the typical Pegger talks about the part of town where i live they come out with some regular stereotypes stating that we're full of tree hugging, sandal wearing, mosquito loving environmentalists, metrosexuals, homosexuals, left leaning pinko commies and what-not.
i tell you all that so that i can tell you this story.  i was commuting to work on the bus last week and as i was leaving the hippie-haven where i live we came to the last bus stop in my part of town.  there standing at the stop waiting to be picked up were the usual suspects; the immigrant single mom and the university student bound for her long trek across town to class, but also there was a young woman with a stroller.  i had never seen this woman before.  i could scarcely call her a woman, she was a child really but she had a infant little girl with her; a strong, healthy little girl.  as they came on the bus my first thought was that babies shouldn't be having babies and i wondered where the child's father might be and what support he could be providing a child who so desperately would need all help that could be offered.  the mother scarcely looked 20 yrs old, if she even had those many years under her belt but she sat directly across the aisle from me on the bus.
the teen mom spent her time talking to her child and giving her the couple of rattles that were available for her little one to play with.  her child was healthy and obviously happy.  the world moved on as the bustle of life continued around them.  the regulars came and left each on their own little journey for the day, the bus in all its noise and power whirred its way down busy streets while a youthful mother played with her little one.  it was a beautiful thing to behold and few bothered to take the time to behold it.
as my commute continued eventually there came the soft and beautiful voice of a mother singing her child to dreamland.  the whir of the bus continued, students and employees came and went and still a mother sang a lullabye.  eventually as we headed down Portage Ave the usual drone of conversation and small talk between regulars became a hushed silence while the ongoing whir of a diesel engine continued down the busiest street in the city.  a mother leaned close to her little one and sang her to dreamland.  for a while all you could really hear instead of a drone was "and mommy will catch you, cradle and all" in an innocent and pure tone.
it was a moment of beauty against a background of dull, grey whirring and bustle.

and mommy will catch you, cradle and all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

hello, it's me again

i know, i know, where have i been all summer?  well, i've been right here trying to live and eek out my existence in relative fear and trembling.  it's been a busy summer.  we did reno's on the house, significant reno's to the top floor.  i also had a full summer of baseball and work.  days of commuting on my bike and evenings of calling balls and strikes.  i had to throw 2 guys out of baseball games this summer, one batter for threatening a pitcher and one coach for trying to intimidate a kid umpire.  that sort of stuff just doesn't play with me very well, i don't like bullies.
i haven't had many instances where i felt like i had much to say.  i still don't know that i do except i was struck by a lengthy quote from Herman Hesse read to me last night that talked about our own mortality.  after a short search i was able to find it in the magazine where it was quoted from last night.

Occupy Death

The world does not give us very much now; it often seems to consist of nothing but noise and fear, and yet grass and trees still grow. And if one day the whole world should be covered with concrete boxes, the clouds will still be playing up above, and here and there people will still, with the help of art, be holding open a door to the divine.
I have come from the city, where after a long absence I was once more among people, and I have sat in a train, seen pictures and sculptures and heard wonderful new songs by Othmar Schoeck. Now the joyful breeze brushes my face just as it caresses the nodding anemones, but as it whirls up a swarm of memories in me like a dust cloud, a reminder of pain and transience rises from my blood into my conscious mind. Stone on the path, you are stronger than me! Tree in the meadow, you will outlast me, and perhaps so will you, little raspberry bush, and perhaps even you, rose-scented anemone.
For a single breath I sense more profoundly than ever the transience of my form, and I feel drawn into transformation – to the stone, the earth, the raspberry bush, the tree root. My thirst is for the signs of passing, for the earth, the water and the withering of the leaves. Tomorrow, the day after, soon, soon I shall be you, I shall be leaves, I shall be earth, I shall be roots, I shall write no more words on paper, I shall no longer smell the regal wallflower, I shall no longer carry the dentist’s bill around in my pocket, I shall no longer be pestered by menacing officials demanding proof of citizenship, and so – swim cloud in the blue, flow water in the brook, bud leaf on the bough, I have sunk into oblivion and into my thousand-times-longed-for transformation.
Ten and a hundred times more you will grasp me, enchant me and imprison me, world of words, world of opinions, world of people, world of increasing pleasure and feverish fear. A thousand times you will delight me and terrify me, with songs sung at the piano, with newspapers, with telegrams, with obituaries, with registration forms and with all your crazy odds and ends, you, world full of pleasure and fear, sweet opera full of melodic nonsense. But never more, may God grant, will you be completely lost to me, devotion to transience, passionate music of change, readiness for death, desire for rebirth. Easter will always return, pleasure will always become fear, fear will always become redemption, and the song of the past will accompany me on my way without grief, filled with affirmation, filled with readiness, filled with hope.

i'll be chewing on that for awhile.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wendy's Words of Wisdom

If Ian needs to remember more than two things he needs a list and if Ian has a list then the list is one of his two things.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

what i heard in worship today

"Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.
So he said to his mother, “I am running away.”

“If you run away,” said his mother,
“I will run after you.
For you are my little bunny.”
“If you run after me,” said the little bunny,
“I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.”
“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother,
“I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”

“If you become a fisherman,” said the little bunny,
“I will become a rock on the mountain, high above you.”
“If you become a rock on the mountain high above me,”
said his mother, “I will become a mountain climber,
and I will climb to where you are.”

“If you become a mountain climber,”said the little bunny,
“I will be a crocus in a hidden garden.”
“If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,”said his mother,
“I will be a gardener. And I will find you.”

“If you are a gardener and find me,” said the little bunny,
“I will be a bird and fly away from you.”
“If you become a bird and fly away from me,” said his mother,
“I will be a tree that you come home to.”

“If you become a tree,” said the little bunny,
“I will become a little sailboat, and I will sail away from you.”
“If you become a sailboat and sail away from me,”said his mother,
“I will become the wind and blow you where I want you to go.”

“If you become the wind and blow me,” said the little bunny,
“I will join a circus and fly away on a flying trapeze.”
“If you go flying on a flying trapeze,” said his mother,
“I will be a tightrope walker,and I will walk across the air to you.”

“If you become a tightrope walker and walk across the air,” said the bunny,
“I will become a little boy and run into a house.”
“If you become a little boy and run into a house,”said the mother bunny,
“I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.”

“Shucks,” said the bunny,
“I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”
And so he did.
“Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny."

in my books that is the shepherd finding the lost sheep and one more example that God is love.

Friday, May 4, 2012

so ... if you think of me

i've noticed this little phrase in people's speech of late as they share their need and they're trying to ask people to pray for them. i've noticed it in my seed group meetings and i noticed it in our sharing and learning meeting at my church community this week. i think the intent is for people to make themselves seem unimportant, like we (or I) don't spend any time thinking about the other in my daily travels.

the phrase irks me.

shouldn't the phrase be "so ... when you think of me"? i'm not the most relational and thoughtful person in this world but even i do actually think of you. if you're in my circle, in my sphere of influence, if you're important to me and i to you, then i do actually think of you. i chuckle to myself because this actually says that on some level i believe that some expectation should be placed on me. i suppose that on some level i believe that if you're important to me that you should expect that i think of you.

i do think of you. i also spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about me and my situation but that just points to the selfish motives that live inside this chest.

i'm going to make a special effort to try and say "so ... WHEN you think of me". it's ok to open up a little, to express need and to expect that you're heard and thought of as life commences.

i think of you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

baseball season

i started to get the first confirmations of baseball games to ump yesterday and already much of May is full of games for me to do. seriously, i think that maybe i have 5 days in May where there is absolutely nothing on the schedule to do and i expect that i'll likely fill those nights in also. baseball season is my favourite time of year. i ref football in the fall and i ref basketball in the winter and early spring but its the months from May to August that i enjoy most because i get to go out on the dusty field entering a space that expands my own personal borders as an introvert. i'm pretty good at this too. i've gotten some really good training over the years so that i've numerous Provincial AAA Championships and two Western Canadian AA Championships. you just watch a place blow up when you make a mistake though. seriously, there's nothing like an "oh, it appears i got that one wrong" moment to put all of your efforts into perspective. the intensity of baseball in a hockey culture is also an interesting thing to see. you see there are things that you CANNOT say to an umpire and there are all sorts of things that are definitely said to an official in a hockey environment so often people assume that it's fine to treat a baseball umpire like they treat their local hockey ref. i've actually had to throw PARENTS out of the park at a baseball game on two occasions. one guy was a guy who i had called a friend and he went so far over the top that i had embarrassed him by throwing him out that he didn't want anything to do with me after that. despite those stories it really is a good space for me to be in. it teaches me to be judicious, to be honest, fair and respectful of everyone around me ... even if i think they don't deserve it. i bought some equipment off of a retiring ump this year. i figure i've gotten $400 worth of stuff for $150 and now all i need to do is make sure that the chemical sensitivities of my wife aren't affected by the stuff and i also have to purge our life of the old gear that i won't be using now. i'm sure that there's a young kid out there who's just starting out in umping who will be willing to take me up on a GREAT deal for my used gear. seriously, it'll be a great deal because i want to encourage young kids to take it up and keep with it. anywho, it's my favourite time of year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

minus 8

that's the temperature outside as i set out for work this morning. it was day one of my commute to work by bike and i was thrilled to finally be able to pedal my way to work again. there have been some major developments on the bike front though.

my bike guy BUILT me a bike. he had an old hybrid style frame and he added some parts that he had laying around, including a bunch of parts from my last 2 bicycles, and he put together a forest green beauty that rides clean and smooth. forest green is my colour and i couldn't contain my excitement when i realized it was going to happen. i had taken my old garage sale bike in for tuneup and i inquired what it would take to do something like this if i managed to find the cash i needed for it. Colin didn't bother to tune up my bike, he just built me a new one. as i stood there in his garage and he explained to me what he had done i very literally said, "y'know i've resisted the urge to hug you several times". he appreciated the love but i don't think he was that interested in the hug.

last year one of my biggest complaints about my commute was how i would always freeze my fingers in the morning. my big heavy winter gloves were too sweaty to wear and wearing nothing on my hands would mean that i'd spend half the time with one hand in a pocket trying to warm it until it was the other hand's turn. on one of our trips into MEC (that would be Mountain Equipment Co-op) i decided to get some riding gloves so that i could address this constant problem that i face in wonderful Winterpeg Manitscoldout. my new riding gloves sat and waited for me to break them out of the package this morning for our inaugural ride. i had also broken out one of my longed sleeved riding shirts, a T shirt, a sweatshirt, my riding jacket, long johns, my workout pants and a thin touque under my helmet. I STILL FROZE MY FRICKING FINGERS! seriously, i wandered around work for 10 minutes trying to warm my hands up. i was thinking that maybe i'd have to cry as the circulation returned to my hands.

and it was only minus 8 outside. i can do minus 8 in my sleep, in fact i have done minus 8 in my sleep. it wasn't comfortable but i had a decent sleeping bag so i made out just fine.

well, i'm at work now. i have a hot cup of joe and i'm about to start my workday.
i had a great ride to work other than the frozen problem.

by the way, Andrew if you're reading this i don't think i can sell you the mountain bike after all, it seems that Wendy wants to convert it into a winter bike for herself. how crazy is that? she'd be so much more careful than i would be in winter so i'm much less worried about anything dismal happening than i would be if i were winter biking.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

if i had a twitter account ... but i don't

as i travelled home i thought about how i could've used a twitter account over these last couple of weeks since i had all these zingers to fire out at the world. the thoughts themselves weren't all that spectacular but i thought they were of some importance perhaps only to me. it doesn't matter however since i don't own a cell phone to tweet off my little thoughts whenever they meander through my mind. i do have some impertinent things to say that may ruffle some feathers though so now that i'm a few days removed from the impact it may have on that world then i might just say them here.

as i flew over different countries and states of a different country i kind of wished things were like i'd see them on Bugs Bunny where the map would show the different states in different colours and big block letters showing me that i was about to fly over Illinois or any other state i was about to enter. also why doesn't my luggage have all those stickers on it like that time that Bugs threw the baseball clear around the globe?

yes i purposefully wore my Vancouver Canucks shirt in Chicago. yes i know you guys hate those guys. yes i'm just a bit contrary sometimes.

dad wants a golf cart for touring around the park but he can't seem to find anything under $1600 and that's just too much. interesting idea though.

no madame, that isn't a really big rock, that really is an actual manatee. see, she just moved to go eat that cabbage.

my mom has this really cool recumbent 3 wheeler that she takes around the park where they live. i was amazed when my 75 yr old pop went for a 2 mile bike ride with me at a pretty decent clip. really, dude's 75 and really quite active.

my mom watches "Dog the Bounty Hunter". wasn't expecting that.

can't believe i have to pay $20 to have FedEx send my baseball tickets. there's no way i'd get tickets if i went down there to buy them at the box office though. oh well.

there's a guy dressed up as the Statue of Liberty strumming on his guitar while trying to get people to turn into one of the We Buy Gold stores that you see every 2 miles on the way to Tampa. seriously, every couple miles someone wants to buy your gold off you and i wonder what sort of money they pay to a guy to stand in the 90 degree sun and try to get people to sell their gold.

i endured about 20 ambulance chaser billboards on the 1 hour drive into Tampa. sure is a different culture that focuses so much on hurting the other guy to get your "due".

there's an osprey that nests on top of one of the light standards in the ballpark in Dunedin. osprey's mate for life so i wonder how long they'll hang out at the ballpark.

aw man, a guy just mentioned that he'd rather be wearing his Expos jersey at the Jays game. if only i had thought of that i'd love to be doing the same thing.

Brandon Morrow thows 5 IP with only 1 hit and zero runs but all i hear about on ESPN is that Cliff Lee (the losing pitcher) threw 6 IP of 6 hits and 1 run. that's just not right.

Adam Lind is going to have a very big year. i saw him foul off about 12 pitches from Randall Delgado before Delgado finally made a mistake which was crushed so hard that there should've been a stewardess on something that travels that far.

Brennan Boesch will also have a big year for the Tigers. he's got a ton of protection in the lineup and he can be relatively incognito hiding in a lineup of stars.

Omar Vizquel will be LOVED in Toronto. he's a wizard with the glove, he's got 11 Gold Gloves for his defense over the course of his career and he's just what the Jays need on their bench. he'll have a great affect on other Latino infielders like Yunel Escobar and Edwin Encarnacion. plus he's all class.

"each day is as happy as you make it". thank you dad.

Wendy emailed me to tell me that the weather has been beautiful while i've been away. i'll still take 90 degrees here though.

you think your 20 yr old full time student, full time employed daughter should also cut the grass at your house? i don't know, maybe just buy some sheep, i think she's pretty busy already.

do i dare speak up as probably the only Democrat in a room full of vocal Republicans? out of respect for my parents i'll choose not to be the contrary one. maybe after dinner i'll be able to say something then i won't have to worry about getting thrown out of the house on an empty stomach.

you can't believe Obama killed the pipeline deal? i'm SO glad he killed it, the environmental devastation on hundreds of thousands of acres in Western Canada was VERY evident in that deal.

please tell me your reasons for basing your political opinions are more than the price of gas. we in Canada are paying about 40% more for gas but we also don't have over 10% of our population one infection away from foreclosure and homelessness.

my dad just confirmed my suspicion that he's a 9 on the Enneagram, mom is too. is it any wonder how i came to be a 9 also?

yes i realize that i'm wearing a Quebec Nordiques shirt in Denver. nobody seemed to care except for another Canadian flying out of there with me.

saw the mountains from the plane but there was next to nothing to see during the one hour on the ground in Denver as i waited for my connection.

it's rather odd that i had to fly 2 time zones west and then 1 time zone east. i feel like i'm covering the same territory twice. still no different colours or block letters on the ground beneath me.

misty and 3 degrees when i land in Winnipeg. i've already been awake since 230am Winnipeg time so i'm pretty bagged by mid afternoon. think i'll give Wendy a kiss, take a shower, eat some supper and go to bed. work starts up full bore in the morning.

forgot to reset my alarm so it woke me at 330am just like yesterday. it was a good thing i noticed Wendy's clock or i would've gotten up to start the day. i've done that before in the past.

Monday, March 19, 2012

stream of consciousness

i'm on vacation, alone. well i'm visiting my parents which so far has been really good. there was a hangup when i didnt have my parents address when i came through customs but that got resolved ok and i caught my plane on time. i had a 2 hr stopover in O'Hare International in Chicago and that was a bit of an eye opener. the airport is huge and there were people everywhere. my gate of departure changed twice but i still made out just fine. i sat in a huge window and read "The Catcher in the Rye" while i waited for my connection. the book itself is fascinating but i had to make sure that i was paying attention enough to catch my flight. i set my alarm and there were no problems. my elderly parents picked me up at midnight and i got them all tucked in by shortly after 130am. i say that because i couldn't sleep for a bit, i was still reading.

my 75 yr old mother knows who Dog the Bounty Hunter is. how cool is that?

we got some tickets for a Blue Jay game this week although the price is unbelievably stupid. i'm hoping i can get tix for another game when i'm there for the first game and i sure hope i can get a good price on them. my first tix showed up by FedEx today.

my parents have been together over 50 yrs and my dad's parents were together 62 yrs before Grandpa passed. i come from a legacy of happiness together. i said to my dad today that i've always loved how they seem happy and content together and his best advice to me was "each day is as happy as you make it".

we went to church yesterday and the sermon was 3 sermons long. seriously it could've easily been broken into 3 sermons and he'd have nearly a month's work done. what do i know though eh? i'm just the new guy. i did meet a 94 yr old sprightly gentleman. he had so much energy that i just hope that i have that much energy when i'm 65, let alone 94.

the evening service was rather plain sounding but there were a lot of amen's in the crowd. there is a simplicity to faith that i like when i see it. the text on the evening was the parable of Lazurus and the Rich Man. i would've preferred that the focus would be on how treat the poor and how that affects us going forward but it went toward a salvation perspective. i suppose that's fine if you weren't preaching to the converted but that didn't seem to be the case and i'd like to see the church doing more reaching out to the Lazuruses sitting at the city gate.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the whirlwind of life

one of my friends noted in the last week that i hadn't posted anything here in March yet ... and here it is the middle of March with this as my first entry of the month. the reason for that is that there is so much to say and yet so little to say. the whirlwind of life keeps you moving as you try to keep the spinning plates from shattering or the juggling balls from bouncing away.
i went to the Jets game last night. that was amazing. i love NHL hockey and the atmosphere at the MTS Centre is ELECTRIC. the Jets schooled the superior Stars last night and showed the league once again that they're a tough matchup no matter who they're playing so long as they have a little home cooking. they're a different team on the road apparently though. i was helping a friend with his fantasy hockey team over the past month and as payment he took me to the game. the only thing i had to do in the deal was to buy him a barley beverage and that was an easy deal to make. i got home late last night but thankfully i could pretty much go straight to bed.
we're house-hunting. this probably isn't well known at all by anyone who may read this but its true, we're seriously considering downsizing to a smaller place. there are a bunch of adjustments to our living space that Wendy will need as we try to address her ongoing medical sensitivities and it just seems to be a smart move to limit the adjustments required by having a smaller place. we'd have to find a place that is absolutely perfect though, it'll make no sense to move if the environment is such that Wendy can't live there. we'll have to be necessarily picky and unfortunately that adds another stressor to the pile of stressors put on us. Wendy isn't sleeping well so it's obvious that she is very stressed. one of the major factors is that there's a very good chance that Wendy couldn't just move into a new place just like that so that'll mean that we'd have to carry two houses for a bit. that's a scary thought for both of us.
20 degree temperatures are on the horizon. they're forecasting it for tomorrow ... just in time for me to leave. i'm actually going on holidays for a little over a week. it'll just be me since Wendy still can't travel much and we couldn't afford to travel anyway (i got some help with the costs on this vacation). i'm going to the Orlando area to visit my parents and i'll have a two hour stopover in Chicago. we'll hang out, maybe i'll play the guitar a little, go play shuffleboard with my mom and take my dad to a couple spring training Jays games. i'm rather excited about the whole thing. ok, i'm really excited. i actually told Wendy that she's not allowed to buy a house while i'm away. you would think that's something that doesn't need to be said but you never know how things shake down over the course of a week. when i said that to Wendy last week ... it was a joke. now i wonder and tell myself that anything can happen. my wife is a world changer and i've learned it's best for me not to put limits on her possibilities. seriously, i've seen her do some incredible things. i trust you Wendy, just keep me in the loop.
Wendy has been taking a biology class this semester. she pours hours and hours into prep for this course and then gets all worried about whether she's ready for her midterms or whatever the case may be. she'll then walk through the door with a 95% and a "is that all you got?". classy. Wendy has always said that she's a really good loser but a very bad winner. that's one of the reasons that i love her. spunk is sexy.
my best man sent me an email today to say that his elder brother passed away recently. heart attack at 49 years old. Dale and Jodi have lived in Ohio for over a couple decades and actually it'd probably be close to that amount of time since i've seen them. they're wonderful friends who i miss and who i respect for how they choose to live out their faith journey. blessings on you my dear friend Dale.
well, that puts me up to date on the news of the whirlwind. pray about the stressy things or at least think beautiful thoughts and fire them my way.
blessings on your journey friends.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a VERY pregnant friend said to me today ...

"Is it hot in here? Seriously, are you hot? Well, I know you're hot but do you feel hot?"
"No? Must be the hormones."

she's very sweet to call me hot and i'm very happy for her and her husband who have long been trying to start a family.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my life feels like Lent 365

ok admittedly i'm in a bad space at the moment but i've been thinking about Lent. there is so much focus in my tradition on the sobriety, the asceticism, the giving up in Lent that i get a bit resentful. i don't really want to give up more, i feel like we've given up so much already. right now i do resent the thought that my life isn't hard enough that i should add more burden to the pile.

don't get me wrong. in the global picture my struggles are nothing. i am definitely one of the 1%, i live a charmed life full of safety and security. i am loved and i get to love.

in truth i'm in mourning today. they cut down the tree in front of my house yesterday. i have known that it was coming, since it got marked for removal due to Dutch Elm disease last summer. still, it was Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday and they cut down my tree. i have called that tree grandfather in my own mind and i fight the urge to wonder if it means more change and loss in the rest of my life. i wonder what ripples it creates in my life.

or is it just the loss of a tree.

i believe that we are all a part of everything around us. we are interconnected and loss is a loss nevertheless. my actual grandparents are all gone now and this grandfather tree did bring shade and happiness to our life. he will be missed and i am very pensive this morning about it.

so you see, i'm not giving anything up for Lent this year. in my opinion, i've given up enough.

Friday, February 17, 2012

a dream i had one night

i dreamt i was reading a comic book.
a man was walking along a path on the edge of a cliff. the path itself was very narrow and the drop to the bottom was significant although not such that one took one's life in their hands should they fall.
the next panel of the comic showed a hornet's nest flying through the air and an unidentified voice bubble coming from off panel yelling "Sorry" as it flew through the air. of course the hornet's nest strikes the cliff right next to our intrepid traveller and he's quickly surrounded by a cloud of hornets who are not at all pleased with their lot in life. the traveller begins flailing his arms because of the many stings he is receiving and of course he loses his balance and falls from the path.
this is not the end of the story though, he lands on a tree branch that is sticking out the side of the cliff. dude's in horrible shape though. he isn't far from the bottom of the cliff, close enough that he can survive as he rolls off his perch and he lies on the ground bloodied, bruised and with welts everywhere. as i continue to read the comic i begin to think that i may be looking at a Good Samaritan type story although nobody comes to the man's aid.
as he lies on the ground, he begins to crawl in his pain. eventually he pulls himself along so that he comes across a flowing trickle of water that may've just been caused from a rut a cart would make as it travels across dirt or muddy earth. he begins to drink of water that may or may not be good for him but is his only option for strength at that time.
it is at that moment that my alarm goes off and i awake to begin the day.

i don't know what it means. perhaps i'm the traveller. maybe i'm the unidentified voice that causes the demise. maybe i'm the cart driver who caused the rut that pooled the water. i do like to think that the water is a saving grace for the traveller and i do think that it helps him although i don't know what will become of him.
maybe i'm just stressed and i see disaster around me.
i'd much rather that someone had come along to help the traveller, i'd want to be that guy, but nobody came. there is only the water to help the traveller and it's still not known what will become of him.
pray for every traveller you know. the path is precarious and the potential for desolation is around us at any time.
fellow traveller, take what water you can find and let it refresh and strengthen you on your journey.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy B-day to my dear one

Wendy celebrates her 43rd birthday today.

i am very grateful for Wendy. i am grateful when she plays, when she finds life, when she hangs on to hope, when she dreams and lets me share in those dreams. i love her cackle of a laugh, i love her heart, i love her tenacity, and i recognize her strength amongst much more adversity than i would like to deal with.
i love it that you're in school and your joy is evident when you talk about it. i honestly do love to hear you prattle on about it simply because you shine when you do. i also find the subject matter rather boring but i'm glad that you don't and it doesn't so much matter to me if i remember the pearls of wisdom you throw out in front of this swine because i get to see and hear the shine as you wax poetically about "Sister Chromatid" (yes it is a great name for a band and you should tell everyone that i said so) or whatever evolutionary trait you were talking about on Valentine's Day that went completely over my head (ZOOM! *and a hand rushes straight back over this balding hairline*).

we have significant connections and i long for more connections with you. i hope that you long for connection with me. i want more reckless abandon with each other. i want to rush toward you and i want to be rushed toward.
when it's darkest i want to share my light with you. when it's hopeless i want to carry you along the way. when you cannot find faith i want to loan you mine and i want us to live on that for awhile.
i do love you. i do love you. i do love you.
be blessed on your birthday my dear one. be blessed everyday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wendy's Words of Wisdom

"heeheeheeheehee, you said doodie."

it's a scary thought when i'm the mature one but oh how i love it when she plays.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pulp Fiction

the local church affiliated university has been running an informal series of movies chosen by professors who would like to illustrate the gospel message. i was more than a little intrigued to hear some of the choices made by profs, including last week's choice, Pulp Fiction.

i know, your reaction is Pulp Fiction? that's supposed to illustrate the gospel message? well yes, and brilliantly i might add.

first of all i had never seen the movie, which is just plain wrong on a few levels but i had seen several other of Quentin Tarantino's films and hadn't really been struck by his brilliance. i had known him to be about what i thought to be gratuitous violence and not at all about deeper thoughts like grace and redemption. but Pulp Fiction seemed to be all about redemption. seriously, i was blown away by the moments of grace in the movie. there were also significant moments of vindictiveness, justice through the eyes of tunnel visioned selfish people and judgment acted upon by individuals that should've been left to God but still there were significant moments of grace and redemption.

i had no idea that Travolta wasn't the main character, Jackson is. there are significant sidebars for Roth, Willis, Rhames and Thurman but i found it interesting the paths that everyone takes. Roth sees redemption because Jackson "buys back his life for him", Thurman sees redemption because Travolta redeems her life but Travolta never believes and sees judgment for it, Rhames sees grace because of Willis taking steps to redeem him and Willis sees redemption because Rhames cancels a debt.

the chopper that Willis steals is named Grace. the dungeon that Willis and Rhames were in was very much like a Hell environment and yet they both are redeemed from it. Willis kills Travolta with Travolta's own gun and i found it interesting that he refused to acknowledge the existence of the other world in all of his travels even though he was given 3 opportunities to see how things worked out for him over the course of the movie.

now if you're going to sit down to watch something like this you need to be prepared. the language is filthy, numerous people die and they don't die well. it's a brutal movie and it's also going to make you think. i seriously LOVED it. am i going to recommend it? maybe, it depends on who you are. i'll recommend it to all of my buddies who are willing to explore spiritual thought in its various forms but i'm certainly not recommending this to my mother.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Song

this is the 3rd winter in a row that i've been drawn to this song. i think of Wendy everytime i hear it.

Monday, January 16, 2012


gotta love Jimmy Fallon mashing up David Bowie with Tim Tebow. man am i ever tired of everyone Tebow-ing

via 22 words

Monday, January 9, 2012

things heard during worship

Isaiah 60:1

"Arise, shine for your light has come"

i have had a fascination with this verse since i was a teen. i have probably taken it out of context for most of those years because i have used it as a way to motivate myself to be more of what i am. nevertheless i do find it motivating to be compassionate and helpful. it really is an encouragement that we can be more because Jesus has come to us and we really do have a bright light at our disposal. when i lose hope i have to remember that there is hope out there somewhere and i can use that hope to arise and shine.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


*** my church community's members sharing meeting this week focused on our experiences of intergenerational community life. here is what i thought about as i considered my own experiences in that area. ***

you are a 6 year old tornado my young friend, as that is a very good thing. i have thought about my friendships with little balls of energy like you and i have seen that i see things that i like about me when i see things that i like about you.
we had a bit of a bad start, you and i. i think i understand why we had a bad start though. i remember a time when i was looking for some keys and i asked you if you had them. it must have been scary and confusing because here was this big dude who you did not really know asking about something that you figured was a bright shiny treasure that you could hold and feel important with. there was so much going on around us as i asked you about this and i completely understand why you gave me the wrong answer because i seem to give the wrong answer ALL THE TIME when there is so much going on around me. life gets big, and scary, and confusing. life stands tall above me and asks me about my little treasures all the time and sometimes i give the wrong answer. when that happened between us i should have stopped and comforted you, i should have said that "yes that was the wrong answer but you know what? i give the wrong answer all the time." there is a BIG difference between telling a lie and just being wrong and i should have stopped to tell you that.
there is lots of good news to our story though, do you want to hear it?

you saved our friendship. you did. yes, you. not me, you did it. yes its true that i helped to save it but you took the first step, the big step. that step was so huge that i'm amazed that such a little friend can take such a huge step.

you allowed me to be your friend. you ran up to me and you demanded that i must pay attention. i'm so very glad that you were so strong. i started to pay attention to you and i want you to know that i'm still paying attention to you.

a little while later i told you boy stories. there is a difference between boy stories and girl stories you know. boy stories are silly. boy stories are sometimes stupid. boy stories sometimes talk about how life sometimes gets big and scary and confusing, and sometimes boys in boy stories give the wrong answer or do the wrong thing.

what i did not say when i was telling you boy stories was that its ok to be a boy in a boy story. it is normal to be a boy in a boy story. i am a boy in a boy story and so are you. when life is big and scary and confusing and a boy in a boy story gives the wrong answer ... it's ok. you reminded me that friendships in boy stories can be saved because you saved our friendship.

that is SO important my young friend. you reminded me that i used to be 6 year old tornado too and i turned out ok. you are going to turn out ok too. you know how to save a friendship. you saved it by being who you are, a 6 year old tornado.

attaboy tornado. attaboy.