About Loud Dishwashers and Quiet Strength

handsigns_K“Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.” Leonardo da Vinci

 

Well now, I hope that da Vinci is right, because the world around me seems to believe and behave otherwise. If I had time this morning, I would figure out what the sound level of my dishwasher is right now. At the moment, my house is silent other than

1: the dishwasher – a noisy one. Very noisy.

2: my dog Paul and the clinking of his dog tag on my feet. and

3: the pleasant chatter of NPR news which I’ve got at a low-level to keep me company and on task.

I’m pretty sure that I can also hear our dog Lennon chomping on some breakfast as well.

Probably this sound mix seems relaxing to some, boring, or maybe annoying as crap to others. My youngest son LOVES noise – he makes a lot of it, and feels anxious if he’s not surrounded by a clashing mix of various people and media streams. Oh, I think that most of us like the IDEA of silence – and maybe even envy those of us who are quiet and highly sensitive souls. I’ll let you research the statistics yourself, and they certainly are out there. Our world is getting louder. Commercials, radios, classrooms, churches, grocery stores. You name it. All of the day to day places we go to have been proven (in first world type of settings) to be really, really loud anymore. So with that in mind, indulge me as I start sharing some tough crap I’m up against of late.

I can’t be the authority of everything I want to control and change – and I can’t perfectly manage my sound environment – after all, I’m not cloistered and I’ve not yet taken a vow of silence. But I LOVE what Da Vinci says, and I want to switch his quote up to something more personal:

“Nothing can, nor has ever strengthened my authority better than silence.”

And, on the flip side – lore has it that the reason VanGogh cut his ear off is not because he1959461_10153074983048810_36322649183088841_n was insane, it was because he had tinnitus – sound that is not sound. It’s fake noise that is created by the brain of someone who is hard of hearing or deaf. It can be related to a lot of things – injury, stress, a reaction to environmental sound, tight jaw muscles, and from what I can tell – it always involves an out of the norm auditory system or event.

I still don’t know why it is true, but I found out a year ago that my hearing status, for now in one ear, is permanently out of the normal range. That may not sound (pun intended) like a big deal, but it really is. It’s a very big deal for me. What I’m up against isn’t as clear as the typical getting older and starting to hear less clearly.

Strangely enough, it is the symptoms that come with what ever is going on in my auditory system that is, I have to say, kind of maddening at times. And what I have going on isn’t even in the ball park of what many hard of hearing and Deaf folks go through. Thankfully, this isn’t my first unexpected life rodeo ride, so for the most part, it’s not too hard to take in stride. world has ended many times I read this morning that one way to deal with tangled feelings from our past is to accept our limitations as deeply and quickly as we can when these limitations become clear. I agree for the most part – I’m a fan of facing the truth, even when it sucks.

So, in a few weeks if at my 6 month hearing test the truth is that my hearing status is the same mild and mysterious scenario, my body is still going to keep telling me: things just are not right. If the ENT is dismissive and says again, “we don’t know what’s going on, there is nothing we can do yet, come back in another six months,” how should I respond?

The discomfort of constant ear pressure and the annoyance of mild tinnitus that I deal with 24/7, again, is nothing compared to many others. I am getting to know a lot of great people who have profoundly difficult symptoms such as frequent vertigo or severe tinnitus. Many of them can’t work, and many of them work anyway…how, I’m not yet sure.

I do know this:

I adore American Sign Language (ASL). It’s not just fun (which it is), it’s not just cute (which it can be) it IS – well, it is indescribably in written word. Because it’s not – it’s not English, and it isn’t written. It is something that we DO and SEE.

It is the BEST language ever, and I would say the same if my hearing was top notch. It conveys feeling, thought, time, time, space, story, history, and details in a way that no other language will ever be able to do.

So, “God willing, if the creek don’t flood,” hopefully between now and mid-April,  I will have the courage to face this ongoing physical limitation by allowing myself to reflect on these difficult questions and not feel ashamed of the resulting fears and anxieties that are about as normal as normal can be.

I’m out of time and brain juice to figure out a way to transition what I’m saying to a recommendation to read these two articles from a friend – so I’ll just add them as a Post Script here. They are all about the topic of this blog: grace.

Take care, and be warm, Kate

10429303_10153075073858810_8420602525960782671_nStaying open to Grace: http://wp.me/p3gSTz-T2

When ‘Happily Ever After’ Meets Life’s Hardships: http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/when-happily-ever-after-meets-lifes-hardships/

A Super Duper Beautiful poem: http://youtu.be/9GdawG7CBNo

 

 

 

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“Okay” Can Be a Comforting Prayer

BPyUYW1CIAA-IFqIn part of a passage I posted the other day by Anne Lamott she said that

“okay”

is one of the four great prayers.

o TN_handsigns_O

I wonder what the other three are?

I’d bet they are one worded – perhaps thanks. Amen would be kind of obvious. What about yes? or Hallelujah, or yipee or yahoo or agreed? That’s what amen means in terms of word roots I think. I’m fairly sure it just means “Yup, I think the same thing as you my old pal God the greatest.”

About a month ago my prayers were not close to being quite that amiable. “Greatest” is still not the first thing that pops in mind with how I am feeling about the heavenly host, but I’m starting to ease up on my internal sky rant which started out pretty much like this:

Are you *%@+&ing kidding me? What happened to that giant life plan that you and I mapped out and you were so generously CLEAR with your instructions about what you want me to do with my life? The hints you left were not random on this one. It wasn’t like the time I thought I could somehow make a career out of folding origami cranes and little paper frogs. That wasn’t very practical was it now? Did I try to figure out if that’s what you want. Well YES SIREE I did! I prayed, I journaled. I reflected. I went to mass and made the sons come along as well. I even started reading Anne Lamott books. I may not have gotten to my goal of making a thousand paper cranes, but I got good at that craft and hosted a couple of really fun workshops for kids and showed those little kidlets a good time. Did I whine and moan when I figured out that the want ads had nothing that said: “intensely reflective and fairly forgetful paper folder wanted to fold cute little animals out of beautiful asian paper squares” ? NO MA’AM! I kept on truckin’ and started out working on Masters degree #2 because the first one was not in big demand in the countryside where we were living. Was I bummed when it stopped working out for me to continue in that program. Well sure. It was really interesting and the career demand was going to be huge. And did I stop trying to figure out what you want? Hell’s bells no I didn’t. I dug up all of the Thomas Merton books that we own and got friendly with him again. And I found another hobby as instructed and spent hours and hours building that outdoor porch train track. Giving up that corner of our house that became my little prayer space was pretty damn hard to leave, but I did, DID I NOT? Our buddy Merton says keep reflecting not matter where and no matter what so when I discovered how ridiculously large the Mississippi river is compared to my serene corner on the great Ohio, THAT’S WHAT I DID DUDE! REFLECT, REFLECT, REFLECTED MY *#%…..

There’s more, but I’ll spare you the details. Consider that a prelude.handsigns_K

By the way, I know that I used both “he” and “she” words for God. I’m one of those people who feel like God is so big that gender kind of limits the whole point of divinity. And I get irked at continued references that imply that our collective imagination stopped at the image of a white guy with a big old beard being in charge of the universe. That’s kind of boring I think. And none of my grandfather’s look like that anyway. One was a motorcycle cop and the other a journalist with big thick eye glasses.

Anyway.

My dear friend sent me a beautiful gift after I called her to tell her what was upsetting me so greatly. Wait, no, She is the one that had called me first. I had sent a rapid fire set of text messages saying “ahhhhhhhhh” and “eeeeeeeeeeeeek” and “yowwwwwwwwww”! She knows me well and called and said “I’m calling to talk about the weather and want to know what you are making me for dinner.” So we had a great and funny conversation that was mostly a “not talking talk” about what I was upset about, but at the same time she got a basic run down on the scene.

Shortly after, a gift that she had promised came in the mail. I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon! The card that she sent with it had a cute front that talked about how God’s world is full of all that is good. On the inside though, the little bear was shaking her hands at the sky and saying “give me a *xyz#%ing break!”

So all of this to say is this….

yeah. I agree with Anne.

It took me a month or so, but the best prayer I can burp out at this point is “okay.”

And once I said okay, my load started to lighten. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still angry, but this particular situation is not one that I can afford to pout about for very long.

Some new realities have fallen into my lap that are complicating my plans to get through this Sign Language interpreting certification program, but thus far there is no reason to do anything other than continue to enjoy and get as far as I can in the courses.If some fine tuning needs to happen, then so be it – I’ll deal with it when that time comes.

I’ll say this though – and again, I won’t bore you with the details, but adjusting this quickly from a “BLEEP YOU” cosmic conversation to a kicking my shoe in the dirt and mumbling “okay” prayer stance is completely unheard of for me…pun intended. I hold grudges like a toddler who is unwilling to release a blanket during nap time.

And. I have fallen in love with my studies about a language and culture that surrounds and protects the lives of those who have less than perfect hearing. Somehow, some way though, I didn’t wait even a day this time before sounding the alarm bells to get help and comfort when I had a wrench thrown into my plans. I scattered out a few “hey friends, I’m freaking out” messages and predictably there were those that said “huh?” and those that said “got your back girl. Bring it on. You’ve got this thing. Don’t stop now.”

And the best part? Some of these people are new friends. I survived the three-year mark of relocation and am meeting and entrusting some really, really great people in my new world. I’m encountering people who are flies in my soup too…but I don’t care. This is not my first trip on the pumpkin wagon and I know to be careful to trust only those who gain my confidence. I hope that I have the sense to pay that back.

I don’t know that I need to read up on what the other three prayers are that Anne Lamott mentions. Saying “okay God” is comfort enough for now….gotta start somewhere.

(The top photo is mine and is morning sun on the Mississippi River which is now a favorite water way, second only to the Ohio.)

We Texted: “More Whine! Pass the Cheese!”

breakfast

Here is a paraphrase of some of my online rambled anger to a friend (who is an adoptive mother to a young lady of color) about the “not guilty” verdict for Zimmerman this weekend.

…I’ll get off my soapbox now. Maybe I’d be doing better to continue my devotion to Cheerios and continue to pray by way of singing “row, row, row your boat.”

While my dogs were taking me for a walk last night I started to worry a bit about what I may have written in that thread of responses to her tearful reaction to the verdict. My intention was to support her, but I went straight into my particular upset and anger.

I stopped mid park and tried to bring up Facebook on my phone to read what I said, butthe-Muppets-movie-posters-the-muppets-26849004-75-120 sweat and dog tangle kept me on the move.

By the time I got home and tried out the key lime pie (it was only so, so), and got into dry clothes, and took the dogs out…again…and settled onto the couch…the effort to go slowly through the scrolls on my kindle over rulled my need to reconsider if I had said something offensive or hurtful.

Earlier in the day a college roomate made a couple of comments during a fun but chaotic attempt toward texted conversation between her, me and a third best friend. This friend, who is summer traveling, was sorting through some feelings about an early morning conversation. Two different times later in the day, she said to us:

Thank you for listening. I don’t mean to whine.

Which we teased by saying something to the effect of:

More Whine! We miss you! Pass the cheese.BPN2n5-CUAAUZYn 

The interesting part is that, far better than I with my sweaty, dog tangle, pie focused evening goal to permanently plop and give in to my day…she had texted a few times that she already, hours after the uncomfortable conversation, had plans to revisit what had been said and ask for clarification. She also had thoughts on how she was going to find a way to tactfully assert a few things of her own so that her recent hard earned confidence is not left unspoken, which could end the visit on a less satisfactory note.

BPN2IAdCUAEKBx2

It didn’t work out to confirm this, but I’d say that all three of us were better able to enjoy our Sunday while our interuppted conversations fizzled out on the liberating note that, now that we have battled our way into 40’s, we each waste far less time worrying about being liked.

And, I am now all the more homesick for both of them, and frustrated at the lack of time and ease to communicate without interupption or distraction. (Insert here sensory illustrations of the smell of sweat and sounds of meatloaf timers going off).

395895_10150596300328810_837678809_8894478_1239777666_n

Yet, I’m waking up this morning feeling like we texted a toast to us and our hard earned, OlderAndWiserThanWeWere approach to our days.

Then again, it is only 7:31 a.m.

 

 We shall see…all manner of things…we shall see….

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor

Image

“Grace is God’s unmerited favor.”

I’m going to go ahead and claim that I wrote that sentence, even though it is part of my six month old scribbled notes that I made while on Wikki (of all places). I was working on a tab for this blog which explains why I would pick an often uncute theme: grace.

Wait! Red light! Am I tiptoeing around the stickiest theological debate of all time – for me anyway: Exactly where do toil and grace meet?

Know what I mean (jellybean)?

And…who, how, when and where is grace found? And why…of course we ask over and over, is toil and suffering so often what we associate with the experience of God being in our midst?

Let’s just put that on the chalkboard for now:

“Def.: Grace = God in our midst.”

Image

So, let me explain

Tangent: here’s why I’m bogging down your computer with huge photos:

 

I just want to.

Want to bog mine down anyway. I was lucky enough to have scored a job for a couple of months at the end of the school year and that was a really wonderful experience. My title was “Communication Coach” for a Kindergarten student who is hard of hearing.

If I can get back into a routine to blog more often, I’d love to share more about my experience. It was just what I didn’t know I was praying for.

The huge pictures in this post? Because as soon as I signed my contract, I treated myself to a new printer that has a scanner so that I can try and organize old photos.

So far, what I have is an office and moving boxes that are a jumble of…

a jumble. In a room with stinky carpet.

(insert music or images that lead you to toil and suffer,

if my friend, you are on my side…)

I am still committed to try and not write more than a few hundred words per post, but for now, as I brush away some midlife cobwebs, I need to see these snippets in biggie size. Image

“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up on such grace.

What you need is

someone to take hold of you –

gently, with love,

and hand your life back to you.”

 

~ Tennessee Williams

Image

 

Dear Mrs. Obama: Have They Considered Mr. Lemon?

A6TRRWgCMAAjjpPDear Mrs. Obama,

This message to you has been near the top of my list for months: a most heartfelt thank you for all that, well…all that you are actually. I don’t claim to know you as more than a woman for whom I am fan and follower. Yet, I’m tempted to put in this quick note the same thing that I put in birthday cards to those who mean the most to me:

“Thank you for being born.”

That would be a bit intense though since despite my greatest efforts, we’ve not yet met.

Actually, here’s the truth: I started last fall by taking for granted that you and your family would continue to be the leaders protecting and leading my sons for another term. Like so many others, I watched the debates for the first time ever and during that process I cracked. Rage would not be an exaggeration. Even though it was your husband who was being personally and morally attacked – for some reason, I found myself feeling deeply offended as well. Thankfully I remembered a huge sign that my mother kept in her laundry room which said:

“Living Well is the Best Revenge.”

So, despite my best efforts to keep the home fires burning and volunteer for your family campaign in an official manner, I found myself seeking revenge “Kate Style”: I drove around the Quad Cities being an hour, or day, or a week too late for events but never allowed myself to feel a dollar too short. I prayed and retweet all that I found to be good. I wrote and deleted and lost my thoughts and eye glasses on what felt like an hourly basis…

Don’t get me wrong – I’m no hero. My campaign efforts were nothinganxiety girl compared to those of most of your volunteers and most of all, other than the retweetAthon that a friend pointed me toward, everything I did was in my head.

As a matter of fact, in an effort to support one of your speeches I got lost and ended up in a town called Lost Nation, Iowa. My family is so long and suffering.Thank God, I did find my way to hear you, just days before the election in Iowa City. Did you see me? I was the one who started crying like a sissy girl when you simply opened your mouth to say hello. My mother campaigned for you before you even knew you needed her. Sadly, she died several years ago.

Actually, the tears on my part were that of complete joy.

165977_10151106768050774_429870657_nThe joy was, in part, to be a few feet away from a woman who I admire deeply. More so, tears flowed because you said, word for word, what I was feeling.

After the harrowing experience of dodging winter weather, my completely mismanaged childcare back up plans and getting utterly lost on the road to a very easy to find destination…what could I do but laugh?

I was exhausted from worry and effort by the time you got up on stage and if I’d had to wait too many minutes longer I would have needed to bail yet another event to get home in time for after school pick up.

Shazaam. On came the Earth Wind and Fire music. Shoulders grooved. Water cups were passed. Secret service squeezed in, andA1JU2PeCQAADnFI you came out to say what I’d come to realize in those exact long hours:

If, despite my most heartfelt prayer, Michelle is asked to leave the house, joy will still come in the morning.

Thank you for saying exactly that Mrs. Obama. I heard you say:

“No matter what, we are going to be just fine. On Thursday (after the election), no matter where my family will live next winter, on thursday we will go back to picking up our shoes and putting them away.”

Soon after you said that a mom in the crowd hushed her child who was playing in the front rows and you said:

“No!

Don’t shoosh…Let her go!

We’ve got another party over here!”

So, for now, I’m going to finish this thank you note and ask that, although I think I am certainly at least 24 hours too late with this message,

I would like to recommend that the benediction for the inauguration be given by one of my many favorite pastors: Meadowlark Lemon.

I knew he was a Trotter, and am so pleased to read this week that he is a theologian as well:

“True visions have transformed my time on this earth from

mere existence

to joyful living.

 

As the saying goes, if you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.

A worthwhile life

begins with a bold vision.”

~ from Trust Your Next Shot: A Guide to a Life of Joy, by Meadowlark Lemon and Lee Stuart

Thanks again.

With peace,

Kate

@Chris Handles loves my new book as well.

@Chris Handles loves my new book as well.

Ugly Is As Ugly Starts

Ugly is, as Ugly Starts

Okay.

I can do that.

I am following, admist good bad and not so pretty domestic stress, a writers series that encourages 15 habits. These habits include “must have” routines for those that write for fun and for those that are in it for more than fun.

I’m on day 7. Others, I kid you not, are finished and have started, or even finished, a book in those fifteen days.

Cool, eh?

So, my assignment/suggestion, should I choose to follow is to

start

a project. But start it ugly.

Make something ugly. And leave it ugly (temporarily). Be okay with it. Embrace the splotches and streaks for what they are: evidence that you’ve started. ~ Jeff Goins 

“JesusMaryAndJospeh!” my mother would grouse. ” ‘START’  a project? You tell my daughter to ‘start’ something new, why not coach her on at least getting to the middle of a project and we will all sleep easier at night young fellow!”

“Well”, I am snarking back to my celestial MamaForce, SOME of us are better at casting seeds and forgetting what we planted, and much of the time WE don’t care.

Humph.

(Just pictured mom and some other creative gal pals going to the other side of the galaxy for a quick, won’t kill them now smoke. They are now rolling their eyes at how much work I continue to be, even at my tender age of “old enough to know better.”)

Okay. Busted. Of course I care.

Of course I want, sometimes, often times to be able to even remotely write here what I really mean to say and sometimes   often times I get

SICK

and TIRED

of being too, too…worried, and uptight, and hesitant to just,

just at least pluck away at unfinished projects that I beat myself up about. Unfinished?! Ha! Let alone unexplored!

often sometimes feel like I’ve lost my creatiave young adult “all that” forever, and then blame on the kids, the spouse, the dogs, my illnesses, the weather…

If I could just,

just finish a few, not all, but a few of the unfinished projects that I don’t only believe, but know would make a difference to others. Maybe then I would give myself permission to stop pretending that I don’t care.

I do.

I don’t want to fail, I get tired of being embarrassed and making false starts, I’m concerned about the galaxies of word twisting jerks out there and not quite versed on how to handle them (familiar and strangers)…

but.

“Hell’s bells Katherine!” I just imagined my artist Mom and designer Granny smiling with cigars replacing the smokes in their ashtrays. I’m pretty sure they just shook their heads and are now bowing them for some odd reason. Are they laughing, crying or praying? This reminds me to look at the clock.

Which reminds me to go to yoga.

And makes me wish that I had time to write more on how excited I am to try as hard as hell to remember to photo and blog the ugly clematis flower vine I made a minute ago!

Ugly is, as ugly starts.

Damn. Good words ladies, thanks!

Forgiveness Friday: Son Joe’s Movie Review was “I Can’t Believe It!”

*note: I’m looking forward to company, camps and work this week. Usually this is something that I’d publish on a Friday, but before I get confused, I’m sticking it up a bit early. thanks!

I’m having a fun discussion about mustard seeds with a blogger who is a botanist, theologian and pastor. We had a chat by way of blog comments about a “lectionary spark” article she posted about the classic mustard seed reference from Jesus. I guess that there is a big debate that I’ve missed all these 20 years. I’m remembering why I used to love theology.

Is, or is not,

Was, or was not

Jesus referring to a mustard tree, or was it a mustard plant?

Was, or was not,

Jesus teasing with many of his parables?

In any case, I really like what Pastor Warren wrote about how, when all comparisons and studies are done, the point is that Jesus encourages faith in the form of willingness to take another road home. Warren says,

Basically—to explain away the funny—Jesus is saying the Kingdom of God doesn’t show up the way we expect it to. Jesus is saying the kingdom of God is weedy and dismiss-able. Jesus is saying the Kingdom of God surprises us about where and when it comes about. Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of God makes waste-places, abandoned places, unimportant places (where weeds grow) into places of new life and if we are determined to only see the Kingdom of God in the big, glorious, obvious places of the past, we’re probably going to miss out on the sprouting taking place by our feet and the fields of gold blooming in front of us.

(From Lena Warren, in her blog: Jabbok Dawn http://jabbokdawn.wordpress.com/)

This is exactly how I feel about our move to Iowa. Who would think, a year or even two ago, that last night I would have celebrated Father’s day by being wrapped up in a blanket with our youngest and a puppy as he was enthralled with his first viewing of the movie Field of Dreams. It made the rest of us watch it again, but through his little kid eyes.

He kept asking why the music was scary and if there was going to be death and gloom. “Watch!” we kept saying. And as baseball hero (he’s a sports history buff) after baseball hero came to the field he would fist pump the air and say something like: “I can’t believe it!”

Pure joy and forgiveness. (Forgiveness because I’d yelled, LOUDLY, a few minutes before that I was not willing to watch another minute of a Rocky Movie. For good measure I then guilted them all that we didn’t watch a girl movie on Mother’s day, so I should have a solid voice in our movie selection).

I’m hoping that this busy summer allows time for me to finish marking up a book called Between Heaven and Mirth that I got for my husband self for Christmas. Fr. James Martin tells us that St. Paul’s First letter to early Christians in Thessalonica is not a scolding letter, like some of his other spit fire letters. Much of what Paul preaches includes harsh demands of faith and warnings of doom if fragile Christians don’t comply. Martin suggests that 1 Thessalonians in the bible is a gentle invitation to joy.

This idea works for me, since when I was trying to woo my husband away from becoming a Marianist Catholic priest, and he was trying to woo me away from my sullen ways, we closed or began our love letters with St. Paul’s phrase, “holy kisses.” St. Paul’s harsh side never has tripped me up, because I stumbled into a dating fog while at the same time studying for my masters and writing a thesis on St. Paul’s dreamy side.

“Greet all brothers and sisters with a holy kiss.”

St. Paul, 1Thesallonians:5

Like several of my friends, with and without partners or kids of their own, we have had some very sad and tragic hills to climb at this middle point in life. At a minimum, we’ve all at least been asked to struggle up a crazy climb with someone else. Cancer, divorce, death, job loss, disease, bankruptcy, failed dreams…you get what I’m saying. The works of life.

For me, the past three or four years have been quite the haul. The best of these friends though, the ones who I’ve trusted the most with the blow by blow details of my particular climb, have the very, very best sense of humor. The list is short, not because I don’t have great friends and family, but because I am very guarded and private with things in my life that feel like a boxed up Tasmanian devil. This handful of friends, when I tell them the truth of how I am, greet me with some form of “it’s okay, I know who you are,” and most often they send me off with some form of laughter. Either I’ve cracked them up, or them me about the most tragic of situations.

This approach to handling life works with what I just read in Martin’s book. He says in a chapter titled  A Study in Joy,

“Even in the midst of great tragedy,knowing that God accompanies us can lead us to a deep-down joy that can carry us through difficult, and sometimes unbearable,times.” ~ Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Two of my small fist full of friends that I just mentioned are experiencing great tragedy this weekend. I heard from both yesterday, they are having an unbearable couple of weeks, and both situations seem to be at a seemingly endless place of pain. They even bear the same first name. What can I do? What can I say? I’m at a loss. I’m too summer fuzzed tired to cry, and I can’t imagine finding a way to make them laugh. Yet.

So, I’m banking on the good advice I’ve read this morning, and will try to trust that praying for a light heart for them will be good enough work for today.

Declare

I find this

Celibacy and Gay Priests

article to be very interesting. I’ve not time to watch the video right now, but am a fan of Jesuit priest and writer Fr. James Martin.

I came across him and his perspective, actually, about things relating to mental health and humor in videos with psychology and spirituality writer Therese J. Borchard.

This article is not about, nor I’m certain, meant to spur humorous conversation.

I could go on, but baseball practice is in two shakes of a lambs tail, so for now, I’ll say that if wishes were beggars I’d ride on a nice long email exchange with Fr. Martin about an imaginary battle, debate, conversation with Pope Benedict XIV.

The writing challenge by Jeff Goins I’ve entered suggests on day one to write a “manifesto” that I am a writer, and to either have a real conversation or send it to someone that would make me nervous.

His one word advise is to DECLARE, not justify, that I am a writer.

So, because of time limitations, I am messaging this post to Fr. Martin on FB, bringing my knitting to baseball, and continuing my imaginary discourse with the Holy Father on why I refuse, thus far, to say “grievous” in Church for the time being. (The vatican under Pope Benedict has made some word changes in our Mass which seem to be a great blessing to some, and great frustration to others).

This guy (Fr. Martin) is, like, pretty famous among famous Catholic writers. So, yeah, even sending the guy a tweet makes me a little bit nervous.

I do declare tho, what the heck, yes?