Monday, September 27, 2010

la la life

Well, hey.

Yesterday my friend played a writer's round showcase. She was stunning. The best guitar player on the stage. And vocalist. And lyricist. Also, and very importantly, she made the whole thing not awkward.

(I'm SO proud! And she's wearing my shirt.)

Later that night, I awoke to a phone call from Orem, Utah. Me:"Yes, I'm at home. My house is on fire, you say?" (Sniffs the air. FREAKS out. Runs downstairs, still talking to the security system lady on the phone, to find an open oven with a blackened bottom, fans spinning, doors open...and the most delicious-looking apple turnovers Williams Sonoma has ever seen.) The firemen hadn't received the "false alarm" message in time from Utah Lady, so we offered them cookies when they showed up, apologized profusely (not even trying to pretend that I wasn't in pajamas), and tried to take pictures of their truck as they pulled away from the house.  I went back to bed, and laughed out loud. Like a crazy.

(Here's their truck. Nicely washed, just for us. Can't you see it shine?)

Now, I'm at Starbucks. God bless America. I've already listened to a podcast on Reckless Love. Feist and Joni Mitchell and Eva Cassidy have played on the store speakers.  I have done NO work, but I don't feel bad yet. I did receive the most beautiful, completely unexpected, and perfectly-timed message from an distant college friend. It was such a made-for-tv-movie moment. My eyes filled with tears and I wondered if the guy in the chair next to me had any idea what a great day like this felt like.

(I hope you have an idea.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

G.K. Chesterton on what we DO have in common...and what we don't.

"There is a phrase of facile liberality uttered again and again at ethical societies and parliaments of religion: “the religions of the earth differ in rites and forms, but they are the same in what they teach.” It is false; it is the opposite of the fact. The religions of the earth do not greatly differ in rites and forms; they do greatly differ in what they teach. It is as if a man were to say, “Do not be misled by the fact that the Church Times and the Freethinker look utterly different, that one is painted on vellum and the other carved on marble, that one is triangular and the other hectagonal; read them and you will see that they say the same thing.” The truth is, of course, that they are alike in everything except in the fact that they don’t say the same thing. An atheist stockbroker in Surbiton looks exactly like a Swedenborgian stockbroker in Wimbledon. You may walk round and round them and subject them to the most personal and offensive study without seeing anything Swedenborgian in the hat or anything particularly godless in the umbrella. It is exactly in their souls that they are divided. So the truth is that the difficulty of all the creeds of the earth is not as alleged in this cheap maxim: that they agree in meaning, but differ in machinery. It is exactly the opposite. They agree in machinery; almost every great religion on earth works with the same external methods, with priests, scriptures, altars, sworn brotherhoods, special feasts. They agree in the mode of teaching; what they differ about is the thing to be taught. Pagan optimists and Eastern pessimists would both have temples, just as Liberals and Tories would both have newspapers. Creeds that exist to destroy each other both have scriptures, just as armies that exist to destroy each other both have guns."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Priscilla's right.

I just love this. If I could write a song, I would like it to be like this one.

One step enough for me...

"Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home --
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene -- one step enough for me..."
-s. 1, The Pillar of the Cloud, John Henry Cardinal Newman

It's so real. My heart feels this, tenses at these words. Inside, uncertainty about what's forever and what's next juxtaposes itself with the right-now knowledge of being LOVED. (*All of the fiery words in here are capitalized. Slam your hand on the table with each capitalized word for greater effect. Maybe raise your eyebrows, too.) It's a cozy light in a long, unlit hallway. Cozy is not even enough of a word. Because I am loved, I can do anything good. (Ahahaha! Sorry, Cardinal Newman. Totally serious here. Back to furrowed thinking face.)

I wish I could spell precisely how TRUE THIS IS. (*Three slams on the table, eyebrows high.) Love has made me the good parts of me. That's why I write about it ALL the time and think about it ALL the time and cry immediately when Father Baker or some random country song describes it, as long as no one is looking at me.  It's why I have the courage to say stupid things in front of smart people (which is mildly unfortunate), and even do some good things in bad situations (more fortunate).

I have been loved by my parents. From the first, in the school of the family, I learned love. Alert the media: This changes the WORLD, a parent's love. I know women, and men too, with broken, broken hearts because they do not know this love.

I'm loved by the greatest friends EVER. Try and test me on this one. I won't budge. Some would die for me, and greater love has no man than this. I have been cherished and forgiven and challenged. LOVED.

So, when I squint to follow the Light, when the night is dark and I'm far from Home, when I must insistently remind my achy-breaky heart that He DOES have a plan, and it's a reeeeally good one, it's Love that keeps my feet and lets me say "I do not ask to see the distant scene -- one step enough for me."

And I mean it.

Because they mean it, when they love me.

And because He meant it first, so we can love.