Monday, August 31, 2009

Third learning

If the distance is fuzzy, and you have to squint to see close-up, new lenses are the first step.

Second learnings

Eye makeup is useless on retreat, because if the tears don't get it, the sweat will.

If someone you trust and respect recommends a book, read it.

First learnings

Now I understand why people have spiritual directors and what they are supposed to do.

To do one thing at a time I have to intend to do one thing at a time. If I'm going to spend time listening to God's longings inside me, the annual-planning-books-and-readings have to go back in the box, back in the car.

My deepest authentic desire is also God's desire for me. God's desires and wills express themselves through my silently singing core.

Sleep is not a shameful act, or a sign of unbearable weakness.

What counts as "overwork" changes. What is "overwork" now might not have been 10 years or even a year ago. That's not about aging per se, but about circumstance and location.

That deep longing of my heart may be exactly what the church needs too.

"My" needs may be God's "needs" in me.

I like coastal weather: viva fog!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meat loafing

Have you ever seen meat emerging from the other end of a grinder? Pink mottled red and white, too thick to ooze, too broken up to be recognizably steer or pig or pullet. Or Lamb.

The thing about ground meat is you can shape it, make something different (if not new). Bound with starch, it can become a ball or a loaf. Spiced, a sausage. Browned and immersed, it is a ragu or chili. Carefully wrapped with the thinnest of pastry, it is a wonton. How ground meat turns out is in the hands of the cook.

Maybe that's why a soul can feel like ground chuck: broken, smushed, rent. I didn't realize that I'd been on the wrong end of the grinder until I got here. Parked the car. Checked in. Read a welcome note from the spiritual director I'm meeting, and sobbed. But I trust that the all-time most Creative Cook knows what to do with minced soul.

Mixed with plenty of Lamb, I should be something different when I leave.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Completely off-topic

Seriously, I could make a theological case for going here, but you're smarter than that.

Pesto is like sex. When it's mediocre, I'd rather have something else. It's not satisfying. It's a little flat, a little "last week". You expect it to be like that long ago summer you only remember in your nostalgic fantasies, but it's more like running into an ex-lover who has gone to seed.

But when it's right, pesto titillates every sense, and satisfies beyond its components. Basil, olive oil, toasted nuts, cheese. Individually all are good. But when they come together, well, you remember that God does love us, and that She made us sensual, physical beings.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Jesus, PhD

Sometimes when I read the gospels I hear Jesus talking in Dr. Phil's voice. "How's That working for ya?"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lately I've been fascinated with the speed at which Baby is learning and using words. More on that later. But here's the goodie: we're sitting down to lunch and I close my eyes and hold out my hands to bless God for the food. I feel her little hand take my finger, and hear her "amen" at the end. Wow.

So the word list as of today:
shoes, socks, o's, Tanqy, apple, banana, "I see you", mama, dada, more, cheese, flower, airplane, truck, bus, car, go (when the light turns green), help, up, down, dirty, chickens and duck (and their voices), outside, inside, brush teeth, purse, keys, phone, spoon, milk, glasses, water, bottle, cup, toast, cookie, bar, strawberry, blueberry, cracker, goldfish, cold, hot, hat, Ellen, yay!, hands, feet, belly, eyes, ears, nose, on, please, yes, no, pacie, blanket, mine, you (although which one of us "you" is, is stil in question), cat, Jamba, church.

And Amen.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thank God for Sam. Really.

Who knew that we hit a trend? Or that Everyone with a table saw would start making chicken coops (starting at $450, thank you very much)? And that there's serious peer pressure to build your own out of really anything -- doghouse, shed, VW van, pallets. I considered a bookshelf, an ikea cabinet, doghouses, sheds, shipping crates. Found a rabbit hutch for $50 (just like a small chicken hutch without a perch) but couldn't make firm contact with the seller. Found an Everyone making coops I really liked , but I'm cheap.

Finally returned to the Wizard, Sam pf Sam's Downtown Feed, who has been my sage throughout this. He cut me a deal. So here's the coop that's coming home Saturday.

Now we have to figure out a paint scheme. I'm headed toward maroon and lime green, but I suspect I'm in the minority.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Back on the farm

I haven't been sleeping well -- up too late, congested (and seriously snoring, poor Husband) -- but I have been getting up early. The dark is still, cars are sleeping. I go off with my Bible to Peets, chat a bit with the Peets peeps, then sit down to strong coffee and Job. Pretty ideal.

Tonight Baby went to bed without a struggle. The chickens did too -- not one pooped on me. Unlike this morning.

Evening chores took longer than usual because one whole tomato plant blew over, cage and all, and I had to string it up. But it left behind two tiny orange tomatoes, along with the cucumbers that seem to grow overnight. Cut the last of the chard, which I'll cook with some other greens then make stock with the stems. Figs from TJs, but strawberries from the farm. Ditto the first corn of the season -- picked yesterday, shucked and cooked today, with just a little bit of butter and barely simmered through -- and tomatoes that are darker red than blood.

Now, if you don't know me well, you don't realize that every phrase after "ideal" belongs on Amazon's list of "statistically improbable phrases". Okay, the line about making stock is more usual, but the rest was unimaginable even 3 years ago. I love my high heels and proper glassware. Buses and subways are good. Cafes on every corner should be a law (no, I'm not talking about Starbucks here. Cafes.) And if you can't catch up on all the news worldwide by walking down the street overhearing, it's a sorry city.

We plan. God laughs, and gives eggs.