28 August 2007

The late shift, a train of thoughts.

Taking the trash out to the alley at midnight, broken glass strewn in front of the dumpsters looks like diamonds on the black pavement, sparkling under golden streetlights. There is hush, except the squirrels chatter and rummage. Distantly, in a glowing second story apartment, someone listens to YoYo Ma play Bach. Soundtrack to the story of their night: making dinner, drinking wine, talking. And of mine, too, I suppose: taking respite from the kitchen in the breeze of the summer night, sitting on a milk crate when no one is watching, and thinking.

I think of the playfully narrowed eyes and sly smile of a friend.

I think of the lyrics I heard earlier which were melancholy and somehow just right:
“And this ache is gonna break me love
Till you come back home, right or wrong.
There is no home without you.”

I think of a song I heard for the first time last winter. A million scattered dissonances coming to resolution at just the right instant so that it broke something in your soul in a good way, if that makes any sense at all. I decided it would be the sound you heard when you met Him face to face. It was as unbelievable and real as the heartbeat of the slow moving constellations that were once, long ago, the food of leaves, and would be again one day. The way things work in this chaotically and perfectly orchestrated world we walk around in.

I think of a writer I heard interviewed about her recently published novel. She said it was the pinnacle of her life’s work. It was the story she had to tell, and it had taken her ten years to write it. The interviewer asked what her current projects were, and she balked a little, and finally said that she could no longer hold a pen or type because her hands were debilitated with arthritis. I think of her and the awakening in my mind when in one of her earliest novels she wrote: “Whatever I see is plenty, abundance. I am the skin of water the wind plays over; I am petal, feather, stone.” Reading it was something fresh and astounding, a pure delight.

I think of those who, for whatever reason, can not do what they feel they have been created to do.

I think of a God who says: “I make all things new.”

I think of Summer saying the lines of act three, asserting herself with a raspy voice and blowing hot wind that makes us feel like we’re being baked like pies; she is the spoiled primadonna who smokes too much and wears too much make-up, which quickly becomes untidy looking. Sadly, most of us hope she will retire soon.

You, my dear—(I tell her gently, as she is rather irritable)—need to prop up those tired feet and think about taking a vacation! (This is my secret plan—a brilliant diversion!) Then Autumn can come and speak her lines—I know she is your understudy, is a little showy and mischievous (Ha! I think to myself) — but a little less intensity might be just what the doctor ordered.

I think that I need to get back to work.

I walk slowly under the fire escape and down the dark steps, through the back door & into the brightly lit kitchen. Rather than Bach, I am serenaded by the hum of the inefficient air-conditioners and the spraying of the dishwasher on the metal soup pots.

Just another night working the late shift.

21 August 2007

Love borders on the absurd...or maybe it even lives there, camps out like the Russian refugee we met in a state park in the mountains of California.

Driven by curiosity, fear-tinged idealism, and the knowledge that God's plan is for a kingdom of shalom, some follow the compulsion: to see what's behind door number two.

Cheers: to you who make decisions that leave you shaking in your boots (or chacos), and then come face to face with a God whose glory causes you to bow down and whisper: Holy, holy, holy.

“By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” - Psalm 42:8

15 August 2007

Got the giggles

If you're having a bad day, or even if you're not, watch this. Warning: it takes un peu de temps to load.

14 August 2007

Meteor Showers

Summer nights....

* Coffee & conversation

* Waiting for Guffman

Corky: It kind of reminds of me the olden days, in Paris, when men use to slap each other with white leather gloves, you know, "Oh, D'Artagnan, how dare you speak to me that way". And Smack Em'.

Corky: Here's the Remains of the Day lunchbox. Kids don't like eating at school, but if they have a Remains of the Day lunchbox they're a lot happier.

* Thanks to Jen S. for inviting us to get out of the city to view the Perseid Meteor Shower.
We saw some good shooting stars. We talked about strange childhood thoughts. We hoped that small planes passing overhead were not Russians coming to take over or drop rabid farm dogs on us.

Check out my friend Beth's post in "Just Between Us" about returning to Kolkata. It's wonderful.

09 August 2007

It's too hot to chew gum.

I've been informed that my last post was depressing. It was supposed to be a bit of a joke, mostly for those of us who tend toward the melancholy and the laugh at ourselves soon after the mawkishness fades.

I have been feeling a little unable to blog, but it has been far too long, and the domesticated birds are utterly desolated by now.

So. Just when I thought I'd seem my last fireworks for the year, we happened upon a fountain down the street from Coffee Cartel hanging out after housechurch. It was luminescent and dazzling. We spent some moments transfixed. Dassler rescued a cicada from the water and we took turns holding it and examining its "otherness"--the stained glass window wings (Laura), the melancholy eyes, the one wounded leg.

I have been surprised over and over this year at how much house church as been a blessing and stabilizing influence in my life. There really is no pretense. We come together to eat, to sing, to cry, to read those Holy, Living scriptures, to group in twos and threes and talk to the Father. It is such a blessing that sometimes I wait for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. God, thank you for this gift.

We come to him tarnished, mostly dross. Only a loving God would make some of the polishing, burning, and reshaping such a delight to the soul.

A haiku, for fun. For those of us who enjoy counting syllables. Missing season---unless the liturgical calendar counts.


Spirit descended.
Presence in the upper room:
Yahweh, a bright flame.

The cicadas outside these windows are singing, and so are the leaves, if you listen closely enough. Cheers.