Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Last Good Deed

My young boss often doodles when he is on hold on the phone. I often draw when I am on hold on the phone. He most often uses a pen which makes thick abstract strokes. I generally pick up a pencil and do quick sketches of my hand or my Diet Coke bottle. Occasionally, we enter into this unspoken collaboration and one of us will start something and the other will add something else to it. Generally the end result of our partnership is weird. I kind of liked this one, though his sister (family businesses- ya gotta love 'em!) said it was freaky.

My father is literally blind in one eye and can't see out of the other (that is a whole other story), unless he has his contact in. He has had some trouble with his remaining working eye in the past and a cornea transplant was necessary. The surgery went well. He has been healing for the past couple of months but recently he got his new contact lens and his vision is better than it was before. And they are not through "tweaking" his lens prescription so there will be even more improvement when he goes back to get his next contact. We are all so very grateful.

Wow. Thanks be to God, and to modern medicine, and to the anonymous soul who was generous enough to be an organ donor. Had there been no donor, my father would be sitting in the house, unable to watch TV, or read his Bible or his Sunday School lesson, or the daily newspaper. He would not be able to mow his yard, would not have been able to return to work today (and yes he was ready to go back!)

Don't take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here on earth.

Consider being an organ donor. For myself, I figure it is the last good deed I can do before I leave this earth.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jesus Talk

David of Gallimaufry tagged me a while back with a meme that asked for things I dig about Jesus. Jules of Maced With Grace also tagged me recently with a meme that asked why I love Jesus.

I think I’m gonna kill two birds with one stone here. First of all David, I have to be honest with you and tell you that I have never liked that expression, “I dig this” or “I dig that” so it is completely unnatural for me to say it like that. I might be more inclined to say something is “cool” instead. So I will make a small adjustment in the wording for myself.

One of the things I find cool about Jesus is that he came into contact with some of the most unsavory people of his day and he never seemed to get flustered, never seemed to worry what Sister SoandSo might think or say. He knew he was doing what he was meant to do. He was focused.

The other thing I think is cool is that he was there in the very beginning, when the earth was formed, which bamboozles my mind because it brings to mind the triune nature of God which is a mighty big thing to ponder.

I think it is cool that he is for us the image of the unseen God. How cool is that? And the Bible says we are his brothers and sisters, so that must mean that occasionally, I also get to be an image of the unseen God to others around me (although, more times than not, I am but a dim image!)

And that brings me to Jules’ meme, asking why do I love Jesus. Well, the most obvious reason is that I love him because he first loved me.

I also love him because of what he told Peter when he knew Peter was going to fail him in a most public way. He told him that after he had sinned, he was to return and help the brethren. It was not over just because Peter stumbled. And I know he feels the same way about me, that when I have stumbled, he wants me to come on back and get going again.

I often struggle with not feeling good enough and insecure, and sometimes I struggle with the feeling that I am an oddball outsider who has a hard time getting genuinely close to others, and when I really get to feeling sorry for myself about that, I always remember that Jesus loves me perfectly and knows me completely (sometimes it takes me a little time to remember this!). He knows my every flaw--and still he loves me! There are many cool things about Jesus, and many reasons to love him, but truly, no matter what happens, no matter how lowdown I feel, he is my Savior and lover of my soul.

Friday, July 20, 2007


This is an old photo of my great grandparents. They look kind of stern and gloomy, but they were really kind and loving people. Both of them were tiny people (wish I'd gotten some of that!).

If I were to title to this one, I might call it "Secret to a Long Marriage"!

(PS-- Cynthia, whose meme challenge I responded to in the previous post, is neither ignoring me nor MIA. She is working on passing a summer semester Algebra class. I wish her well and expect to hear from her once the class is completed. Also, David and Jules had challenges too, and I will write on those soon. Sorry about not making the links work. I am in a bit of a hurry this morning.)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dark Answers to Cynthia's Meme Challenge

Cynthia tagged me a while back with a meme where you are to list five things about yourself. I generally have trouble doing these things so I put the task on the back burner.

I was thinking about the challenge yesterday and I thought I would offer her more personalized answers to the meme. I usually just offer generic quirky things when I do one of these memes, but I have about run out of generic quirky things to confess about myself! Cynthia knows I am a poetical type person, she might even go so far as to call me a poet, so I thought I would share a few of my poems with her.

For the rest of you: The poems might not be what you would expect from me, judging from my regular blog posts. I have written some nice and tender poems that are not so intense, and I have posted a few of those on the blog, but these are the ones I chose to share with Cynthia, for whatever reason. I do not mean to offend anyone with these things. And not everybody enjoys poetry so I will not be offended if you do not read further.

I don't know why the title to this first poem is not showing up. I see it in my draft, but not in the preview. It's called "Rare Bird", in case it does not show up. And if the formatting looks wonky, I will pull this post and probably take it as a sign that I should not have posted these poems! Also, Blogger is acting just a little crazy these days. What is up with that?)

Rare Bird

A harmless bird preens
cock-like outside our window.
Pleased with what he sees

reflected in the
mirrored windows of the store.
Self-absorbed, he scares

timid customers.
A nuisance -- bad for business
so I tap firmly.

Unseen, from inside.
Tap, tap
. The noise startles him
and he runs away

skittering. We laugh
at the bird with broken wings.
His mother named him

Mark. The story goes:
someone slipped him a mickey
and bad acid fried

his tender young mind.
Now he smokes used cigarettes
picked up from the ground.

A wounded bird preens
cock-like outside our window

pleased with what he sees.


I'll rent a room near the gambling boats and play
the slots one last time before retiring to my suite.
I'll take a long soak in the whirlpool and linger
till I am wrinkled and shriveled as my grandmother,
whose stocky build I now possess.

And then-- then I will eat myself stupid,
munching peanut M&Ms while I compose letters:
Having a great time, glad you aren't hear.
To my therapist, who wants to hear me say, I did it,
I'll leave a voice mail: Guess what, I just did it.

I am a woman of action. I will lie in repose
and ponder those who will cry, and I will smell
the flowers – yellow tea roses, How thoughtful –

look over there I didn’t think he’d come.
What kind words they all have to say.

In the morning when I wake, I’ll flush the pills
I neglected to swallow (no gun or messy guts for me).

I’ll go home again and wash the dishes.

Room With A View

On the thirty-first floor of a beachside hotel.
a woman stands with her husband. Rain
has held them captive for three days
and tomorrow they go home.

As far as she can see, there is only grey gulf,
swallowing a dull horizon. She shivers
and he drapes her bare shoulders
with cashmere. Still the chill persists.

Terrazzo tiles are so slick in the rain
and the balcony railings are entirely too low for a tall man
reaching over to grasp a sweater flung by the wind
from the shoulders of a cold woman.

There are so many fish out there. Why
have tuna everyday?
As he falls, she gathers
her breath and prepares to scream.
Clutching cashmere to her breast,

warmth arrives.

Shelling Peas On The Porch At Dusk

Dusky dark, being neither day nor night,
disturbs the child. The breeze holds
its breath and waits for dark to fall,
smothering them in pitch. The grown-ups
shell their peas with quiet abandon.

The symphony of crickets magnifies.
No other noise, save soft voices
of the old folks, telling stories of times passed
and perhaps, the screaming woman
sound of a peacock deep in the woods.

The woman swings on an empty porch
and remembers the little girl who shelled
her peas and listened to these simple sounds.

In the distance a lone coyote wails.


Okay, so that is four poems (dark poems--sorry). I have had problems in the past with depression and one of the things that seems to help me is to dig into the darkness, sometimes in creative ways. The two "true" poems in this group are the ones about Mark and the woman on the porch. Dusk does bother me.

Here is one other thing about me—I collect quotes. I have nearly 50 pages saved in a Word document containing nothing but quotes. Some of those quotes are from my blog readings.

I did this earlier today, though I am not entirely satisfied with it. I snagged this anonymous quote on Real LIve Preacher's blog. That's how I came across your blog. I don't know why, but when I remembered that I needed to answer your meme, this quote was one of the first things that came to me. "turn the knob". How often do we forget that tiny little step?? (As always, you can click on the picture to make it bigger (huge, probably. I always forget to make my stuff smaller for the web).

Monday, July 09, 2007

"You Are So Nice"

I was sitting in the car with the windows down, waiting for my daughter to come out of Walgreen’s. It was nearly ten o’clock, we had stopped to pick up some Diet Coke. That is my “coffee” in the mornings and we were totally out. All of a sudden, I started hearing this pitiful moaning wail and a scrawny long-haired girl comes around the corner and plops herself down on the curb in the parking lot. I can see she is fumbling with her cell phone, and I can tell she is upset, but I am not sure what is going on.

She finally gets someone on the phone and I can hear her begging someone named David to come get me, pleeeeze don’t leave me here all night. I can’t decide if she is a teenager who has run away from home and is calling a boyfriend or a big brother, or if the people on the other end of the line have kicked her out and they don’t want her back.

In the meantime, my daughter comes to the car and we continue listening to the crying and pleading. We are in the dark and the girl is not aware of our presence. We are discussing what to do. I told my daughter I could not just drive off and leave her there (and she agrees). So we decide to pull over to her and see if we can help.

I drive up pretty close and she has her head down and is still not really aware of our presence in the car so near. I asked her, a little loudly, “Are you going to be all right?” And she looks up and says in the most pitiful voice, “Noooo.”

Now, when she looks up, I realize this is not a girl. This is a woman, probably in her early thirties, who, at the moment, looks a little like the epitome of that old saying, “she looks like she has been road hard and put up wet”. Nevertheless, at this point, I am committed to my good deed, and I ask her if she needs a ride somewhere. Well she brightened considerably at this offer and said I could bring her to the trailer park just up the street.

But once she got in the car, she decided I could just go ahead and bring her to Linda’s, as if I should know Linda. Well, actually, once she got in the car, part of her problem was immediately evident. She was drunker than Cooter Brown. The smell clued me in. And Linda’s was the little bar up the street from Walgreen’s.

I dropped her off at Linda’s and she staggered in to find her boyfriend. Her last words to me were, “You are so nice.”

Then I drove on home with my car reeking of alcohol and started reading my Bloglines where I saw that David had posted a possible answer to the mystery of the chalked note on his driveway that said “Y’all R so nice.” Lo and behold, he thinks it might have been a little girl who they helped when she fell of her bike.

I doubt this woman will come back and chalk a thank you message on my driveway, but I know she was grateful for our kindness.

I think of two things:

In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me. (I grew up with good old King James, and it is hard to get his way of speaking out of my head when I start trying to remember verses from the top of my head!)


There but for the grace of God go I. God forbid that I would ever be so callous to think with pride that I could never fall in that way. I might never get stumbling drunk, but Lord knows, I have stumbled so many times in so many other ways. Ways that require the same grace and kindness as this woman’s stumblings require.