Breakfast of Champions

I could’ve had anything that Publix had to offer. The choices were varied and fresh. I opted for two packets of instant raisin, date, walnut oatmeal with cocoa & cinnamon almonds, and a splash of Coffeemate’s Italian Cream. Decadent, I know, and a far cry from The Maker’s Diet, but I delighted in eating it and was fortified for the preparation of the split pea soup I have the pleasure of making for dinner should I decide against grilling the chicken breast and chopping the salad fixins. Simple pleasures are the best.

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Simple Pleasures

Papi Celestial wants us to have it all, to know and love Him much the way He knows and loves us. Only to prevent spiritual bends (akin to decompression sickness experienced by some divers) as we emerge along the journey, He slows things down so we can adjust. I got that insight while walking the dog this evening. For context, recall the verse affirming that “all things work together for good to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). I’d been noticing how my back felt fine despite not having aligned it before leaving the bedroom this morning. I smiled almost coyly noticing that the whole back thing may just have been His way of getting my attention and allowing me to choose to slow down and sit with him first thing each morning – a practice that will continue and, cloaked in the form of a medical directive, remains unchallenged by all. Nice work!

The night sky a perfect periwinkle
a melon sweet as perfume
wonton soup to put all others to shame and
91 degrees in the desert.

It just doesn’t get any better, I say.
God says, watch Me!

Why Resist.

This quote was found on the Brevity website. At this stage of my life I find resistance a waste of time and energy. So I share this little indulgence with you.

Sometimes the most moving, altering moments of life are in fact only moments. Sometimes they are not destined to be novels, essays, or memoirs. Sometimes, there is no bigger picture. ~ April Monroe

Isn’t that delicious!

Thankful

It’s a blessing to work in higher education at a school with running, potable water, central air conditioning and heating. We are within walking distance of public transportation, a public library, places to eat, buy clothes, books and groceries, – all at bargain prices. People from all over the world work and attend here. There are well-tended trees, grass, buildings and facilities – even seat protectors! This is not so in much of the world or for many of her workers and children. I am mindful of each of these gifts, though not as often as I’d like. We even have black bunny rabbits that graze around the parking lot at sundown!

Snippet #2601

But whose counting? You walk in a dog park there’s going to be poop. There are two kinds of people in a dog park: those who pick it up and those who don’t. I’m of the former set and my husband of the latter. Tonight, in exasperation, I actually said, it’s a waste of brain power to remember where the poop was in order to avoid it when you walk around again in the coming darkness when you could just pick it up when you see it the first time. So I get the just desserts of those who speak their conscience but don’t act on it. Gulliver decides to roll in the grass, on purpose, exactly in the place where a nice bit of warm, soft poop was left behind. Only I didn’t discover this till he runs over to us for a quick how-do before taking off for an old acquaintance. I rub the soft hair at the back of his neck just ahead of his harness and, oops, there it is! I was smeared. I raise the offending fingers to my husband and say, THAT’s why we pick up the poop when we see it! He doesn’t seem to make the connection. So I repeat myself, bringing the hand closer to his face. He asks if it smells bad. Now, on a good day, I’m not the finger sniffing type. At dusk, in the dog park, even less. Of course it smells bad, I shriek, it’s POOP! I can laugh at myself now, after Gulliver’s had a bath. After the power struggle to see who’d end up the wettest is over. After I force his bum down over the drain in the kitchen sink for the umtieth time, yelling, SIT! as close to his muzzle as possible without getting a mouthful of dog hair. After his near instant licking forgiveness threatens to bring me to tears. After I scrub him dry, at first roughly, with the hand towel my husband drapes over a chair in the dining room when I ask for the BIG BLACK TOWEL. After I cocoon our four-legged son in the big towel I have retrieved from the linen closet and, more gently now, clean his ears, dry his tail and toes. After I imagine I would sit there rocking a damp dog on my lap forever or at least until one of us had to pee. But then and there, in the dog park, when I had opportunity to enjoy confirmation of having been right, again, and couldn’t, I was far from being in a laughing mood.

Life is Bella

What if words are my first fruits?

They wash over and through me all through the night. They twist the sheets and rat my hair, raise and lower my temperature and insist on themselves from the time I lay down until the time I get up, each time I get up, their march and throttle threaten to keep me awake. This night, they came in the form of illuminated Bible verses. Several of my favorites, though I remember only one or two now, were confirmed.

All things work together for good to them that love God.

This one revealed parallels in my life and those in the movie Bella. I saw how God’s awesome and terrifying will keeps everything under submission, how even Manny’s anti-pathetic character could be the catalyst for or rather evidence of Immanuel, God with us.

I wondered at the pain of it all, the true and immeasurable suffering of each; Nina’s childhood and decision, José’s accident, prison term and loss, Lucchi’s death, her mother’s misery, the parents’ inability to have children at first, and the triumphant, cobbled together kind of beauty with which each lived as a result(?). Each reactive or responsive life is a prism of choices. One could sense José’s conviction that he had to go with Nina even though there would be consequences, even though he knew not why.

It was truly bella how he went only so far correcting his brother when the opportunity presented itself, and how their mother became the mask for Manny’s concerns about the brother he loved more than life itself. Though perhaps those scenes lie on the cutting room floor, even now tears spill imagining his visits to José in prison, the way his heart must speed up each time his brother seems to be riding the edge of his grief, opening arms above a precipice wanting to fly, falling deeper.
dinnerbella.png
The excellent preparation and presentation of food inspired me to come home, despite the backlog of tears, and remember that beauty is also a choice. For $13 and change, I presented myself with a beautiful anti-dinner of Kalamata olives, mozzarella-sun-dried-tomato-and-salami pinwheels, baby buffalo mozzarella and grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas and farmhouse seeded flatbread – a celebration of bittersweet choices, in honor of life’s beauty. Andy declined to share it with me, preferring the hotdogs I went into Smith’s to get buns for instead. Looking up the Romans 8:28 citation at the Continue reading →