Monday, December 29, 2014

Transformations and Launchings

Our cells last at most seven years.  The earth is never still. Change is what life is about. If you are "I am against" change, your life is pretty difficult.  If you love to have "new" in your life, than change is a great thing.  

Most change is a slow process. We are don't really even notice it.  An extra pound, a perennial sending out a few shoots, hair going grey, a bit of light creeping back into the day. These are do-able changes.  It is the sudden that makes us all uncomfortable.  The death of a loved one, a building being removed, sudden break of a bone.  

What we don't often realize is that while the event was sudden, there were warning signs.  A known underlying weakness. A slow emptying of a long occupied building, deep circles under the eyes, an extra cookie. We are sometimes too busy to put the clues together. It is only after the event that we have great insight into the event.  While we are often shocked by the end-event, we knew at some level it was coming.  We see the trees and fail to see the forest.  

Meb took off several days with our car and drove to see Grandma Mary.  22 and her first road trip, solo.  

So this might not be a huge event for most but it has been so long in coming that as she drove away, I had to smile.  
16 Drivers-ED
17 Expiration of permit
18 Renew Permit
19 Expiration of Permit
20 Renew Permit.
21 Drivers License
21 Road Trip to Niagara Falls

5200 miles later.... 

Long process.  Slow Process. 
Satisfying Process. 

Not all turn out this way. Sometimes the end result is less pleasant.  Dad's death 4 years ago. Some weird bruises on the top of your child's feet. A pair of pants that don't fit anymore.  But change is happening all the time and we cannot stop it.  No matter what we do. No amount of white plastic boxes or labels or time on our smart phones will keep the world from its constant forward motion.  We have to sit back and enjoy the ride.  

2015 is here.  It came without our efforts.  Time to make the most of it. Because it is all we can do.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bits of Sparkle and Small Christmas Trees

A life rule is that everything is better with glitter.  Just a bit of glitter. It does not take much. It is one of those things that spreads everywhere.  No matter how careful you are it might end up in the butter.  

The best part about glitter..... no one can get mad about it.  How can anyone be mad to find a bit sprinkled here and there and there and oh yes, over there.  It is like a child's smile and grin.  No matter where it happens it is acceptable and joyous and something that spreads joy. 

In these dark days of winter, or childhood cancer and other dark things, a bit of joy is what we need.  Sparkles and candles and endless outdoor Christmas lights.  

I don't need burning bushing or walking on water to believe in God.  I see evidence of it everywhere and almost every day.  Glitter was a gift from God to remind us of how tiny light can be and yet powerful.  It spreads, it makes us smile and it shows up in the weirdest and most opportune places.  How can Glitter not make you happy. 

So here us your job this Christmas is to spread glitter everywhere. Far and Wide because it is a great gift from God. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Words are inadequate

I have had company.  Old old friends from Dietrich Teaching days.  Or as I am now fond of saying.... "latter days of the last century."  Paul was complaining that he forgets some words, they are stuck in the recesses of his mind and won't present themselves when commanded.  I can completely relate. The words dribble out and slowly make themselves known. Words often fail us.  

I have had a rash of word failure/ inadequacy recently. I will read somethings, hear something, ask something and be told something and then be unable to find the words.

After several decades, I have come to realize our language does not have adequate words to comfort those in sorrow, grief, despair.  The time we need words the most.  We are like desert dwellers at the North Pole.  We don't have the vocabulary for snow.  

tlapa           powder snow
tlacringit      snow that is crusted on the surface 
kayi            drifting snow
tlapat          still snow
klin            remembered snow
naklin          forgotten snow
tlamo           snow that falls in large wet flakes 
tlatim          snow that falls in small flakes 
tlaslo          snow that falls slowly
tlapinti        snow that falls quickly
kripya          snow that has melted and refrozen
tliyel          snow that has been marked by wolves 
tliyelin        snow that has been marked by Eskimos 
blotla          blowing snow
pactla          snow that has been packed down 
hiryla          snow in beards
wa-ter          melted snow
tlayinq         snow mixed with mud
quinaya         snow mixed with Husky shit
quinyaya        snow mixed with the shit of a lead dog
slimtla         snow that is crusted on top but soft underneath
kriplyana       snow that looks blue in the early morning 
puntla          a mouthful of snow because you fibbed
allatla         baked snow
fritla          fried snow
gristla         deep fried snow
MacTla          snow burgers

So.... when a child is sick or dies or is dying or is suffering what do we say...
"You are in our prayers"
"We know how your feel"
"Everything happens for a reason"
"We are holding you in our thoughts"
"How can we help?"
"What do you need?"

Grief is such a basic part of life. How can we
 not have more words?  
I want something more. I want to have a 
lexicon of words as descriptive as "hamburger snow".  I want sounds that can come forth 
from my being with language of words that 
can explain the sinking empty feeling a mom has when she realizes she will never ever hug her child again.  That her child will never be 
to dance at a recital or sit on Santa's lap or 
step into warm ocean water again.  A child will never go on a date or a ride a bike.  

What words do we use for a parent that
knows the end is short.  The words they are
 "End of life care", "Hospice".  

It has been a couple of weeks where I need a dictionary the size of the Oxford English 
Dictionary full of words of comfort. I am very 
frustrated, and just plain sad that I don't have the words or acts or deed. 

 I have also come to realize that if there were words or deeds I would have figured them 
out. I don't think there is a secret society that works on this. I don't believe there is a special pass word or some clandestine group
meeting and taking away the words.  We are
so limited in our acknowledgement of the
 need for a detailed list or words and phrases that they don't exist.  

Instead of 101 Uses For A Dead Cat  I want 
101 Practical and comforting thing to do for
 someone in need. 

Hummmm who knows how to self publish on Amazon. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

Everything old is new again.

Christmas 1923
Living in a small town
Christmas is coming
Shopping must be done
Sears and Roebuck Catologue provided the best way to order. 

Now we go to Amazon and buy this sort of clock, or in my case 10 lbs of Bird Seed. 

Or to E bay to find what we have not been able to find anywhere else. 

Makes you ponder.  

Looking forward to Old Friends coming to visit and making new memories.  Judy and I taught together in Dietrich Idaho. (James and John, I will be cooking this week-end.)  Last Century..... Like this old clock.