8 Thoughts

Today, I managed to collect very, very random thoughts in eight completely unrelated paragraphs. Will is 13 years old and will be a freshman in high school next year. When he was six months old, we brought him home from South Korea, and he was the length of his now 13-year-old shin. Liam is 11 and spends more and more time in the bathroom with hair gel. Quiet time in the bathroom is no longer a science experiment with a toilet brush; it's working out how to get the handsome-dude-thing going for middle school.

If there is a tiny bit of mold on the crust of a slice of bread, is the whole piece moldy? When I worked in an Italian deli, I learn that with a chunk of nice, expensive cheese, the mold is expected and trimmed. And the chunk is salvaged. I'm betting on the same being true for a slice of bread.

Two men are in the quiet room in the library talking aloud. In my quiet room in the library. In my quiet room in my library. I sound like a two-year-old. As do they.

I recently read that writing about emotions is healthy for the reason that journaling gets them out of your head and onto paper where you can re-process the meaning and you might discover the real meaning isn't what you have held in your head. Like dumping raw reality that's pumping through your brain onto paper, sifting it around, categorizing it, then re-interpreting the information, perhaps into a truer reality. I think of a brand new deck of cards. The stack looks fine, even beautiful, just out of the box perfectly ordered. But, they aren't ready to be played yet. With a few shuffles, they are re-aligned for their purpose.

One fall day, a woman died and left behind instructions for her ashes: They were to be spread in her garden, where she had spent a good portion of her life. Her husband refused help from the gardener to spread her ashes. Her husband spilled some of her on the garage floor. The gardener swept her up. The husband spread the rest of her in her favorite flower bed. Knowing the ashes would blow away in the approaching winter winds, the gardener covered them with leaves. Seeing the accumulation of leaves, the husband raked them up and dumped them in a compost heap at the back of their property. The gardener retired. Plans will be made. Plans will be changed.

After a Sunday afternoon matinee with friends, we had a long drive home in traffic. What should've been a 20-minute ride became an hour. When we dropped off our friends at their house, their daughter, who occasionally gets a little carsick, hopped out and flung herself spread eagle on the ground. I so badly wanted to go home and do the same thing. Just lay flat on the ground and stop the world from spinning. Let everything on our schedule just fly right over me as I lay still. In the winter time, I love to make snow angels and to lay silently inside their perfectly shaped skirts and wings. I have yet to flop spread eagle on the ground in the scurry to the end of the school year, to the beginning of summer. Somehow making snow angels justifies this action.

A young writer wrote an article about her writing ritual: Up at 5:00 a.m. Meditate for an hour. Run 10 miles. Sit down to write. Mine was mapped out similarly: School drop-off. Workout. Sit down to write. But I snuck in "water plants" before the workout. And that water reminded me that I should empty the dehumidifier in the basement; we'd had a little water earlier in the week from an unknown source. I stepped on the rug in the back room in the basement, and it was soaked. While she was meditating and running, I was schlepping tubs to the garage and calling a plumber. And, it was a self-inflicted leak. I didn't unhook the hose from the outside faucet last fall and the pipe burst. Hence, the dumpster outside our garage. I wonder what she wrote that day?

Trinity Sunday, our pastor calls children to the front for children's time. Liam is with other kids to the side of the sanctuary making crafts as Sunday school has ended for the year. He joins the small group on the steps leading to the altar. To get the meaning of "Trinity" across, our pastor sits next to the kids and asks them to describe him or herself in three words. Most hesitate, unsure of the right answer. Except for Liam. With a grin on his face, he says something to the pastor, but her mike doesn't pick it up. I suck air. To keep the audience in the loop, the pastor, also smiling, repeats Liam's three words through her microphone: "Naughty, crazy, and generous." And something to the effect of, "And Mom is holding her breath!" She closes the lesson with the reminder that no one, nor God, can be summarized in just three words. Amen.