Sunday, July 30, 2006

iBook Dead?

Soda was spilled on iBook G4 by oldest child. iBook not working. Will take laptop to Apple Store for possible repairs, but think owner is screwed.

More at 11. (Or at end of week.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yellowjackets Are On Notice

While I was mowing the lawn yesterday, I passed by an old stump. I saw something flicker about my legs and then I felt the sting. Ow-ouch! sunuva . . . then it stung me again.

Now here's the thing I hate about yellowjackets: They can sting you as many times as their dark little hearts desire and it doesn't kill them. When a honeybee stings you, at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that in doing so its tiny guts were ripped out of its body. But not the yellowjacket.

I was stung a third time before it was all finished, on my calf, as I ran away screaming like a little girl and flailing my arms wildly. More than 24 hours later, the stings are red and swollen and hot to the touch. And they kinda itch.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Chunkwise, Some of Me

I am not a Theology Guy. Sometimes I begin thinking I am until I get into a conversation with a real theologian. Then, the entire time he's speaking, I can only think about doughnuts and how easily Jack Bauer could take out the dude.

I am not a Literature Guy, even though I have a couple of diplomas saying I am. Half the time I don't know what Literature Guys are talking about either. So much philosophy gets poured over literature that it all sort of falls apart in my hands. While Literature Guys are deconstructing the text, I'm sitting in the back of the room snickering over the fact that Chaucer talks about someone hanging his erse [sic] out the window and farting. The teacher calls on me and asks about Derrida and the text and all I can do is laugh and say, "He said 'fart.'"

"Uh, and Derrida?" she says.

"Uh, fart?" I say.

Different worlds, is all I'm saying.

I am not a Theology Guy. I am not a Literature Guy. But those are circles I enjoy. I'm a Simple Guy who loves life. I love theology that is strung out in beautiful stories. The concreteness of the life and passion of Jesus, His death and resurrection, is, to me, so much richer than discussing the abstraction that's been made of justification. I like Mark's gospel more than I do Paul's epistles. Sorry, Paul. Sorry, God. But in the gospels it all seems so radically different - simple and difficult and always-fresh all at once. Jesus says Love me, Follow me. And yet it's still so easy for me to get lost in all the Pauline chatter, and pretty soon I start to wonder if this Jesus fellow knew what He was talking about. I mean, the only time he talks about being justified is when he tells a story about some poor shmuck beating his chest, wrecked by sin, asking God to have mercy on him.

I am a Church Guy - I love the high ecclesiology and the beautiful symbolism of Catholicism. But I'm still not always so sure about being a Church Guy. It's all so new. And, besides, life was so much easier when no one thought I was a heretic. I'm kinda lazy when it gets down to it: downstream beats upstream any day of the week. That's in my book, at least.

I love a lot of what takes place in the emerging conversation - I might even call myself an emerging Catholic if I weren't so busy trying to scratch my way into heaven. And Foxe has been dead for a few years, so where would that leave my story?

I am, without question, not a Sports Guy. I pretty much hate sports. Not absolutely, of course, but talking sports is about as exciting to me as scraping off fresh dog poop from the tread of my Birkies.

That's some of me.

Someday I hope it can simply be said that I loved God and I loved people. Because I do and I want to. That's all, nothing less because there's nothing more.

Mass Flatus

In the quiet before yesterday's service, the oldest girl, to quote Chaucer, "let fly a fart." The barking, amplified by the wooden pew, reverberated throughout. "Excuse me," she said sweetly, as if wooden pews were exactly the proper place upon which one ought to break wind.

Later, during the consecration of the Eucharist, she began to say, "Oh, Snap!" (which she says quite loudly), but stopped after the "Oh" and a sharp look from her daddy. She became very embarrassed and still does not know, or refuses to tell me, why she blurted it out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

We Bleed; We Cry Out

My blood-gift spills down my arm from the needle and soaks my jeans. And a cylinder of my blood falls onto the floor and shatters. My blood is heavy in my jeans - thick on the floor, mixed with tiny shards of glass. My blood is wasted, thick and shattered on the floor.

My blood pours out of my mouth. A pitched baseball returns, faster and heavier. It hits me square in the jaw, creating this red waterfall, this screaming child, this mother trying to silence her child as she silences her own fear. Does a mother forget?

After I fall, my blood fills my mother's hands as she holds my small and broken face, my soon to be swollen and death-etched face. Does a mother fail to remember?

My wife's blood, my daughter's blood, I do not know which, splatters across the tiny body as the umbilical cord is cut. It is crimson on a canvas of whitest white. Does a father forget?

I watch the circumcision. I hold him and whisper to him of a father's love. But the screams are real and lamb-like, stuttering out from his tiny chest, bleating out over his trembling tongue. Surely You are a Bridegroom of blood to me!

I hold my daughter to my chest as she bleeds into my shirt and screams. I then hold her down as the crooked needle threads in and out of her quivering chin, only inches from my face. Her breath is my breath; we breathe as one. Does a father fail to remember?

Oh, that it were my blood. Let it be my blood.

My blood for her; My blood for him. This one and that one, they are Mine. Do I fail to remember? I hear their cries.

Ah! The splendor of it: We sing and we dance. We bleed. You are life, and our springs are in You.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nothing to Say

I've had a headache the last two days, exacerbated by the regular fire-alarm-like screams of my one-and-only son. I've found myself, twice now, rousing frantically from a nap and grabbing up armfuls of photo albums, laptops, and Bibles (and our yellow duster once, which I mistook for the cat) only to later realize that my son had run screaming through the room.

It gets old, my friends, getting old. Screaming two year olds - accelerating the heart, pumping the adrenaline, graying the hair - certainly do not help the situation.

. . . . .

Have I mentioned that my dad now, along with my mom, has diabetes? They each have a different type, covering the bases, making sure that no one can have something that they do not. Selfish people, there. He seems to be happy even in the midst of the changes it has required of him. Mom has always been the same way since her diagnosis. They make it sound so attractive that I'm thinking of becoming a diabetic myself.

I'm just not sure. I'll have to do some more research, get a few more opinions, eat several more cupcakes.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Every Day Is Saturday®: The Beach Trip Before the Beach Trip

I'm going to Virginia Beach on the 3rd, so I won't be posting much (not that I have been posting much). I'll be back at the end of the week. If you need anything, feel free to call me on my cell.

I'll still be checking my e-mail too. I'll have my laptop with me for writing and freelance work.

And I'll be trying to finish reading Paul: In Fresh Perspective by Tom Wright.

Here's the appointed prayer for the week from Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours.

O God, you have taught me to keep all your commandments by loving you and my neighbor: Grant me the grace of your Holy Spirit, that I may be devoted to you with my whole heart, and united to others with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. +

Peace be with you.