Advent: Wait

IMG_6097If this photo by my friend Linda had sound you wouldn’t hear much other than the trains going by on Kentucky rails. You could wait all day, and listen to the birds if your hearing works that well for you, but trains on the far shore and birds by your side are probably all you would hear.

 

I believe in silence.

Growing up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, my playground was the small stone church where my father was minister. I remember riding my big wheel tricycle silently down the blue-carpeted center aisle and that the perfect refuge for hide-and-go-seek was under the altar cloth. Because no one thought I would actually hide there. But it’s the cool silence of that stone church that I remember the most. It was heady and gave me life. It was there that I could escape the scrutiny and expectations of being a child of color and the son of a preacher….

In the silence of my father’s church, beneath the sun-illumed stained glass, I could hear my own voice—it told me I was smart and helped me dream a life worth living. Outside the church, the deafening discord of society told me I was a subordinated person, and someone to be feared…

Our cacophonous world not only drowned out my inner voice, it told other people how they should feel about me and those who look like me. I’m sorry they saw me as a monster…

When I was twenty-five, I found the strength to rediscover my inner voice. It happened at the bedside of my dying father.He encouraged me to see my weaknesses and illuminate my strengths. For the first time since I was a child, I was able to hear the voice of my spirit. It told me what I value and how I ought to live my own life.

He helped me to recognize the noise of the world so I could learn to stop listening to it…

I believe in a silence that allows me to stop paying attention to the world around me and start listening to my own heart.

Most days I find it as I walk with my daughters in the woods behind our home. It’s the church of my adult life.

I tell them I believe there is a voice inside all of us that needs to be heard.

~ I’ve only given you parts of this essay named A Grace of Silence by Andrew Flewelling and can be heard in the authors voice or read in full at this link on the website This I Believe.

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Summer = Less Productive if You have Children

Aside

 ‘ Be more productive’ as a goal, stinks.” ~ Charlie Gilkey

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A Great Quote, A Creek Photo & a Sentence or Two

“There but for the grace of God, go I.”

 

~ John Bradford

 

Photo by Kevin Lester, Ripley Ohio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*random disclaimer: I don’t do heated political debate, and the above quote, the photo and these couple of thoughts are about missing my Mom. Merci mon ami!

If we could talk by phone or email, my mother and I would be hard at appreciating the contagious effect of Michelle Obama’s sense of joy.

Is joy more hard-earned for this generation of young kids than in the ’70 ‘s when I was playing hopscotch?

Who knows. Joy is important, that’s for sure.

Confession: I’d Rather Type Than Talk to You

Knock, knock? Anyone home?

I always feel bad when I’ve not been here posting or reading. When I take these breaks it always begins with busyness, but ends with pitiful return to the computer with the mindset that no one missed me in the sphere.

That’s the problem with the internet. It’s all so, so sphere-y.

For ultra introverts like myself, social media is a haven and a temptation. It is so, so much easier for me to sit here and converse with friends, foes or figments of real communication when it is by way of the word wide-spread.

I

have

complete

control.

No seriously. Yeah, yeah, bla, bla – the net’s a powerful and potentially dangerous place and invariably leads to lots of eye poking.

I’m pretty scrupulous though, even in my emails. Most of my grandmother’s were much more wild than I am. This makes it hard to go with Dr. Phil’s advise to never type anything that would be embarrassed to have my grandmother see. I use my youngest son as a yard stick though, and try to not to even go all sister potty mouth in email or chat functions.

He’s hitting fifth grade in a week though, so now that I think of it, I need to start typing with my little niece in mind.

For me, the slippery slope is that belief that the internet IS the communication I’m working toward, not a means to an end which is “real” connection.

Real connection, as in, just a few minutes ago I caught a friend from the little town we moved from a year ago. I’ve not seen her in person on any of the multiple trips back.

Sunrise on the Ohio River, Ripley Ohio

Her life is busy beyond busy, and when we visit – so is mine as we only have a few days to catch up with a lot of folks. One of the last times I visited I had an hour window of time and sent her a wake up text at 7:00 a.m. (this indicates that she is “real” friend).

She’d been up for an hour or some such and actually had to be somewhere for a photo shoot or some such (no joke, she’s kind of a celebrity), so we started planning for a visit this coming fall over labor day weekend.

All of this is to say, that this morning when we were typing our hellos we could have called – and “voice connected.”

Ha. I just made that up and it sounds so millennial when used as a verb.

definition (verb) Voice Connect: Expressing such euphemisms as “I miss you” and “you are SO bomb” by way of vocal cord vibrations rather than digital typenations that involve kissy faces made of punctuation marks.

I was so excited to catch her by “chat” and thought about searching out the phone and calling. It would have made her late for work probably, because we would have had a hard time hanging up. As an ultra extrovert though…she would have handled it fine and loved it, because her days are filled with conversation and noise so she can safely assume that we’ll pick back up as planned in September.

Me. Introvert? It would have woken up my son and I’d be on early toast duty. For me, It would have been emotionally hard to hear her voice since I (voluntarily) spend so much time in the quiet and know that chances are good that the only voices that I hear at length will be some or all of my family of men today.

I’m cool with that.

Really. It’s why I love the sphere! I can surf my heart away and connect by way of the net any time I want.

I need to be careful to not get too much virtual groove on, because it’s the means to connect, not the goal, rightO?