Monday, November 29, 2004

Why Not Be Flame?

"A disciple once came to Abba Joseph, saying, 'Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, my little fast, and my little prayer. And according as I am able, I strive to cleanse my mind of all evil thoughts and my heart of all evil intents. Now, what more should I do?' Abba Joseph rose up and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He answered, 'Why not be totally changed into fire?'"

This, this, is what I want. To be flame. Pure light. I want it in my writing. I want it in my relationships with other people. I want it in my home. I want it in my heart and mind, in my breathing in and breathing out. I want it to be so much who I am that I am not even aware of its being so.

Christ in us. His promise, and He says He will complete what He has begun in us. That's the only reason I dare hold to any hope at all of it ever being so, audacious as that hope seems.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Black Friday

A most decided introvert, I shudder at the mere approaching, even only in thought, of the Temple of Mammon (the mall) on the busiest shopping day of the year. No holiday bargains for me, sadly, but the day was a rousing success, nonetheless!

I spent Friday untangling phone line, snipping wires from a defunct security system and crawling through the attic, my elbows and knees balanced precariously on the joists to keep from falling through the ceiling, in order to run a wire from our existing phone line to my computer downstairs.

I love playing with electricians tape and wires and electricity and getting everything all hooked up and ready to go and the phone still works and you're covered in isulation with your hair looking like Nicholas Cage's in Raising Arizona and you don't even get shocked this time because you remember not to lick your fingers to twist the little copper wires together after you've stripped the plastic insulation off them without turning off the current at the outside box and then at last you're standing with the phone line in one hand and you put the little pluggy dohickey into your computer and. . .

it won't work.

And you do a little checking and then discover that your computer has no modem.

And you feel a bit foolish.

And your phone won't work for some reason, either, with this little pluggy do-hickey plugged in. Hmmmmmm. . .

So you call up your computer genius father who is smarter even than Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or any of those guys, the computer genius father who built a computer from pieces-parts when you were little and taught you to count in binary when you were eight and how to solder circut boards when you were twelve and how to play Hunt the Wumpus back when computers used cassette tapes instead of floppy's or CD's. . .and you call him up and he says he's probably got a modem lying around somewhere, so you run errands to get movies and groceries and swing by to see him while you're at it and he shows you a thingy a lot like the little pluggy do-hickey that goes on the end of a phone cord but is just a little bigger, and you say, "Yes!!! That looks more like the size of the hole I plugged the phone line thingy in, but it didn't work!" And he raises one eyebrow and grins and tells you you plugged the internet line into the networking hookup place and then he finds a modem and gives it to you and says the phone should work a lot better if you put THIS in your computer and THEN hook up the phone line to it, and you go home and do that and. . .

Voila!! It works!!!

And you go watch really cool movies with Great Scott and The Princess and The Fairy for the rest of the evening and are very, very, very happy.

The end.

Thanksgiving Day

Posting has been spotty, yes, to say the least. That's what Thanksgiving breaks are for, however: a total chucking of schedule. Right?

Thanksgiving day was spent at Great Scott's mom's house. She did the traditional feast: homemade rolls, mashed potatos, stuffing, gravy, turkey, corn, green beans, cranberry relish stuff, salad. . . you name it; it was on the table--for a little while at least. My contribution was desserts: pumpkin pie, chocolate satin pie (more like fudge pie), and angel food cake with frozen strawberries. A good day. Spent the afternoon nibbling on leftovers and playing Cranium Cadoo with The Princess, The Fairy and my brother-in-law's girlfriend, L. Had lots of fun and made arrangements with my very thoughtful mother-in-law (who is a great grandmother!) for the girls to spend the weekend in a week.

Came home tired and more stuffed than the turkey had been, with enough leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast the next day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Snowstorms, Opthamologists and Trout Fishing in America

True comfort, I learned today, is driving home in a mid-November snowstorm with two drowsing daughters while listening to Trout Fishing in America.

Our older daughter (henceforth to be known as The Princess), 10, had her first eye exam today and had the news confirmed. Glasses are needed. We live an hour from the opthamologist's office, and since there was only a half day of school today, both girls went to the appointment and to pick out The Princess's new frames. Snow was flying thick by the time we started to drive back home, and the truck I was driving (my car, Lady, being "indisposed" yet again) wanted to dance with the wind instead of driving through it. The girls were nodding in their seats; the sky was a white-grey with the horizon almost lost in swirling silent flakes; and Trout Fishing in America was singing "Carry Me" through the speakers. Peace comes at the oddest times.

We also found out that our younger daughter (henceforth The Fairy) will need glasses by next year. :::wince::: This is what happens when people who have reading addictions marry each other. Take note and beware!

Now we're home again, the old gas heat stove rattling its fan downstairs like a jet plane taking off, and I'm happy. Yes, the house is a wreck: the dishes aren't done, and the floor could stand a vacuuming; there's laundry on a chair in the living room, and my desk is still mostly buried despite my best intentions and efforts to unearth it. Still, it's Thanksgiving break: The Princess will soon be able to see clearly again; Great Scott gets a few hard-earned days' break, and The Fairy and I will have opportunities for cuddles in mid-day. Am most grateful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Your After-lives

Supposedly, after you've scribbled down five alternate lives, you're supposed to go out and do something related to one of them. (For example, go to some stables and do a trail ride if one of your lives was a cowboy.) The idea isn't to chuck your own life out the window, but to play. So this morning I wrote thirty minutes worth of fantasy fiction before I got out of bed.

And something happened.

I have energy. Frenetic energy. I'm trying to eat everything in the house (insert picture of large Muppet, somewhere between Sweetums and Animal, stomping through the forest chanting, "Sugar! Sugar! Sugar! MEEEEEEAAAAAT!!!"). It's only 10 a.m. and I've got three loads of laundry done and have tormented the cat. I want to write MORE, but I can't sit still, have to get up and walk around restlessly. I want to run. Run through the woods. Lope like the wind! Rob a bear of its kill and howwwwwwwlll!!!

Ahem. Yes. Well.

So. What will you do with your one wild and precious life?

Monday, November 22, 2004

If You Had Five Other Lives . . .

I've been working my way through a book on creativity. A sort of writer's block therapy between covers. One of the exercises last week was to quickly think of five other lives you'd lead besides this one. Examples given were painter, cowboy, policeman, teacher (for crazy and/or the really dedicated among you!), dancer, etc. . . You're not supposed to put too much thought into it--just do it, then look at it. One of the main purposes of the book is to get uptight people like me to remember how to PLAY and then dare to DO it!

I was intrigued with my results. I chose

Watercolor painter
Fantasy/sci-fi book writer
Web-page designer (I know NOTHING about this, but it "feels" like it could be fun.)
Sorceress/Prophetess (Yeah, it's going beyond the scope of what the book intends, but hey, it's creative!)

It made me curious to know what other people might say, so I'm going to go post a link to Randy's website and see if anyone else wants to volunteer a little self-disclosure.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

Light for Today

This morning's light was clouded. And beautiful. I know chilly, misty mornings depress some people, but to me they're comforting, softened around the corners. The trees in our yard are completely bare of leaves now, and their black branches stand out against the pale grey sky like Chinese calligraphy, delicate and bold. I lay awake trying to decipher them for a little while. Sometimes mystery is better than knowing, though. Even if it is more frustrating.

Monday, November 01, 2004