Strangers in Fred Meyers

There are lots of things that people do which I don't understand. People I don't know talk to me. People I don't know tell me things. Hard things. Burdens.

I'm in Fred Meyer buying an ironing board, and a woman starts to laugh, halfway thru it turns into a sob and is quickly, abruptly aborted in a sort of soft bark. "Come to my house - I'll give you mine" She doesn't iron anymore - not since her husband divorced her, she did for a while after that - her son's church shirts - but he's not going to church anymore . . . "so come to my house - I'll give you mine" Maybe she's wandering around Fred Meyer cause it's more pleasent than being at a home that reminds her of everything. Maybe she goes there to forget - only to find that even a place as impersonal as a grocery store has it's reminders.

Maybe I hear what is not there, maybe I think to much, maybe I don't think enough . . . maybe I don't love enough. I wish I could carry their loads. I wish I was not the guy in Fred Meyer but the guy next door - the guy who knows how they like their burgers cooked and always has a beer in the fridge with their name on it, an hour to spare, and a couch to sit on. But maybe that is the purpose of strangers - to hear those things that you would not tell, could not tell anyone else.

I am glad that I am not a stranger to everyone.

Fog and Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.


Stumbled across the Olney Hymns today - maybe I'll read some more . . .


Content pending . . .

So I've been delaying showing any pictures of the new place because I just stink at making rooms look cool in my pictures - I feel that the panorama's cover my lack of skill in this area. I still need to take pictures of the loft which is empty as of right now, but will soon house my bed, a small desk and all those books you see. The view of the second floor from up there is very nice. I am planning on using the space by the window on the second floor as a reading nook of sorts. Maybe a big pillow type thing. Couches upstairs for a hang out sort of space, my big desk downstairs with only a reading lamp and chair at it - the study. And a table which will sit four downstairs as well. It's all a long way off, it is a start.

My apartment smells of oranges. A large bowl of oranges rests on the counter. They are aromatic and delicious. Have you looked a the beauty around you today? Have you peeled an orange, seen the little jets misting up from the rind as you removed them. Have you looked at the thousands of strands of pulp which all carry a minuscule amount of juice within them? Have you thought about the thousands of groves which have hundreds of trees from which a worlds supply of oranges grow? It's February and I have a bowl of oranges in my apartment.

I am weary - I am worn. I long for far away shores. I am content. I am happy. I smile and sing, and remember and forget. I sigh. I walk. I listen. I read. I talk. I listen some more.

Why when reading stories do I refuse to look ahead? I will not read ahead - I want to experience the story as the author would have me, to let them lead me where they would. Show me what they would have me see. By looking ahead I destroy the whole sense of moment - no longer can I really feel wonder, fear, sadness, love, or excitement. Because I know how it ends. And that's why I read - to feel. To feel wonder, to feel fear, to stress, to be swept away by the story. When I know the end - there are no surprises, I am not made to travel and grow with the character, his burdens are not mine when I look ahead.

SO what drives me to know the end of my own story? Why do I want to look ahead?

Be still and live. Feel these moments. Grow. Love. Hurt. Wrestle. Fight. Strive. Yearn. Remember.

“Be of good courage and cast these dreadful thoughts out of your mind. Whenever the devil pesters you with these thoughts, at once seek out the company of men, drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some other form of merriment. . . . When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: ‘I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.’”
Martin Luther, in Theodore G. Tappert, editor, Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel (Philadelphia, 1955), pages 86-87.

A friend posted this earlier this week. Taking Karl and Luther's advice I went and hung out with people. Four hyperactive kids and their two tired babysitters. I love kids. Who else would cure boredom by spraying you in the face with febreze, bite you, pull your hair, kick you in the stomach, let you help put away the dishes, quote a movie you've never seen so fast that you can't understand them, have you teach them wrestling moves, shoot you with nerf guns and let you feed the dog.

I love my life and I would not read ahead for fear of missing the treasures to be found in unexpected laughter, the sense of wonder oranges and sunsets bring.



Well I'm in Yakima now. All moved in. Writing this from my blackberry. My computer died on the way over. My blackberry has a few dead keys so please bear with me. "P" are the worst _ I have to miss spell something in google, get it to guess something with a "p" then copy it to the clipboard to paste at my leisure. This works till the phone is turned off. But this is a blog about Yakima not dead p's and return keys (hence the run on nature of this entry) so back to Yakima. It's good. I've been doing lots of walking, and working and sleeping. My bikes and bed are still spread across the state and I'm learning just how much free time I have - a lot. It's not to hot yet. Nor is it to cold. I must live next to people as quite and boring as me. I only hear them cough and take showers. The apartment is about 600 square ft. It's kinda a lofted loft apartment - and by that I mean that the loft has a loft. There is some exposed brick and cool left overs from the days when it used to be Yakima's powerhouse - big metal conductors sticking thru the exterior brick wall - I'll get pictures up as soon as I can figure out how. But for now you are going to have to settle for this.


Everything but her heart . . .

Yesterday found me in Yakima "apartment choosing" as a good friend put it. The natural excitement of looking at apartments coupled with several cups of Tam's green dot coffee, and a tripleshot12ozroomforcreamamericano from Cafe Moro had me skittish. Maybe.

So naturally I went to get more coffee.

And that's when I met her. An overheard comment got the conversation started. Don't know her well - but we are friends now. The memories seemed so fresh for her. Maybe it was a birthday, or the sad anniversary. But for whatever reason as we waited to order our coffee she talked about the day back in the late 70's. The day of the accident. The day which has changed every day since then. She thought that she would be close to my age today - maybe a little older.

She showed me how the accident broke all - all of her teeth - but left her jaw intact.

It was not gross, it was not awkward, it was not an over-share.

She was proud that I was donating - she had donated everything, her eyes, her body and organs.

Everything but her daughters heart.

And I thought a few months of job searching was tough.