samedi, février 20, 2010

Une honorifique sucre

Yesterday I traveled over to Big Little Wolf's Daily Plate of Crazy to read her smart and sexy and sometimes poignant meditations on parenting, love, writing and French men, food and shopping (and shoes, of course). And whaddya know? She was gracious enough to award me, with some pretty gifted and more prolific bloggers, the Sugar Doll Award.

I like BLW's taste in other writers as much as I like her taste in footwear (though I could never wear most of it, see below). So I really was honored and surprised. This blog began a few years ago at the suggestion of a journo friend of mine, who suggested that, with journalism on the ropes, I find another avenue for my rantings. It is as chimerical as the rest of my work life as writer and pastor, veering whimsically from topic to topic, never quite deciding what to be when it grows up.

Other bloggers seem more focused, bolder, more intentional. Certainly bawdier. And in the spirit of the award, which is given and then passed on to someone else, I'd like to give this one to Tonya, of The Quest for T blogspot.

Tonya and I share an interest in the spiritual life and in relationships and parenting. But she's more inclusive, draws the boundaries wider, and is WAYYYY more bawdy than I'd ever dare to be. She's a breath of fresh air, so if you haven't already, check her out.

I know that part two is owning up to ten things I haven't already told the universe about me, but it's going to have to wait until later today. Today we had a chess tournament. And now I transition from mom to priestess -- and back again tonight.

Thank you, BLW! Thanks for introducing me to some awesome bloggers

Yeah, I know my mastery of French idiom is almost as suspect as my English.

But what can you expect of a goil from the streets of Park Slope?

jeudi, février 18, 2010

They are the young Americans

Ok, I'm about to jump right into a boiling cauldron of steaming vapor here.

Yanno, it is better to be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Anyhow, here goes.
As I watched the American women skiers last night on NBC, I had my first real chance to take a good look at Lindsey Vonn, and her compatriot, Julia Mancuso.
Jaunty, attractive without being threatening, bright-eyed and exuding confidence, there is a style about Mancuso and Vonn that makes them wonderful representatives of America on a world stage.
And as I say that, I realize how anachronistic in some ways that sounds.
For in some ways Vonn and Mancuso define that old fashioned adjective "all-American." They were the girl jocks that you envied in high school because not only were they athletically gifted but they got the guy.
They could have been cheerleaders, but they had the chutzpah and the talent to get out of town and aim for the mountains. They have a desire to beat out the competition that is as real as their grace when they don't win.
They have both had to deal with the sadness of having had estranged parents (I believe that Mancuso's dad has spent time in jail).
That being said, it would be great to have some representation from African-American and Latina skiers -- and skaters and half-pipe specialists.
Didn't it raise your spirit to see skater Shani Davis, from the South side of Chicago, a gold medalist in the white-on-white sport? Yep, as he said, he earned the right to dance if he wants to. Davis is a phenomenal American success story.
With their lack of ethnic and racial diversity, many of the teams don't represent American pluralism.
But they do represent America -- and they are doing it with joy, elan, and heart.
I haven't experienced that kind of life.
But I sure as heck love seeing those young men andwomen on the platform, white teeth gleaming, driven by an American dream. In those moments, we can, without ambivalence or envy, take a stand right up there alongside them.

mercredi, février 17, 2010

Ashes for asses?

All of you virtuous and even you hedonistic pagans out there....

We interrupt your normal Wednesday rituals to bring you a bulletin from Christian history -- and, to a shrinking group of believers, its present.

Today is the holy day of Ash Wednesday. In the Christian tradition it is a time of contemplation, apology, and repentance (turning around).

And today, as I write my homily, I'm grappling with one of my perpetual unanaswered questions -- are some folks just more mean and evil than others?

And if so, how does that change, or does it change, the basic Christian/Jewish idea that we have all missed the mark.

Are some of us just more evil than others?

What of the dad who refuses to pay child support, moving the kids and mom out of their house and into a shelter?

What of the professor who allegedly shot six colleagues because she didn't get tenure?

Heads of companies who profit from selling cigarettes, proven to vastly increase the odds of getting sick?

The wizards behind health conglamorates (sp) who deny insurance to folks with pre-existing conditions?

Are they badder than those of us who may think about doing wicked things, but never actually go out and do them? Are victims morally less at fault than the victimizers? Is there a domino effect when victims, as in child abuse, then go on to victimize others?

I don't have answers. But I confess to you, readers, that these questions do disturb me. How about you?

lundi, février 15, 2010

The courage to heal

This subject seems to me to be a natural transition from the post about personas -- but you can figure that one out for yourself.

For more years than I can recall I ran on adrenaline. Fueled by sugar, exercise, and emotion (not drama) I dissected, lingered, questioned.

Such introspection did produce anxiety. But I could handle it, because it also drove a lot of creativity.

Well, now the price is becoming a little high. I remind myself that white-knuckling the steering wheel when some moron gets too close to the rear window doesn't help my blood pressure. Plummeting blood sugar from too many Peeps (I kid you not) can lead to larger problems. And maybe physical therapy wouldn't be so neccesary if I didn't keep pushing the envelope -- running when maybe I should walk ,shoveling snow when I have a guy with a tractor down the road, lifting the lawnmower (don't ask).

When I saw a doctor recently for some other back issues, he told me that I'd better stay a healthy weight, fit, and flexible. But it's the quest for all of those items that got me into your office in the first place, I wanted to tell him. Instead, I nodded.

Sunday morning a shooting pain down my left arm sent me to the E.R. -- where, after an EKG, the doctor suggested I might have a pinched neck nerve. Add that to the lower back issues, and it's...cause for a little self-assessment.

These ailments are a sign of age, to be sure, but also an opportunity to face some old problems. To slow down. To practice mindfulness. To be deliberate about getting better, one step at a time

I don't know what the old/new me will look like in the process. But I do know that the old maladaptive habits ain't working.

So now I need to find the courage, and confidence, to heal.

Have you ever been in a situation where you found that your old ways of dealing with stress, of child-rearing, or dating weren't working -- and you needed to find some new ones?

How did you deal with those moments? Crisis? Opportunity?

Or both?