fingers on a hand, our lives are interlaced with the lives of those who
have gone before us. They may have stepped sideways, into the next room
of God's reality, but they remain forever connected to us. The love of
our family and friends passes through time like sunlight through shadow.
It sustains us in the passage of our lives, supporting us at times when
we think we have no more energy to offer. The collective wisdom of our
ancestors is that whisper of conscience that guides us. Their faith in
us, the blessing we feel when we close our eyes in sleep." The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw
Yes, I meant to spell it like that. It alludes to something, but I can't remember what. "Yr. emeny." maybe from Up The Down Staircase?
So, in this week's Big Bang Theory, Sheldon referred to Wil Wheaton being his mortal enemy, and saying that he had a list of mortal enemies with 61 people on it. As a nice INFP Christian, I would not readily admit that I think of anyone as an enemy, but the more I think of it the more I think of more people. They are folks that I have something against, that I am letting "live rent-free in my head."
I am too prudent or too chicken to put the full list online. I'd like to think prudent is the word. Some of them, if you know me well, you already know or can guess who some of them are. It really doesn't matter. But this morning I sat with Ken, who continues to be miserable. He was in treatment for 2 months, he has been out for 2 months, he is wretched and improvement is so incremental that it's exceptionally difficult to recognize. Certainly worse than he was before, because the cancer wasn't bothering him AT ALL.
Very depressing. Enemies? I thought of these:
Cancer TREATMENT that makes you so much sicker than you ever were
Doctors and other medical professionals who do not evince care
Doctors who did not tell us the severity and duration of treatment effects
and then, thinking of the particular doctor who is number ONE on my Emenies list, it occurred to me that I could totallly understand how someone could "go postal" and confront The Emeny with a gun or other means of making their anger and despair CLEARLY KNOWN.
And then I burst into tears. Obviously, just what I needed at the time.
Note that I have no plans to go anywhere with a gun. But I wasn't understanding just how angry I am. A line that my friend Songbird has quoted from good old Jonah comes to mind... "Angry enough to die."
I am not normally this forthcoming in blog posts, because my mother reads my blog and takes her role as Professional Worrier very seriously. However, she is currently in the hospital (therefore away from computer and worry), having had spine surgery on Thursday (expected) and a seizure on Friday (unexpected, though she has a history of seizures). I am hanging fire here, waiting to hear from my younger sister about the current situation; as Ken says, no news is probably good news.
I/we are okay and will be okay. Not least because I know some of you will read this and comment, or not, but at least will lift us up in prayer, or intent, or good thoughts. For that I thank you. Some days when I feel down, I feel what I call the Great Cloud of Witnesses (and you are in it, and you and you and you!) bearing me up. I am grateful for that.
Oh, and I really am still counting my blessings every morning. Chief among them is that I am well and have no cancer treatments in my immediate future. Thanks be to God.
...20:34 Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage;
20:35 but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor
are given in marriage. 20:36 Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.
Initially, I say: I've never resounded with this story...I have a living spouse and my parents are (thank God) still alive. So I'd tell you, if you asked, that I'm not worried about things like this.
However, the truth will out.
I recognize actually, that I have a nice little story made up in my head about what's going on with those who've gone before me. And there are certainly those people in my life. It's not so much about what they are doing all day every day, or how they look, or who they are married to, but how they feel about me. I'll say things like, "well, he's not mad about that anymore, he's in a place where he understands more."
Really? Maybe he's not even thinking about me. In fact, I really hope that he's not. What a hellacious afterlife, to sit around thinking about Mary Beth Butler and a bunch of other people. Gah.
In this story, I've made Heaven in my own image: It's all about me! And I'm not even there! It's a Disney Land place, like in the map above.
I love CS Lewis' account in The Great Divorce, where those who can accept the new life and world (heaven) by letting go of the old one, are in joy and bliss. Those who cannot let go of the old, miserable and angry, get back on the bus for the in between world. Those who are thinking about people in the past world would certainly qualify as bus-sitters.
I don't feel a big need to figure out the next life, or whatever we should call that thing that God has planned for us. This is why I am not a theologian. But, like so many things in life, this scripture points me back to my actions, my words, my deeds: that which I can control, that which is my business. The people I am called to help. The rest is a smoke screen that I (like the Sadducees) set up to avoid thinking about working on my side of the street.
My Ipod is named Newton. Because he is an Apple, and green. (I suppose by that logic I should've called him Granny Smith. But too late now.)
So I don't use my Ipod very constantly. If I load some new music, I take it to work and plug it into the little speaker thingy I have there. But I've never been able to make it work, to use the "plug into the car radio" deal. And I don't do a lot of carrying it around listening to it as I walk.
I've been wanting to use it lately, and it wasn't charged. This morning I found a cord in my disheveled home office and brought it in to work, plugged it into work computer USB port to charge.
And of the over 200 songs, apps, podcasts and other items on it (yes, I realize this is insanely low for a 4 GB Ipod), the ONE that immediately started playing was a radio interview with RedLefty, the band that Tennyson was in in Lawrence, KS when he died. I posted a link to that podcast here in case you are interested. He is the drummer, and the one with the fantastic baritone laugh. Man, I loved that laugh. Still do. If only he could have stayed in the laughing place.
No mistake, I think, in what my first musical selection was this morning. Thanks for that, Newton.