Archive for June, 2008

A wedding today–  So good and strange to see classmates and friends; we were all dressed up, in our finery.  I wore red lipstick, and thought about it too much, until I wiped it off so I could talk and think only of the people I was with.

The bride was luminous; the bride and groom joyful and brave.  There were babies, and pregnancies, and professors.  Open windows to deep green and sudden rain.  Unorchestrated piano and hundreds of paper hearts.

Weddings make me feel hopeful.  The last wedding I was at was my father’s, last October.  Seeing him marry, exchange vows and rings, made me cry.  But I was also so suddenly filled with hope: look at where life can take us.  Look at how we are given gifts we never expected, decades later than other beginnings.  It was a weird serendipitous feeling, a reminder to let go a little bit, and cease attempts to control all of my future.

Remember how, in _Mere Christianity_ (I think), Lewis is describing what we humans think we want, compared to what God has in store for us?  He describes us in a dank alley-way, happily playing with muck.  We love the muck, we delight in it, if we could ask for anything it would be for more mud in which to play. 

But God intends for us…oh–what God intends–God has for us a seaside holiday, clear water and blue skies, endless sun and sweetness.  In our muck, we can’t even imagine it: we’ve never heard of such a thing.  It wouldn’t enter our minds.  And that’s the beauty of God’s gift, and the futures God gifts us with–they are beyond our imaginings, more than we could know to hope for.

Seeing Jeremy and Sara Jane bravely enter a world they can partially imagine, but wholly trust–it is inspiring.  And I wish for them all the bright seashores of this life and the next.


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Lazy days

With summer, I’ve been able to finally catch my breath and do some…puttering.

Puttering is aimlessness, little projects that please no one else but me, time to write letters or dust, wandering morning walks.  Puttering can include cooking or shopping, but with no time frame.  Puttering certainly involves perusing used books, re-potting plants, re-framing photographs, daydreaming, watching a movie in the middle of the day with no guilt.  (The no guilt part is huge and breath-giving for me.)

In the last week or so, I’ve watched _China Syndrome_ and _Elephant_ in the middle of the day.  I’ve found new routes to walk in the morning, wild-green places that don’t feel like New York City.  I’ve studied at my own pace, and gotten books one at a time from the library to devour on the train.

I am so grateful for this kind of time, and I hope that I never take it for granted.  This morning, we woke up and went to the farmers’ market first thing–we got fresh bread and eggs (and red ripe tomatoes!) and came home to immediately make french toast.

Later today, I’ll make cookies and lemon cupcakes for a friend’s party, and study some Greek, and maybe compose a letter to someone.  That’s all.

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I have two classmates for whom “she” would once have been appropriate, for for whom “he” is now correct–in all ways correct, preferred, and proper.

For one, I struggle when speaking about him, and frequently use the wrong pronoun, even in thought.  For the second, I have always considered him “him,” and have never thought of him (since I’ve known him) as female or feminine.

Tonight, on the elevator, in a conversation with him and a floor-mate, I mistakenly referred to him as “her.”  He corrected me immediately and gently (as he should have), and I echoed, “…yes, him,” but felt so stupid and wrong.  I’ve never thought of him as “her,” so what was up with the mistake coming out of my mouth?

I wish there was a shorthand way of conveying, “I totally understand how horrible that mistake is, and I don’t identify you at all as female, and I’m so sorry.”  Unfortunately, the best shorthand way of doing that is to use the correct pronoun, and I messed that up.

Ironically, we were coming from Greek, where I’ve been dealing with pronouns, number, gender, and case for hours.

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It’s been a long week.  The stone came loose in my engagement ring, so I haven’t been wearing it–how strange that now I feel very odd without it, after only wearing it four months.  My laptop is broken as well.  Many of my normal routines–my morning pattern, for example–have been disrupted by this.  Finally, I’m moving at the end of this month, and I dread it.

Just thinking about the move–the feel of cardboard in my hands, tape, and sound of tape coming off cardboard, endless carrying and mess.  Oh, I dread it.  I’ve been trying not to think of it, because it’s overwhelming.

Today, I spilled something on my bed, and it went through both layers of sheets onto the mattress cover that’s supposed to keep remaining bedbugs in the mattress out of  my room.  So I had the panic of taking off the cover, because I need to wash it.  But what about keeping the mattress covered?

I just wanted my morning–the routine, leaving my bed unmade, puttering around with my laptop, coffee.  None of it was going to work, so I had an intense crying moment.  Awful.

And now I feel bad about that–it seems like a small thing, it’s all small things.  But they just stack up, and then I’m overwhelmed.  How to keep the small things small?

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