Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life Without Church - Part 1

I was contemplating church and faith today. So, you can go read my thoughts over at: If Life is a Highway... See you there!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ornament

Creativity Boot Camp - Day 8

boot camp

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I once heard a story about a man and a woman, who were planning to get married, and at some point along the way the woman realized that her purpose in the relationship was ornamental. She was filling a spot. Her husband-to-be needed to be married in order to have a certain status and in order to reach certain goals. She was a trophy, someone to hang on his arm and support and admire all of his causes. And she realized that this wasn't how she wanted to live the rest of her life. She had dreams and aspirations and goals of her own. And she broke off the engagement.

It sounds simple, doesn't it? Yet, I know it wasn't. It couldn't have been. When you have your heart and your life invested enough to plan a marriage, when you have someone who makes you feel beautiful, even ornamental, it's anything but simple to walk away. She could have lived a comfortable life in a comfortable house with a comfortable discretionary income. But she didn't. She wanted to work hard, to get dirty, to be someone. She didn't want to be a fragile ornament hanging on her husband's arm. I admire that. I am not an ornament. And I'm not living this life here to be ornamental. I want to live hard and know that if I fall I won't break. I want to be a partner to my husband and not his trophy.

Thank God I have a husband who expects me to be his teammate. Together we are strong. If he was working alone, and I was his ornament, we'd both be fragile. And we'd be lonely. The life we live is a lot more beautiful this way...more like a huge patterned quilt that wraps around and keeps us warm than a lovely, lonely ornament hanging by itself.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Fly


boot camp

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I know. It's been a long time since I've visited the Boot Camp. But I'm trying hard to actually follow through with this thing. You know, you can't call it boot camp if you give up, right? So, I'm going to keep plugging away. One post at a time.


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It wasn't flying. It was swimming, but it seemed so much like flying that, for a few second, the two might be mistaken.  I was sitting on the beach, warm sand and a chilly breeze off the harbor, our two families laughing and screaming and delighting in the crash of waves larger than those we typically see in the summer at the Great Lake. My Spanish is poor to middling, and she doesn't speak English. So, we sat quietly most of the time, now and then interjecting a "wow!" or a laugh. Our children played in the waves, my daughter and her son...and our husbands...and Mane. We were the mothers sitting there shivering on the beach, smiles wide.

And I looked up to see Vespera & Niteo turn their backs to a huge wave as it crashed over their heads, saw them bob up and hold each other tight. Then Vespera ducked under the waves, and just for a second I wished I had a camera, though I knew it wouldn't do any justice to what I saw, to what was in my heart or before my eyes or in the air and the wind and the waves. A huge wave came rolling in, and just as it approached, Niteo turned his back to it and spread his arms out wide, flying free, and the wave rolled right over his head. For just an instant, I saw him through the wave, in the middle of the wave, covered and embraced...and embracing. I thought of how this has always been a freeing place for him, a place of homesickness and healing at the same time. The wind continued to blow, and the waves crashed, and Vespera and Niteo spun through the waves, ducking and diving and bobbing and laughing, as the seagulls overhead laughed and spun and dove in the wind. Flying.

I don't know how or when we are ever all free of the bits of life that entangle us, the worries of school and money and career and children and health and poverty and crime. But, I know that somehow, we are offered freedom in our hearts. We can step out of the tangle and fly. Maybe we rise above (or Rise Against?), and maybe its the wind in our faces or the waves pouring over us that set us free.