Friday, April 30, 2010

It began with a Turtle

I am once again able to do the Friday Five! It feels good to be doing it again-- and on what better topic than friendship

Many of us have friendships - past and today we will celebrate Friday with friendship:

1) Do you remember your first best friend? What did you do together? Are they still in your life?

Absolutely I remember my first best friend! I met him when I was three. I was bellowing in the back yard because there was a dinner plate sized turtle by the chain link gate, had never seen one live before, and was not too certain I wanted to. My hollering caused him to wander over from across the street and we both squatted down to examine the creature. My mom came outside, we walked across the street and met his mom, and then we took the turtle down to the creek to let it go. I have not been in contact with him for years and years, but I still remember him...

2) Did you ever have to move away or have your best friend move away from you?

Yes... I have two best friends. One that I have known since eighth grade...and we have not lived in the same place since heading off to college--but are still dear friends and in regular contact. The other is someone I met in grad school. Moving away from her was much harder. But she and I too are in regular contact. I am a fortunate woman to be blessed so richly and consistently with good people in my life.

3) Are there people in your life now that you can call 'friend'?

Absolutely. It is one of the things for which I give eternal thanks to God... I have friends all over. Not loads of them, but good ones. Ones where your reaction is to throw open your arms and close your eyes and laugh or cry or smile or say nothing at all and give a great hug.

4) What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends?

Running errands and doing the whatnot of life with someone you care about; coffee and conversation; cooking with friends; reading...when you can be in the same room as someone and the quiet between you is welcoming and hints at the ease of your hearts with one another; road trip...maybe with a purpose, maybe just to ride.

5) What is a gift friendship has given you?

Life, joy, confidence, self esteem, freedom, love, the chance to give to someone else.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three weeks and a Day

It has been three weeks and a day since my last posting. In those three weeks and a day, I have been witness to illness, death, and the feeling of someone's sure and certain resurrection into the glory of God.

I have witnessed other illnesses as well and the debilitating effects they can have on those who surround them. I have felt the tangle of some relationships and the liberation of others.

I have felt sadness, awe, fear, joy, wonder, vacancy, frustration, and the heart of the word impotencia. I have felt the gratification of returning home upon arriving in San Francisco last evening and know that I will have that joy again when I head back to NYC at the end of the month.

I have been overwhelmed by the love and support of my Sisters and overwhelmed by the emotion and multi-faceted intensity of being with family during stressful times.

And, thanks to a letter I read last night before going to bed, I know that there are yet other potentially sticky familial tasks that lie ahead of me between now and September- tasks that have nothing to do with the last three weeks and a day, yet promise more of the same.

My faith tells me that God created the world in six days and a day of rest to contemplate its goodness. A lot can be done in six days if you are God. A lot can happen in three weeks if you are human.

It is pleasing to me to think that God took a day of rest to consider things. I need to do the same.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friends of God and Prophets

Friends of God and Prophets

The morning sun,
out beyond the irises,
is writing the icon of her praise
on the wall beside my chair.
This, after passing through me,
borrowing contours
of breath and being.

Wisdom's startling portrait,
coffee included.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter and Dynamic Stasis

It is Easter Monday. It rained gently all night and the flowers in the raised beds are enjoying a prismatic, glorious morning stretch sun-ward thanks to the moisture. Floral resurrection. There were even a couple bees for musical accompaniment--seemed fitting.

No surgery is necessary on my knee right now, thanks be to God. I am to keep on with the brace at all times (except night/sleeping) for six weeks and go back to see the doctor. The ACL will remain torn for now--stability will improve with time, though the tear will not heal on its own. I will bring the brace and a cane to Rome to use when a major walk is in store. How my knee behaves in Rome will color the Dr's decision about whether to surgically reconstruct the ligament or not. I have no vanity issues about using a cane, can walk quite nicely with it, and find it helpful when it is needed, so I am not overly worried. Some friends have joked that a cane even suits me...fits in with that writer/intellectual vibe thing they say I have going. Don't know about that, but do know that it works for me to use one.

Hospice has told my mother that this is the end for my grandfather so I am headed to WI on Thursday to drive with my mother and step-father to OH on Friday morning. Not sure whether he will still be alive by then, but that is up to God and my grandfather. It is good that I have the time to be there for my mother now and it will mean a lot to my grandmother as well. Being able to do that for them is important to me.

I read about the quake in Baja and continue my walking pleas to the Earth... Enough, already, enough! Thinking about and experiencing the amount of energy on which we walk every day has altered the way I think of terra firma. Firma is more about equilibrium, it seems, than any sort of real solidity. Firma is firma because of synergy and harmony, things being held in a dynamic stasis. I don't know if that is a scientifically sound pairing of concepts, but it is what comes to mind with ecosystems, for example. There are cycles that happen, giving and taking and serving and receiving (dynamism), within that particular ecosystem (stasis)that will continue until some part of that pattern is disrupted. When it is disturbed, something must be done to restore it...volcano, earthquake, tsunami, etc.

Makes me think of Madeleine L'Engle's question in her young adult classic, A Wrinkle in Time. Do I dare disturb the universe?

Sometimes it is called for...and the results are not always containable or predictable. But that does not mean the question goes away.