Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maybe --

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Mark Twain

Blog post ideas just aren’t popping up as easily these days. Maybe it’s the heat. These past few days have been hot enough to give Purgatory a climate upgrade. Maybe it’s just August. There are a few things besides the heat I will remember about the summer of 2010. My boys were gone for a significant portion of it. This was both good and bad. After twenty three summers of full time motherhood, it was a change. They were gone so much that I missed them.  We don’t have much time to transition before Peter begins high school next week and since he is my youngest, I’m feeling a bit lost.

Doves nested on my front porch – twice so far. My working knowledge of mourning dove trivia is significantly greater than it was last spring. I guess it was the bird’s eye view of their reproductive cycle that tweaked my interest.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one)

Several new and interesting characters were introduced into my life story, some becoming friends and others sparking my imagination (unfortunately not enough for a decent blog post).

Three weeks at a writer’s workshop was not only educational, but eye opening and inspirational. I now ponder the difference between a dash and a double hyphen and wonder if it is at all kosher to use lines edited by others and left discarded and unused. One writer’s trash is definitely another’s newly discovered metaphor. Most of my valued friendships from the conference were initiated and fostered while waiting in the line for the women’s restroom. Coffee, once again, was the instigator of forward progression in my life.

A man named Larry Schnakenberg disappeared from a local park in June and after hundreds of people searched and distributed flyers and emails, he was discovered 20 days later wandering around the same park. A 58 year old husband and father, Larry provided no reason for his disappearance, but it was apparent he chose to leave and remain in hiding. A local detective commented to the Kansas City Star, “It isn’t a crime to want to be alone.” No, it isn’t. And I hope his family isn’t punished with fines; they have suffered enough. But Larry’s behavior leaves an entire community scratching their heads wondering what in the world happened. People who are entirely self-focused, for whatever reason, have a tremendous amount of power over those of us who are not. Worth remembering.

Despite the heat, my gardens look good. My water bill will not.

During a visit to Independence, KS with my Aunt Martha we enjoyed a lunch at a café she lovingly dubbed, “The Jesus Restaurant”. It’s actual name, “The King of Kings Café” is a bit showy, but it fits. The inside walls of the dining area are lined with a mural depicting Jesus playing with children in a field. I was envious of the owner’s determination to make his livelihood a testimony of his faith. That’s what I’d intended to do, with the blog, and with my writing. I hope my life’s work will eventually be a testimony of my faith. But its slow going right now. Sluggish. I can’t seem to feel even a flicker of that evangelical spark that used to motivate me.

Maybe I’m not so unlike Larry after all, just putting down my keys and walking away from God on my own lonely path. It’s not that I don’t believe or don’t want Him anymore, I just want to be alone for awhile. Possibly I’m just tired of the grind; the heat is dragging me down. Maybe God is just waiting for me to go buy the paint, so He can help me finish my own Jesus mural -- to surround myself with it, to share it with others along the way, to remind me to share my blessings with others. Maybe --

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