Monday, February 27, 2006

Thank You, Jesus

Bobbie, Georgia, Erin, Daisymarie, Barbara, Deb and Jennifer and silent others

You have been Christ to me,
anointed my head,
been daughters of consolation.

Clouds lifted with your prayers.

I felt you,
there in the room,
coaching me
to be fearless,
relax into story.

Did you know I would laugh a lot?

The women stayed with me,
even though I had material for three talks.
A series.
A women's retreat seminar.
Didn't cover half of it.

Jesus showed up.
And I was glad.


This is how I started, just so you'll know how it went:

Legacy of Love:
Lessons in Laughter, Longing and Letting Go

I had a car accident this week. Again. I’ve had four or more such accidents (not all in recent memory). All in horrific weather. All when I was distracted by too many demands. No one gets hurt in these accidents, mercifully. But I’m thinking about giving up my licence. It is just too much. This week’s incident plunged me into a little spiral of depression...that is a genetic legacy in my family. I’ve worked hard to fight against my genes. I take my medicine. I’ve been in therapy...all creditable therapists have been in therapy. But when something negative happens, the pull to sink down under adversity is strong. That is my genetic make-up.

Fortunately, I have an emotional and spiritual legacy from my family of origin. The legacy of laughter. My grandmother was a great laugher. And my father. And eventually, perhaps even as I talk to you tonight, I will see something funny in what happened this week.
Indeed, there was...something funny. When I got out of my car, the woman who hit me apologized. We fell into one another’s arms for mutual support and I kissed her, twice, saying everything was fine. This, dear friends, is part of the legacy of gender. Men would never do this!!!

And so on.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Show Is On

Do you painters out there ever get the desire just to scribble...or to splodge gobs of paints and mess it about with your hands? Kind of a release, isn't it? A sort of silent howl. Every once in a while, I just have to do this.

I don't know why I decided to publish this rant on Canadian politics. Politics are not what I am about here. Sometimes, I just can't stand to edit a word. Maybe that's it. Even though I know that editing is half of the job of writing...more than half, if truth be told. I'm leaving this rant up for a while because the cbc decided to print a letter by someone who felt that increased military spending would make a safer Canada. And I worked so hard to get all these metaphors just right!!! He he.

Okay, Canada has a new government. How long ago did Thatcher star at Downing Street? Well, Canadians, in their wisdom have decided to stage their own version of "Conservatives on Parade," even though we have seen the play in more than one country, and know it to be overpriced, and less than entertaining.

They say the production will cost $5.3 billion. (Link to cbc online, click title)
Why $5.3 billion?
Why not $7.3?
Or $10.3?
Why $.3 added to a sum greater than imagination?

This number is a rabbit in a hat, dragged forth by the ears to give the illusion of precision. Of course, military expansion of the magnitude proposed by our new government will cost in excess of $5.3 billion dollars.

But the money is nothing.

Does a weary Canadian audience know this? We should. We have been told. There is an elephant waiting in the wings which will push the cost of this show overbudget. Can we afford this?

I project that closer military ties to a Republican America will cost us, minimally:

  • our role as trusted peacekeepers
  • our individual voice in the G7 and the United Nations
  • our remaining neutral air space
  • our right to form opinions and shape military policy which differs from those of our neighbours to the south
  • the lives of more Canadian soldiers

In my view, the price of this ticket is too high

I had another accident

In her post of January 18, 2006 Deb reflected on alcohol and the fact that for some it is an enemy which is "cunning, baffling and powerful." I started a post about depression and how, for me, it is "cunning, baffling and powerful". (There is a strong connection to alcoholism, of course, since many alcoholics are primarily depressed and use alcohol mistakenly to silence the dragon within.) Mood disorder. Sneak thief of blessing. I never finished the post.

I haven't written much about depression here. Not because I am ashamed that I suffer from this particular blight, but because I use my blog to help me focus positive spiritual energy. I summon my effort of will, to reflect and pray, to ask for prayer, to tell stories. But lately, despite the birth of wonderful baby Megan, despite manifest answers to prayer for baby Robbie, despite my daughter Barbara's finally finishing her course and landing a job, I have felt the pull of the old enemy. The familiar vortex of despair.

Now my Aunt Jean, who reads this from time to time, doesn't like me to be negative. She is my surrogate introjected superego (a new category of psychobabble), now that my mother has passed quietly beyond her noted ability to quote scripture to me. "The rain falls on the just and the unjust." "Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven." Aunt Jean doesn't quote scripture and she once, in a fit of hyperbole, told me that I wrote like Henri Nouwen. That should be enough to kick depression square in the butt and set me up for years of productivity. You can see why I might like to keep on the good side of Aunt Jean.

But I have to confess to an emotional slump which was not made better by the fact that this week I HAD ANOTHER CAR ACCIDENT. Once more bad weather played a huge part in it. As a matter of fact...I have had at least four car accidents in bad weather. Extreme weather. Half way to the north pole weather. Heavy snow. Icy conditions. Freezing rain. Snow covered roads. My mother would say I should rejoice and be exceeding glad that no one was hurt seriously in any of these collisions. However, one accident sent me to hospital with severe depression. And I am wondering if depression plays a role in the accidents before hand. I am wondering if I should give up my license. I may not be able to afford my insurance premiums. And, I am clearly unsafe when I am distracted and the weather is bad. Blowing snow is hypnotic to me. Am I driving in a trance or what???

To tell the truth I am hopping mad at myself. And angry at the slings and arrows of outrageous forture. Over which none of us has any control at all. And the kicker is. I have to talk to a group of women this weekend. I don't know if I can keep Eeyore out of my voice. I don't know if I can stand and deliver.

So this is to ask for prayer. To overcome this bleakness of soul. To find peace. To discern a direction for the future with respect to driving. (Lessons? Only drive in fine weather? Never drive when distracted? Walk everywhere?)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Some Things Are Worth Waiting For

The much anticipated birth of Megan Alexandra was accomplished with much grace on Monday, February 6, 2006. Some are calling her, Megan the Beautiful. Others, Megan, the Magnificent. She has long legs, fingers and toes like her mother and is beautifully behaved...cooing, snuggling and nursing on cue between long bouts of dream filled sleep.

We don't know if she came early or late, because 'due' dates were conflicting. The waiting seemed like an eternity to those who marked the weeks before her birth. We always, wonder, don't we, if a child will be born complete, well developed. Whole. Even in these miracle days of ultrasound, it is never a given that all will be well. And when we have experience of infant death, infertility, miscarriage, and birth anomalies (and who amongst us is untouched by these things?)...we worry and wonder.

At 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 23 & 1/2 inches long, she was surely 'full term,' and healthy. Of my four grandchildren, she was the only one to come out screaming her rage at being in a cold, bright world. She had just a bit of her second cousin Kathryn's fierceness at birth, that echo of Great Grandpa 'B' which foretells strong character and creativity. However, for now, we won't lay any expectations on her.

I found Megan's birth to be miraculous!!! If a woman can be absolutely beautiful in labour and delivery, then my daughter Sarah was beautiful. In the zone. Focused. Radiant. Tired but fulfilled. Megan's father and Nana were superfluous to the event, although Megan will no doubt be told the story of how we were there. Overawed bystanders.

So dear readers, my fourth grandchild is here. Four in four years!!! They are all individuals and we look forward to seeing them grow in grace, learning tolerance and tenderness, compassion and courage, faith and forgiveness. So be it Lord.