Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Flying Goodbye

Flying Goodbye
Set to music; not yet recorded.  

We leave the earth below
And the anxious traffic flows
A river of lights
Beyond beautiful sight

Time has made me slow  
er -- the more I leave I know
I  -- feel empty saying goodbye
Rattling inside

If I would let out all these feelings
I would be flooded
Standing still
My head above the ceiling
I wouldn't see you 
Not at all

So I just hold my breath
And say
Good bye

I love you, I love you
I ache with missing you
An empty place
You leave your trace

In my bones and through
Hidden in my spine, truly

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life on the Moon

We have a canister vacuum.  The body is heavy and attaches to a hose, which is not so heavy, which attaches to a heavy head that does all the work.  It is a brontosaurus with a huge brain and skull far too heavy for it's long spindly neck.  It would have been forced to live on bugs, ants, and anything low-growing, poor thing.  By comparison, I loved our canister vacuum in Japan, it was light, easy to use, and cleaned up the tatami mat floors to my satisfaction.   I miss it, but have to acknowledge it wouldn't have done much for our carpeting here in the states.  I know our cumbersome brontosaurus is the way to go; while it doesn't suit me, it certainly matches the rest of, well, everything stateside.

Japan felt like the moon because so many things were more petit (my notebooks, the furniture we carried home, appliances, my 7/11 lunches, Husband, me, even the handouts I made for my students were lighter-weight paper) than in the states.

My siblings and I used to scotch tape our ankles, restricting blood flow to our feet, and would gleefully spend the time (between wrapping our ankles and my mom discovering our slightly-pale-purple feet  with horror) walking with a slow and jerky gait on the couch exclaiming, "We're walking on the moon!"

I yearned desperately (excuse the redundancy) to live on the moon (or underwater) for much of my childhood.   It would be lighter to me, but not the bleeper people.  But I know I would eventually adjust.  Eventually an easy step would become normal, and my muscles would atrophy compared to the heavy life on earth.  Moving back to earth would be comparatively crushing, even my heart would find it hard to move my newly heavy blood through my heavy arteries.

Moving from the earth to the moon was easy, actually pleasant for me (physically, if not culturally).  Coming back is still hard, even four years later everything things heavier and cumbersome to me.  Life on the moon has also left a contrasting effect on Husband.  After spending 3 years spent feeling like a grizzly bear attempting tea time with elves, he sighs with contentment whenever he finds he has more than enough leg room to spare in almost any vehicle.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Lost My Heart

"Mama, Mama! Dey tooked my heart and hid it!"
It's midnight and Toddler ("Toddler" at the time--it was the night before his birthday) had finally seemed to fall asleep just 45 minutes earlier.
"Your heart?!"  Where did he learn about literal hearts? I wondered.

Toddler began to wail, "I can't find it Mama!  My heart is gone.  Dey tooked it out of my stomach and ran away wif it!"
For a moment, I tried to figure out where he had seen anything like this, or what could have inspired it, but soon I just picked him up and cuddled him in his bed.  "No, darling, your heart is right here," pulling his own little hand to his chest, "can you feel it?"
"What.  Is Dat?"  He asks with his funny pauses.
"It's your heart!  It's going ba-bump ba-bump ba-bump"
"Can I see my heart?  Can I look at it?"
"We can't see it, it's underneath your skin.  But we can feel it."
"Can I take off da skin and look at it?"
"No honey, we can leave it as it is, it will be fine."
"Can I hold my heart?  I want to hold it!"
"No, honey, it stays inside your chest."
A long pause.
"Dey tooked my heart, Mama.  Out of my chest."
"Oh sweetheart, your heart is right here, you can feel it, remember?"
"I need to hold my heart, Mama.  So it can be safe."
"Your chest will hold it and keep it safe, Honey."
And we fell asleep with my hand on his, and his hand on his heart, both our hands listening for the reassuring ba-bump ba bump.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thrice 'Round the Sun Have Sailed We Three

I had a handful of sand, an entire beach of it, really, three full years straining slowly, endlessly, beautifully through my fingers.  All I can ever seem to hold on to are a few precious grains that stick.

Cuddling Toddler on the couch.  He has fetched all the pillows in the house he could find and put them on the couch to make a nest that has just enough room for the two of us.  The TV (formerly showing the train simulation of the Keikyu line) is now off and the silence is warm. The sun is an indirect glow and there's little for the senses to note but the brightness of our smiles lighting, the sound of pillows rustling, and a strong smell of feathers.  Feathers are everywhere from wrestling the pillows.  The moment is a bird.

"He was a little clingy today. I had a bit of trouble getting things done towards the end of the morning" said  Toddler's morning with him at work (We are blessed to be able keep him with us now and then while working when we've no days off for a while, if there are no meetings!!).  "I'm a little cleany, but a little dirty, too!" Pipes up Toddler, "I gots some dirts on me." He explains emphatically, almost defensively, as though being too clean would be bad of him.  It makes me wonder if he's noticed how much we love when he comes in the house after playing outside, covered in dirt and leaves with his pale skin turned dark brown with the sleepy earth where he's built at least 100 roads and told even more stories.  A thousand curly-blonde images float by and are gone before my mind's eye can even gasp "Oh, so darling!"

"DMP THUMP" is the sound of Toddler falling off the tall back of the couch onto the wood floor.  He lands on his feet and peeks over the couch, wondering if I'll scold him until I ask him in a calm voice (not wanting him to burst into tears) "Are you ok?"
"Yes!"  His blue eyes spark again and his smile lights and again he's off running.

Toddler had his third birthday last week.  When we finally got to wake him with a jubilant, "Happy Birthday!" He quickly sat up, opened his eyes wide and asked "Cake?  Can I have cake?" For breakfast, lunch and dinner he asked for cake.  We had ice cream cake that afternoon.  His favorite part was blowing out candles, which he did by going "FFFFFFFFFFFF" as strongly as he could, it was adorably unsuccessful.  Before he could pass out with the effort, two of his little friends he calls his "sisters" timed it right and helped blow out the candles.  For dinner,  some dear friends made cupcakes for him.  Cupcakes were quite exciting for Toddler. That night each of his toy trucks, big and small, yelled and squealed, "Cupcakes, cupcakes!" in a variety of high and low voices (all dubbed by Toddler of course) as, one at a time, Toddler helped them cross the room to the place where they apparently were served cupcakes.  "ぱくぱく!CHOMP CHOMP!  MUNCH MUNCH!" The trucks said until finally they breathed, "Ahhh, schoo,  ahhh, schoo" making the gentle sound of many trucks and cars taking an after-cupcake nap.

Toddler is no longer a Toddler, "Oh, Toddler, you're such a big boy now!"  I exclaimed, squeezing him tight.
"No, Mama!" Toddler declares, "I'm your little boy."

I'm going to go build more sand castles with Little Boy.  They all get washed away so quickly, but some images remain and those are the treasures that stick.

*Memories: Your favorite movie is "Cars" or "A Town Called Panic" and for quite a while all you wanted to watch was "Pingu."  -- About every other day we dance, when we dance we spin and spin and spin.  Then you try to crash me and I spin out of the way.  Finally I get motion sickness and lay on the floor and turn on a movie for you so you won't jump on me.  -- You love sausages and curry rice and fish sticks and peanut butter and jelly and apples and carrots cut like flowers.  You've lived for several days on frozen blueberries and cups of milk alone -- Your favorite words are "Biff" and "POW!" and "CRASH" and "BREAK!"  -- You had curly curly hair that we cut this winter, it was more traumatic for me than for you -- You're more cuddly since you turned two, than when you were an infant.  -- You generally don't like me to play instruments, although you enjoy playing guitar and piano, and some violin. -- You love to play in water -- You pray with us every night the sweetest, most beautiful prayers, now and then you thoughtfully talk to Jesus on behalf of Totoro, Nekobus and Lightning McQueen -- You don't speak much Japanese, but you generally respond correctly in English when we ask you questions in Japanese -- Pool Memories: You liked to wink at the ladies doing water aerobics because they laughed so freely when you did, the floating barbells are wheels and you are always a car, every time we're leaving the pool you do a somersault just before the lobby -- Months before your birthday you began to daily ask, "Mama, Daddy, are we free yet?" We didn't understand until we realized you were asking if you were "three yet."  I'll never forget the look in your eyes the morning we finally got to wake you up with "Happy Birthday!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SWBseeking SRw/SC (Note From a Uvula)

Who I wish to be is not who I am.  It is more of me and altogether less.

Freak Flag "Let your freak flag fly" is a phrase that may apply.  Problem: A lot of us have very very spongy flags and since there's always someone raining on us (mostly us) our spongy flag soaks up WAY too much weight and quickly becomes quite pitifully soggy and still (ie NOT flying).

Body. We're a part of a body but we eye the eyeballs and other more tangibly valuable members with envy, trying to be something else.  The body parts we think of as important are all feet and hands and ears, and we other 1,994 parts feel like a gaggle of appendixes.  While I'm pretty sure I'm not at all a thyroid (A uvula comes to mind for some reason... :/ ), I get the feeling there's many a thyroid dressing like a thumb.

Glands and Hormones Yay!  Once in a while, my head consumes a combination of scripture, helpful bible study, with a healthy dose of music, writing, and film (ignore the ad :/), which, all together, will remind me that weirdos can be great.  Suddenly I remember the many important, albeit infrequently discussed, parts of the body like pituitary glands, lymph nodes, and many hormones (hormones!).

SWBseeking SRw/SC (Single White Bulletin seeking serious relationship w/ Single Copier): I don't know what part of the body I am.  But part of it leaves notes like this for the church secretaries to enjoy or be weirded out by:
And another part rewrites them to be less funny and more clear:

The difference: Acknowledging God's view more and people's criticisms less.  He becomes the sole source of inspiration and approval both.  

The Simple Results: No longer restricting quirks that seem only self-gratifying (as in: most likely I'm the only one that enjoys my lame notes), writing more lame notes, make more lame videos, and publish, with zest!, the silly songs that have been sleeping for far too long.  

All to the glory of God. Again He shows His way is rarely the most predictable: Kill a giant/win a war with a sling shot; not a spear, really?  Die humiliated on a cross to save humanity, seriously?  Be uncool to be joyful in Christ, huh?  The unpredictability of His way makes His Glory and His Strength so much more visible.  Thus shall I embrace the weirdness and giggle over it with Toddler and the least until Toddler grows up to Embarrassed Teen.

More. There is so much more to this; someday this will be refined, parts moved and edited.  But not today; not even this month.    

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Robot Love (The Humans Are Dead)

Robot Love.  We love.  We want others to know we love them.  At some point we are asked for something specifically: a gift registry, a birthday wish, things we ourselves wouldn't care to give; we get a rebellious twinge at the feeling that we are being instructed how to show our devotion.  To truly show our love we want our gift to be creative, to appear as though it comes from the heart.  Sometimes, the perfect demonstration of love is as simple a sacrifice as following through with, what is to us, a meaningless  request.

Robot Sin   We had an argument the other day.  It was over chores, but the topic could have been anything.  Husband said something out loud to me that I've said a thousand times myself in action to him, "Why can't I do what I want to do for you?" he exclaimed, "You're trying to make me into this...robot!"  I responded acerbically, "If we were Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden you'd be recorded as saying, 'I ate from the tree 'cause I ain't no robot, God.' (vocalizing a poor Shaft imitation) And everyone would blame Adam for the fall of man."  We were suddenly laughing at the image:  Adam and Eve, standing leaf-clothed in the garden of Eden, talking robots and sin with God. 
It doesn't really matter who ate first; anyway, Eve would have TOTALLY fallen for the bad boy Adam. 

Robot Forgiveness  We forgave all and forgot most (except for what we think is funny and useful), and moved on:  We talked about robots and sin.

The Humans Are Dead Humanity died, humans die, man fell, because we are not robots. We have free will.  We can choose to disobey.  We seem to have forgotten, free will also means we can freely obey.  

Robot Purity.  Glorified Waste.  And yet, obedience to God (purity in general) is often portrayed as boring or dull:  Characters in dramas that live even slightly upright lives get depicted as empty-headed automatons.  Purity is treasured publicly primarily through celebrating its loss:  It is now a right of passage for starlets to claim they're going to "shed their wholesome imagenot realizing that this very routine makes purity maintained far more rare and unique; making selling it truly robotic.  Talk Shows, Dramas and magazines bolster mistakes and makes heroes out of those who simply sit in the ashes of their burned bridges, rather than rising from them.  We've forgotten the phoenix, the flames and the rising above.  We've mistakenly begun to admire the ashes of a land laid waste instead of the victory which makes them beautiful by contrast.

Which Robot?   Which is more robotic: To obey the demands of our gullet and temptation to the point of great predictability, or to obey Truth and act in love?  
The truth is, I have to rebel against my complex human programming in order to obey My Lord.  To Love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind and to Love My Neighbor as much as I seem to adore myself has proven to be against my primary code.  It is the most difficult and un-robotic (not automatic)goal I will ever strive for.

Robot Song "The Humans Are Dead" Just for laughs and because we like Flight of the Conchords (yes, there's a bit 'o swearing). 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"A Good Signpost"

"A good signpost doesn’t say, “look at me, what a great sign I am, aren’t I so clear, bold and striking!” No, a good signpost doesn’t distract or call for attention to itself, but points you to something greater. Humble leaders point people to Jesus."

Let me point you to this incredible article which you've now read a bit of:   Leading in Light of Christ's Perfection