Thursday, August 31, 2006

Great Moments

. . . when those you've taught become your teachers, it is a great moment.
. . . when you walk confidently against the tide of consensus knowing that you are on your right path, it is a great moment.
. . . when the moments matter more than the prescribed plan, when you're valued for who you are and not simply for what you do, when someone looks and truly sees you . . . these and more are great moments.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Recounting the greatness that is my life

-I completed a solid hour of a kick boxing class Monday night and was actually able to do almost every move completely through . . . I do however seem to have an issue with balance and so 8 consecutive rapid kicks to the side are not currently in my "have done" list

-Friends challenge my thinking almost daily . . . not in a confrontive "oh how trivial you really can be, Karen" kind of way but simply by adding new thoughts for me to consider

-Lunches that turn into counseling sessions that turn into workshops that turn into laughter are not out of the norm for me

-I know at least ten good men by name, heart, and mind that make my life richer. I know fewer, much fewer, SOBs

-The count on good women is almost impossible to calculate

-I'm blessed with a number of twenty-somethings that teach me something new on a regular basis

-I'm as likely to get a communication from London or Germany as I am from California or southwest Houston.

-After an impromptu party thrown by bestest boy pal Sunday night, I dragged home ready to get under the covers and just wait for Monday to roll around (it had been that kind of weekend) and Roger, the host, called just to say "I love you"

Friday, August 25, 2006


The movie Sideways provided a cautionary tale regarding the hazards of "drunk dialing". Perhaps there should be some breathanalyzer equivalent for PMS blogging.

Yesterday wasn't THAT bad. Today is better.

And . . . tomorrow . . . thank God is Saturday!!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Feek Very Human Today

My eyes itch from allergies.

I should have had two projects completed by now but don't . . . and it's been months.

For the first time in a very long time, someone I was supposed to be helping actually asked me how I was doing. I told him . . . both the good and the bad. But the telling of it only made the lonely part more real.

Today was not a "everyone wants a piece of me" day and yet I responded to people as though it were.

I have to go to meeting right now and I don't want to be nice.

One message late in the day redeemed much of the day for me . . . but I don't like that it could have that much power in my life.

My eyes still itch.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm Going All Priest-y On You

A priest is a priest, no matter where she happens to be. Her job is to recognize the holiness in things and hold them up to God.

My recent posts indicate that I've been reading Barbara Brown Taylor who said the line above. When I thought about the idea of "recognizing the holiness" of my current reality and "holding them up to God" I had to smile Wow! What an amazing few weeks this August has brought into my life.

So . . . now . . . this "priest" holds the following up in celebration of their holiness . . . the birth of a baby in Germany and another strong soul in California and the two families who have chosen not easy ways but ways that advocate the living of life rather than simply existing . . . the struggles of a young woman who has grown and matured and who tackled her latest affront with fortitude that she didn't previously know she had . . . the wedding of a dear friend's son and the opportunity for a family who has seen great tragedy to also know great joy . . . young women coming together to make life better for the young women who will come after them . . . resilence in the face of financial crisis by a woman who often ministers to me more than any pastor I've known . . . such strong emotional connections among friends that "family" is a better term for who they are to me . . . first days of school . . . a long waited for and much needed job coming to a dear man and friend . . . learners who will go to great measures to find mentors . . . and at least one example of the established church partnering with the emerging.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow . . .

More Quotes from Leaving Church

"What made any of us think that the place we are trying to reach is far, far ahead of us somewhere and that the only way to get there is to run until we drop? For Christians, at least part of the answer is that many of us have been taught to think of God's kingdom as something outside ourselves, for which we must search as a merchant searches for the pearl of great price. But even that points to a larger and more enduring human problem, which is the problem of mortality. With a limited number of years to do whatever it is that we are supposed to be doing here, who has time to stop? . . . According to the Hebrew Bible, everyone does, for at least one full day every week."

[after she left the church where she had served as the Episcopal priest] "I decided to take a rest from trying to be Jesus . . . Today I will consent to be an extra in God's drama, someone off to the side watching the scenery unfold with self-forgetfulness that is not available to me at center stage. Today I will bear the narcissistic wound of knowing that there are others who can say my lines when I am not there, including some who can say them better, and that while God may welcome my willingness to play a part, this show will go on with or without me, for as long as God has breath to bring more players to life. Today I will take a break from trying to save the world and enjoy my blessed swath of it instead. I will give thanks for what is instead of withholding my praise until all is as it should be."

"We were not God, but we spent so much time tending the God-place in people's lives that it was easy to understand why someone might get us confused. As Christians, we were especially vulnerable, since our faith turned on the story of a divine human being. Those who became ordained were not presented with Moses or Miriam as our models, so that we could imagine ourselves as flawed human beings still willing to lead people through the wilderness. We were not presented with Peter or Mary Magdalene as our models, so that we could imagine ourselves as imperfect disciples still able to serve at our Lord's right hand. Instead, we were called to fill in for Jesus at the communion table, standing where he once stood and saying what he once said. we were called to preach his gospel and feed his sheep. We were, in other words, presented with Jesus himself as our model, so that most of us could only imagine ourselves disappointing everyone in our lives from God on down."

"Mother Church had little interest in the things that were interesting me. Her job was to take care of her family. Why should she get into discussions that might cause them to lose confidence in her? Why encourage them to raise questions for which she had no answers? Even more important, why wast valuable time rehashing things that had ben settled centruies ago when there was so much to do around the house right now? I understood her reasons, I really did. I was just looking for some way to stay related to her that did not require me to stay a child."

[using "center" to refer to the establishe church and referencing people of the edge such as Matthew Fox, Hans Kung, Martin Luther, Menno Simons, Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi, Peter Abelard, Tertullian, Origen, Jesus] ". . . might it be time for people of good faith to allow that God's map is vast, with room on it for both a center and an edge? While the center may be the place where the stories of the faith are preserved, the edge is the place where the best of them happened."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Interactive Element

First go here . . . the treadmill video

Then check out John Mayer's new music "Waiting on the World to Change" at Itunes.

Finally listen to Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up."

Allow yourself to think creatively. And then let me know . . . what does this suggest to you about working in community to affect change?

Things I've Learned About Myself of Late

-- I don't always like being a grown up . . . in fact, I rebel against it
-- I love watching young women find their voices and then using them
-- If someone surprises me with an act that I think is courageous, then I actually feel the need to do a high five
-- Laughing out loud in public is priceless
-- I care so much about other people's feelings that I sometimes ignore my own
-- Being open and affirming of other people is not a service I provide myself
-- Weight loss feels good
-- I will dance to the music even if I'm in an airport as long as it's my music on my ipod (in other words, Musak doesn't do it for me)

I love it when this happens . . .

I bought a book a month ago, started it, liked it but didn't finish it. This weekend I picked it up again and it was perfect timing. Just what I needed when I needed it. The book is called Leaving Church and it's written by Barbara Brown Taylor (who is a terrific human being, so I'm told by someone who has actually met her and who served an Episcopal church well for many years before finally "leaving church"). I'm so enamoured with the book that I'm going to offer up a few quotes from it and may even do that in more than one post. I'd love to hear what you think of what you see. Here go the first of the quotes:

"Before Christ Church, I thought that worship was something people cooked up by themselves. At Christ Church, I discovered worship that took place inside God's own heart. The divine pleasure was the pleasure of a mother with her baby at her breast."

"Being a priest seemed only slightly less dicey to me than being chief engineer at a nuclear plant. In both cases, one needed to know how to approach great power without loosing great danger and getting fried in the process."

"Yet even there I had some reservations about the whole setup. If the purpose of the church were to equip all God's people for ministry in the world -- as I was learning in seminary -- then what sense did it make to designate one of those people 'the minister' in a congregation? The minute you set someone apart like that, didn't you give everyone else license to say, 'Don't look at me -- she's the minister?
"In the same way, if the minister's job were to support church members as they engaged their vocations in the world, then what sense did it make to locate the person inside the four safe walls of a church? A mobile unit would have made more sense, like one of those libraries on wheels that goes wherever people need books. As strongly as I was being drawn to worship at Christ's Church, my heart remained in the world. I belonged amont the laity; not the clergy."

". . . being ordained is not about serving God perfectly but about serving God visibly, allowing other people to learn whatever they can from watching you rise and fall."

[on her consideration on being ordained] "As a layperson, you can serve God no matter what you do for a living, and you can reach out to people who will never set foot inside a church. Once you are ordained that is going to change. Every layer of responsibility you add is going to narrow your miistry, so think hard before you choose a smaller box."

"I know plenty of people who find God most reliably to books in buildings and even in other people. I have found God in all of these places too, but the most reliable meeting place for me has always been creation."

[on Celtic theology in which . . . } "God's 'big book' of creation is revered alongside God's 'little book' of sacred scipture."

"At least one of the purposes of church is to remind us that God has other children, easily as precious as we. Baptism and narcissism cancel each other out."

[quoting Arun Gandhi] "People of the Book risk putting the book above people."

"The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to convince people to set the written word down in order to become living words in the world for God's sake. For me, this willing convesion of ink back to blood is the full substance of faith."

"My role and my soul were eating each other alive. I wanted out of the belief business and back into the beholding business."

"My quest to serve God in the church had exhausted my spirtual savings. My dedication to being good had cost me a fortune in being whole. My desire to do all things well had kept me from doing the one thing within my power to do, which was to discover what it meant to be fully human."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Conversationally Speaking . . .

Been doing a great deal of talking about prayer lately. Some of the discussions are related to what I do for a living and some of them because of how I live.

Since prayer is inherently a "talk with God" language plays a role. I know plenty of folks who feel the need to go into God talk when they pray. And you know what? Bless them! I don't care how they converse with their mother and I don't care how they chat with God.

But when they assume that their way is THE way, well . . . then we have a problem. Recently, a good friend suffered much from a verbal lashing she received because how she talks to and of God didn't conform to this woman's view of the "sacred." But my friend talks the way she talks and I would no more edit her prayers than I would edit the beautiful free flowing expressiveness of her life. She adds to me by challenging me to think far beyond my usual mental borders.

After hearing her account of how she'd been reprimanded, I then had to meet with a group of folks interested in encouraging prayer for my city. The meeting was primarily about how to launch some prayer opporunities. Administrative in nature, I discouraged a couple of city "prayer warriors" from attending. But one felt the need to pray for me. Now, having admitted that I was bothered with how my friend was corrected "in Christian love" I have to acknowledge that I'm about to point out something in my personal prayer warrior's approach that might be considered criticism. So hear this . . . I'm not criticizing! I'm saying this just IS NOT ME!!!

The woman prayed for me over the phone. She told God everything that she and I had just said to one another (so much for that whole omnipresent thing) and then after about four minutes she began what I thought was her approach to the landing field. In my circles, when you start "in Jesus' name" that's time to grab the purse and the keys so you can be first in line at the restaurants because this show is about to close! But not her, she got to the familiar phrase, said it and then began to recount several of Jesus' names, then she closed in again with "in your son's most holy name" and decided to start listing all of God's other attributes. We circled the landing field at least four times before finally concluding that prayer.

Later when I was discussing this with a friend, I admitted that I liked the fact that she has her own style, that it wasn't my style and that in fact, laundry list prayers of things God is already well aware of simply bother me. I'm more of a moaner (and please just mentally behave and allow me to use that word). I moan and groan to God. I don't have the words sometimes to help God know what's needed. But what little faith I have assures me that a being as great is God is supposed to be somehow understands. And many of my prayers are silent versions of "eh? you hear that God, yeah whatever you can do, great".

My buddy who got her verbal hand slapped for word choice, talks to Jesus like a lover. I think that's cool. I can't do it, but I'm glad she can. And even my "will she ever stop?" warrior gets kudos from me for doing her thing. So why do I beat myself up and feel that my way isn't good enough?

One more thing . . . I DO have a problem with the people who act like prayer is a magic decoder ring. If you do it right, and God is satisfied that you've broken the code, then the world is yours for the asking.

Nuh uh. Can't go there.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Today's Houston Chronicle carried a story about how David Hasselhoff was good at making fun of himself before others beat him to it (a ploy fat girls like me learned VERY early on). I don't know exactly what all the fuss is about him but I do know that I appreciated a line that appeared in the story when the writer admitted that having come to know Hasselhoff it was a lot less easy for him to join in the sarcasm and attacks. Here's the quote:

"Humor comes from ignorance, naivete and emotional distance; every real experience cuts down on those skills. That's one reason that comedians get less funny as they grow older and that the smart ones -- such as Bill Murray and Steve Martin -- choose more serious work. So either I'm going to have to transition into a more serious kind of columnist or studiously avoid any emotional growth."

Ok, so his tongue is implanted in the facial area ... but isn't there some truth in this? When we know someone and the origin of their foibles, isn't it more difficult to laugh at them when they are down? At least it's true of me: The more I know about how screwy life can be, the less likely I am to smile when someone seems bent on screwing up.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Grew Up Poor

A widowed mother, getting a job at 13, thankful for the extra gifts folks gave us at the holidays -- this was my childhood reality. And I don't blame it, scorn it, or repress it in shame. In fact, I'm proud to be a survivor.

However . . . neither do I hide my delight when a few decades later I get to enjoy the good life. Such was the case tonight.

My friends Robin and Richard were in town. They know both good food and good wine. Tonight they chose Tafia to celebrate their return to what was Robin's fair city before she vacated the premises for San Francisco and married bliss.

I didn't even look at the menu. I simply gave myself over to their expertise. Educated in both the grape and the kitchen, I knew that the two of them would take care of me. Little did I know that one foodie resonates with another and when you are in the right shadow at the right time you can benefit. And benefit I did!

Monica Pope is the chef/ower of Tafia. I have followed her career from her days on Montrose at Blvd. Bistro and I'm somewhat impressed by the fact that her sister is a producer at the David Letterman show. Plus she has helped establish the return of the Farmers Market in the city and I love that as well.

So, when she stopped by our table to welcome us, I was in mild infatuation. But when, after Richard regaled her with restaurant talk and recipes he'd tried and wanted to try, she sent a gratis appetizer, then main course, then dessert ... well, I was delighted to be among the "beautiful people."

I can lay on the sarcasm with the best of them. I can caress disdain like a long haired cat in purring mode. But when the elite offer me free food while I drink good wine and enjoy stimulating company ... well! color me impressed! High cotton is what my momma would call it and I'll chop it all day long if it offers up that kind of bounty.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Bouncing Baby Boy

Mark and Nadine have a new little boy to join Noah in their amazing German family. Meo is adorable and his photo now graces my office door. I may not be quite old enough to be his grandma but I've decided to lose the vanity and live into at least the doting great aunt role! Warning: I could be obnoxious about this!!!!

Remember Pee Wee's Word of the Day?

"Effortless" -- that was the description he used. I heard the word the rest of the day.

The Fray sings it slowly sans percussion in their Top 20 pop entry and you can't help feeling like you're falling into it. Trouble is the word refers to losing someone and what it takes to do so.

Effortless -- I applied it to my friendships and it seems to fit. I want knowing me to be effortless. Need a job? I flip through my mental rolodex and make a connection or two. Wanna play? I'll keep up with the gang's wants/needs and insure a relatively stress free experience. Conversation at the midnight hour? Sure. Whatever? I'm there.

E says I want from someone what I give. She says that I make folks a priority and that I'm looking to be someone's priority. She's right (wise girl that e).

But I forget the effort it takes to be effortless. And so I want what's not possible -- a place in someone's heart and mind without him having to go to the trouble to clean up a few things and make room.

"Doing unto others as I would have ...." has never been difficult for me. But I've come to realize that I see that as an act requiring reciprocation and it's not. My thoughts have tended toward, "if I do unto you, you'll do back unto me." Not true, is it?

Definitely not effortless!

A Celtic Prayer

Christ be with you, Christ within you
Christ behind you, Christ before you
Christ beside you, Christ to win you
Christ to comfort and restore you
Christ beneath you, Christ above you
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love you
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

-- used at the funeral of my friend's brother

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Definitely Different

The funeral was to be brief and at graveside. I was invited to represent the friends of the family with a few reassuring words. The pastor was offering the same spirit from the church family. And my ex husband delivered the bulk of the comfort with an emphasis on how faith gets us through the hard times. Three "ministers" (don't quite see me in that category usually) and we all knew the threat of Houston heat far outweighed anything we could say.

What we didn't factor into the equation was the rain. Actually, make that monsoon! A shower minutes before we were to leave the facility where we first gathered kept us inside a bit longer. Soon the sun was out and we took to the cars and traveled the winding path to the graveside. That's when the skies opened up.

Walking to the tent-covered grave pretty much meant I was soaked from the beginning -- even though I was walking with my friend under a sunflower shaped umbrella. And being soaked meant that my sheer skirt and blouse -- chosen because they would be cool in the heat we KNEW would be there -- were now sucking against my backside. Pinching them away caused just enough breeze that within minutes I was shaking in the "cold." That went well with the winds that were blowing through, the water dripping through the cracks in the tent and the rains now blowing sideways into the family seating area.

I reached to wipe away the water pouring down my back and noticed that my hair was completely drenched. But all of this mattered very little because I was absolutely focused on not embarrassing the family. Which meant I had a mantra going on in my head, "Yes you're slipping out of your heels but whatever you do DON'T LEAN ON THE CASKET. DON'T LEAN ON THE CASKET. DON'T LEAN ON THE CASKET."

I may not be ordained but that just didn't seem to be appropriate funeral protocol.

After the three of us shouted down the elements to deliver our thoughts, the rain finally subsided. My friend told me later that her brother would have loved the shower. I was glad, in fact happy that she could see it that way, but I still wanted a towel.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Photographs and Memories

Sunday's paper revealed that a photo gallery in town was closing a show of photos collected from the Houston, It's Worth It campaign created in 2004. During that hot summer, some folks determined that they would ask what made living here worth it. You can see some of what happened in that campaing at This summer they went from words to pictures and with just a few hours to spare before closing, I was able to take it in.

Seems the initial campaign acknowledged the following 20 "afflictions" before posing the question of worth: the heat, humidity, hurricanes, flying cockroaches, moquitoes, traffic, construction, sprawl, refineries, ridicule, pollen, air, billboards, flooding, image, property taxes, short springs, long summers, potholes, no mountains.

The photos made me (and many others from the sound of it) laugh, smile and genuinely beam with pride as we collectively determined where some of the shots were taken or let it be known with numerous expressions of surprise "Oh, I've been there!" The shot of the three women in Muslim head dress watching a young man play pool reminded me of just how diverse we are. The gay pride parade had a couple of entries. As did the Art Car parade. Then there was just the right angles that were used to capture the beauty of downtown juxtaposed against a Fourth Ward two-story shack.

And enhancing the pictures were the quotes also hanging clothesline style throughout the space. I copied a few of my favorites:

"Houston is like your crazy grandma who smells funny. You know she can still cook up a storm, tell a good joke or two and she *knows* she's crazy. It's only the outsiders who wonder why you love her and spend so much time with her."

"It's an international city: the traffic of LA and the climate of Calcutta."

"Houston is worth it because if you are here, you want to be here. The heat, the mosquitoes, the traffic -- sure, they might bug you, but you have more important things to do than whine about the weather. Houston is worth it because it knows YOU are worth it."

"If Houston were a person perhaps she would be a stubborn, tough, irreverante drunk. She would also be deceptively smart and unbelievably generous. If I were lucky enough to have her as a friend and we were separated, she would be one of the few who I would call weekly and visit as often as possible just to stay grounded."

For me, Houston is definitely worth it because of days like today -- days when I needed to know that life keeps on. Today I realized that rather than initiating moments I had fallen into a pattern of simply letting life happen to me. AND had therefore determined that was unacceptable. I need a balance of both making things happen and experiencing what comes. So on this Sunday, I re-discovered all that I love about this town. I read a newspaper that takes more than an hour to get through just the headlines. I rode my bike along a bayou and though sweating like crazy and nearing dehydration, celebrated my fellow cyclists, the street people sucking in what shade they could find, and the story teller I was listening to on the radio. I went to a movie alone and then to another with a friend. I laughed aloud as the audience moaned at the kiss in Talledega Nights (you'll know what I mean when you see it) and hugged my playmate that much harder when we determined that perhaps this wasn't really "our" kind of movie. I saw some great photos and spent a leisurely supper dissecting everything with a couple of friends.

Even grocery shopping in this town makes me smile.

So here I sit. The fridge and my heart are full. This was not the day I intended a week ago. Then I was going to New Mexico and returning tomorrow rather than helping with a funeral. This was not the day I planned yesterday when I was going to take my friend to church for a little comfort. Circumstances changed and I did go with the flow. Until, that is, I knew it was time to determine the flow.

I hope all my friends and family experience days like today . . . in whatever form makes them grateful. Because gratitude serves as a market -- that yes, "this" is worth it!

Yet Another Reason I Love Houston

White Linen Night in the Heights . . . If you're a quirky little community open to lots more personal expression than Main Street, you still need a bit of commerce to keep the doors in that perpetual state of openness. And so, the Heights regularly invites the rest of Houston to peek in at all that makes them unique. A community-wide cocktail party is the result. Galleries, shops with dust collectors and antique stores add wine and edibles to their offerings and live music plays in the streets.

Roger, Stan and I decided at the last minute that this was my prescription for overcoming a rather down day. We were right!

I mean who wouldn't feel better after hearing Elvis-wannabes deliver a decent blues sound, watching young black women body painting young (and might I just say 'beautiful') black men as angels with pecs, and discovering that one shop was harboring a 102-year-old celebrity . . .but I don't actually know why everyone wanted his autograph.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Introductions Not Necessary

"Karen, meet the Short End of the Stick."

"Oh, we've met. Several times. In fact, what are you doing back here?"

"You keep inviting me."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Line Worthy of Repeating

Ushered last night at The Great American Trailer Park Musical now playing at Houston's Stages Theater. Following the theme of the day (see earlier blog entry) it too was a celebration of the power of women's ability to survive. I laughed aloud during most of the over the top performances and word play within the tunes. One of the most memorable?

"I'm going make like a nail and press on."

Finding Beauty in the Midst of Ugliness

The funeral director entered the room and his face registered surprise. At first I thought it was directed toward the six-month old baby happily banging on the well-polished conference table. But soon I suspected it was more. Now, I'm fairly sure I was looking at awe.

And, frankly, we were awesome.

The mother of the deceased, his sister (my friend), his niece (and the baby's mother) and I were seated around the table. As friend and driver I was honored when yet another seemingly nervous gentleman mistook me for the child's grandmother (and believe me, for me to receive that one well truly demonstrates the emotional power of the moment!).

I wondered what was causing the reactions we kept getting. Possibly, they were amazed at the ability to simply stay composed addressing one of the most horrific things that can happen to a mother -- burying her child. Perhaps it was the generational picture they saw reflected in the room. Maybe it was the fact that we finished one another's thoughts . . . assisting when needed, staying silent when that was best, even laughing when the moment called for it. Whatever . . .

I finally determined that the simplest answer was the best. Most men are amazed at women. And they should be. Once again we proved their suspicions correct . . . there is something mysterious and mystical about us.

We clean up the messes. We care for one another. And we survive.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Suicide Sucks

A friend's brother did the deed that I despise because of all that's left in the wake. Please say a prayer today . . . or speak aloud to whatever peace-giving power you hold dear . . . and bathe my red-haired playmate with some degree of calm, a vast amount of freedom to just be, and ask that she make it through this guilt-free.

I'm So Over . . .

I'm so over "should" --
Directives determined
By someone else
Certainly not me

Having adhered to their
"straight and narrow"
and colored in their
"black and white"

I now long for curves
And hues vibrant and bright

I'm so over "should"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here's a Discussion I'd Love to Have . . .

I have no idea if this book is any good, but I'd love to get some of my most thoughtful friends together for a discussion of just this article alone!

And just in case you are not even tempted to follow the link, here are a few teaser quotes:

'Sanity does not immediately strike us as a fascinating idea the way madness does,' he says, leaning forward in his chair, his eyes closing in concentration as they will throughout our conversation, 'even as an alternative word to mad, sane is so blank. But, it seems to me that either madness is another word for human nature, and that we are all very strange and life is, as it were, maddening, or, we are capable of actually being something else. Now, what is that something else? That is what I am trying to explore and I think that it is actually very obscure, and neglected.'

. . . we take our sanity for granted, that only when it is dramatically ruptured - by grief, depression, breakdown - do we think about it at all. Like Bill Wyman's famous definition of a great bass player - you would only realise how good he was if he were to stop playing mid-song - sanity is defined mainly though its absence.

'One of the more distracting things about capitalist culture,' he says, with total seriousness, 'is that there is no stupor, no time to vegetate. What I would suggest is more time wasting, less stimulation. We need time to lie fallow like we did in childhood, so we can recuperate. Rather than be constantly told what you want and be pressurised to go after it, I think we would benefit greatly from spells of vaguely restless boredom in which desire can crystallise.'

Early Advent

I see myself as a shepherd child standing at the manger, gift in hand, confused as to whether the baby before me is a new playmate or a king.

Metaphorically Speaking . . .

If you knew before you started the feast laid out before you that you would spend days recovering . . . that you'd be restricted to only the path between your bed and the ceramic tile of your bathroom floor, would you still indulge?

If you were guaranteed both the winnings and the lotto curse of losing more than you started with, would you buy the ticket?

If you could see clearly the crash ahead, would you continue to climb behind the race car's wheel?

This I know -- I would, I have.

My friend Ken

what a clever guy . . .

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Crazy Talk

Is talking aloud to one's self truly a sign of taking the curve? If so, does the nice jacket with the long sleeves come in earth tones 'cause white is just not my color!

Sunday night after a particularly sweaty workout I had quite an animated conversation with me in the bathtub. Smiling at the absurdity of it all but somewhat enjoying the company, I acknowledged that when one lives alone, sometimes these moments can't be avoided. Still I felt a wave of sadness at the idea of just how alone I sometimes am.

Unless of course it's a Monday like last night when I met up with the young woman whose wedding I'm coordinating/stage managing/whatever. Or tonight when I have to go to both Weight Watchers and then usher at the Alley Theater. Or Wednesday when I'm heading out to Tomball to help Ken and Becky move into a new house. Or Thursday when I once again show people to their seats at Stages Theater or Friday when I leave for New Mexico.

So . . . maybe I'm not so alone after all, huh? Still . . . if that jacket does come in different colors . . .

Someone's Got Some 'Splaining to Do

Am I the only one for whom a tube of Super Glue is an "I Love Lucy" episode waiting to happen?