Thursday, November 25, 2004

Life....finds a way.

A quote from Jeff Goldblum, acting in the prehistoric-action-packed thrillllller, Jurassic Park. There's no explanation attached. It's just life. This was particularly relevant to me recently, as the holidays are upon us. Somehow, we get to celebrate, at least once a year, together, the "life, finding it's way."

There's much gratitude possible to living. And this is a good one to count if you've seen tragedy in others' lives, or suffered them in your own. Life has felt unmanaged, impossible, and lonely. It probably should on one level. A new acquaintance said recently that we shouldn't be so shocked when those around us experience a death of sorrow. It's always going to be a part of the story. Well, that's a bit simpled out, isn't it?

Regardless, gratitude is a key element to enjoying the here and now, I think. THIS cup of coffee. THIS pumpkin pie. THIS conversation (ok, argument). Especially valuable as I find myself with family at Thanksgiving. How many more times will we gather like this? For all of life's dysfunction, there is a great gift lying there in the midst that I could miss if I got too hung up on the politics of it all.

This must come with (gasp) age. I haven't found myself feeling like this much. It's taken the last few years to tenderize my heart towards that type of reflection. Yeah, sometimes, it means overlooking a lot. Maybe even beyond being the petty idiot I can be to actual hurts and wrongs done. Not to brush over all that many have to overlook about yours truly, but, once there, I am free to drink deep in fellowship with my family, and find myself grateful for that moment.

Here's to finding a way, while we can. And eating lots of turkey.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The internet is useful. Part 1

My good friend Cath passed on NewsToday as a great source for all that's risky and beautiful in design on the net. I spent a few moments with this and had to pass it on.

The Public Broadcast is quite a hodge-podge. Proceed at your own risk.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Statistics and the Hobbit.

I was in Colorado over the weekend and was shared this factoid - Every year, 1,200 left-handed people die using things intended for right-handed people. I don't know if I'm more angry at the lack of left-hand-friendly products, or the lack of focus in my left-handed community. Where do we go from here? Who will provide moral leadership to navigate such a sad state?
In Grand Junction, CO, I bought the Hobbit at a fantastic used book store. The last few years, I've enjoyed reading Tolkien in the fall to lead up to the release of a new movie. Unfortunately, all we have this year is the extended version of "The Return of the King." Yes, I'm WAY behind all of this. It took leaving college to get me really passionate about reading books again and learning to process it all.

Well, so far, I am laughing a great deal. What I'm enjoying is the dual nature of Bilbo. One side of his spirit wants nothing more than to eat 6-7 meals in the day and stand outside his door, smoking his pipe. The other side has intense wanderlust - wanting to live up to the title Gandalf gave to make him party to the Dwarf adventurers. I relate to this in SO many ways.

Now, I just need a few hours a day to read.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Collision at Starbucks.

I was stopping by for a fix of coffee. My good friend Anne was there, and she dashed up a red-eye (coffee with espresso) for me. I'm always grateful for a second to hear what she's up to and how she's doing.

A moment of chatting and a fellow I knew through a small community at our church came up to me. I had heard earlier this week that he had an operation to remove a tumor on his brain. Well, the short story is, he doesn't have long to live. He's leaving Nashville, and probably won't be back. I didn't know Joe that well, but we're all living life, so news like that resonates to the core of everyone who hears it. Don't have long, so..... Not coming back and.... I know that sometimes I was....

Well, I take leave, and never feel like I've said the right thing, or anything. I mumble something to the effect that I'll be praying for Joe. Is God going to hear and does it matter?

I run into a friend who is remarrying in a few weeks. We chat about our fantasy football teams, and look around, observing that only musicians and people out of work (similar idea) are sitting in this coffee shop. My thoughts turn to Joe for a few seconds, and all of his journals piled up at his table there. I wonder, what is in those journals?

He's not working anymore, yet he has, in brief moment, had a job as teacher to me. He's no musician, yet I know that there are many songs in his story.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Ordinary Days

Maybe the bulk of life isn't so much in the highs and lows, but maybe the days in between. The most important and life-defining stories might be masked in dull dress and annoying voice.

Well, I think I've been missing it. I'm working towards some goals. Sorts of things that will bring about a certain sense of "arrival." What does it look like to be in that moment? Is there a happiness to come in a few years, many years, or is it here, and I'm not perceptive enough to see it? What am I waiting for?

I think a better understanding of ordinary days will bring about more joy. Appreciation. A soft heart.

In the meantime, I aim to be bored to life.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mid-election Speculation Spectacular

The election is about half over. Some are saying it's all over. Other networks are still saying it's on. Pundits are saying it's not over until it's over. I'm done.

The highlights were Jon Stewart's Daily Show coverage (the "too-close-to-call" dancers, and a haymaker-swingin' Al Sharpton), and the issue of whether or not Brit Hume was actually asleep while he was reporting. I seriously saw a mortician take measurements.

All the numbers are giving me a headache.

I called my good friend in the glorious Dutch-inhabited swing state of Michigan. We discussed that as the country has gotten so polarized, it's an opportunity for those in the fray to really understand what they believe. What they hope for our country. I think this year has been a good one for me in that regard. I hope the people that came out to vote, stay involved. Stay hungry. We're not electing a proper direction, it's a man.

I hate the thought that the evangelical vote will turnout and then turn off their brains because their Christian man is in office again. There has to be intelligent conversation about where we're headed. What we've done wrong. Where we need to be humble. How to change foreign policy, the idea of preemptive war...we've gotta keep these people in office listening to what we care about. That, and get Colin Powell to hang around longer.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Vote or die, Rock the vote, Choose or lose, Redeem the vote?

I feel so strange, on the eve of the election, in one of the most polarizing moments in our country's history, to realize this time tomorrow we could have a new president, the same one, or a hell of a lot of lawsuits. Actually, it sounds as though the lawsuits are coming, regardless of what happens.

We're going to have a night to watch the coverage, and see how they call it. It brings back memories of Dan Rather in 2000 saying things I've never heard uttered from a news anchor before. This includes Rod Burgundy. Calling Florida one way, then another, and then back again. Participating in this sort of mediafest is probably how l end up feeling as though my soul was stolen. It's what John Stewart is rallying against. But, with a few bottles of red wine, it could turn to good comedy. Like John Stewart.

I'm excited to see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully, nothing. We don't need MORE to polarize our country. That's worth getting to in the next few blogs.