Monday, April 20, 2009

Without power

During the recent windstorm our power went out 3 times. I was amazed that it was never out for longer than about 20 minutes. However, the second time, it was after sunset and I was in the bathtub.

It wasn't hard to find the soap and washcloth. It wasn't hard to find the shampoo, so I started washing my hair as I had intended. Only then did I wonder how I would dry it. At that point I began to think how dependent my life is on easy access to power of some sort. I could manage in the dark within the confines of the bathroom, but I needed electricity to dry my hair, gas to heat my water, light to read my book. As I sat there wet-headed in the dark in the cooling water, the resource worries of the world seemed a bit more real.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

things are breaking

Lately life seems more fragile than I remember it being.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Last night I had another dream about someone I know preparing for death, the 3rd in the series, I guess. I hate to say it, but this one was actually better because it was about cancer, i.e., not intentional.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

blessed are those who mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

It's hardest when I'm driving because it's not like you can distract yourself too much when driving without the situation becoming very dangerous very quickly. The closest I have been able to come as far as distractions has been listening to podcasts in the car. They take more of my attention than just listening to music most of the time, unless I'm trying to sing along. Most recently Mosaic has been going through the beatitudes. Although I had been putting it off, I finally listened to Blessed Are Those Who Mourn. Despite the fact that it was a little rambling, it caused me to cry 3 or 4 separate times during the course of my 25 minute commute.

First: Mourning involves love and loss. We do not mourn things we love but have not lost, nor do we mourn the things we lose but have not loved. The second of these things is probably more important -- a deep sense of loss is an indication of our humanity, our ability to have deep connection with others, the fact that we are able and willing to love.

Second: We can take the fact that we mourn as an indication the love is stronger than death, because the fact that someone we care for has died does not cause our love for them to cease. The first time I heard (or read) this somewhere else, I thought it seemed like too much of a play on concepts; it seemed in some way too sappy. Now, although it does seem true, I'm not sure that it is meaningful to pit love against death.

Third: Jesus weeps with those who mourn in John Chapter 11. Maybe this is comforting because it reminds us that we are not alone. But the outcome for Lazarus and his loved ones is not the ending I am expecting to get.

Revelations 21:
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

According to Erwin McManus, the "no sea" part seems a little arbitrary until you consider the fact that John had been exiled to the island of Patmos, an island with an area of 13 square miles, surrounded by the Aegean sea. Thus the sea must have represented to John separation from everyone else, including those he cared for, those he loved.

I don't know how to deal with the loss of a loved one without telling myself there is hope that one day we will meet again. Particularly, when she was taken so prematurely, seemingly in the prime of her life. In my mind this is why eulogies and memoirs allude to heaven. It's what's necessary to end on an uplifting note.

I am still looking for more of the comfort promised in Matthew 5:4.

Monday, March 30, 2009

people who share too much?

He asked how it was going, and I replied that things were okay, I couldn't stop sneezing, and maybe allergies were the problem. I asked "how are you" reciprocally, and he started to tell me about his father's poor health, being in and out of the hospital several times to avoid death, paperwork, notes from doctors, dealing with employers, medicare, disability, jury summons, moving, mailing addresses that banks and other organizations had that needed to be changed.

All this via instant message, initiated by him, the first time we had talked in almost 2 years. It's not that I don't care (at least I don't think it is), but to dump all that on someone who you were never particularly close to in the first place and after a few seconds in online chat? I guess I just don't feel comfortable with that level of sharing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

still early

I have been waking up too early, relative to other members of this household. I suppose I have also been going to bed too early as a result. And I don't like waking up before the sun comes up.

Right before I woke up this morning I had been in the middle of a bad dream. I think it was set in the present because everyone around me was the same age they are now, and I seemed to be the same age as well. But it also felt futuristic in that culture and social norms had changed to an extent. Basically, in this world in my dream it had become acceptable for people to decide to end their lives. I knew because one of my parents had decided it was time, and as a family we were making preparations for the appointment day. I found it to be incredibly disturbing that someone so close to me would choose this, but I was even more bothered by the fact that everyone seemed to think it was no big deal. That life should just go on.

At the same time, a substantial portion of my dream involved preparation. Making arrangements, gathering mementos, getting ready to say goodbye. You don't get that every day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 things I am thankful for

Keeping a gratitude journal is supposed to make people happy or something. Here are my five for the day:

1. Being employed, getting a paycheck.
2. Rats that are super cute and sweet and non-biting. They even come when I call.
3. Good health -- yeah I'm getting over a cold, but the experience just highlighted the fact that it's pretty rare that I get sick.
4. Good students, the ones you want to teach.
5. Husband who will squash bugs, and fix things, and make bread. (Not all at once.)