Unexpected Moments of Grace

Warm and Fuzzies

Another discomfort I've been dealing with these past days is a terrible toothache - bad enough that I finally made an appointment with a dentist.  And if you understood how much pain I can put up with you'd know it was bad for me to actually make the appointment.  As I suspected, I needed a root canal.  I'd never had one before; all I know about them is that those who have had them hate them.  But my dentist said don't worry; they only hurt if the dentist doesn't do it right and that she would do it right.  I trusted her and at any rate, I had no choice.

So this afternoon I had my first (and hopefully last) root canal and aside from the chunk it took out of my wallet it was almost entirely painless.  With my mouth no longer screaming at me I left her office quite content and proceeded to walk the 2-1/2 blocks back to my office (how's that for convenience?), reveling in the novelty of painlessness.  And as I was waiting for the light to turn I noticed one of those fuzz balls - don't know what plant it's from - that float around DC certain times of year.  It glided through the air like Glinda the good witch, coming slowly yet directly right at me.  Normally if I try to catch one of these fuzz balls, they will dart away, carried by the air.  But this one came right at me, and as I cupped my hands in front of my solar plexus, it glided gently into place as if that's where it was aiming to be.  

I feel more centered than I have in a long time.

Cool Morning

I haven't blogged about it because who wants to hear more complaining, but it has been sooooo hot this summer. The usual afternoon thunderstorms that cool us off a bit have been missing this year and the evenings are almost just as uncomfortable as the days. Opening a window at night offers no respite. In fact, for the first two weeks after I moved into my house I slept in living room (on the first floor) partly because I couldn't stand the temperature in the bedroom (on the second floor).

So why am I talking about it now? Because this morning I opened the front door to go outside and it was chilly!! It was foggy and damp and reminded me of my home town of San Francisco. The entire street in "soft-focus"; so beautiful. Words cannot describe how happy I am.

Joey Cheek II

Hey, Happy Father's Day!! Well, ok, it's only Father's Day in Taiwan.

Back in February of 06, Valentine's Day to be exact, I blogged about Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek and how cool it was that he was donating his prize money to a charity that helped refugees. Even more than the money I was impressed that he would use his fame to lift up something other than his gifted abilities.

If Mr. Cheek had never done another thing he would still have my heart for that act of kindness. But it turns out his compassion is of the committed kind.

This afternoon an officemate who works for the UUSC and who has been working on the Drumbeat for Darfur campaign was commenting on how a group had attempted to get into the Chinese Embassy to deliver the 40,000 petition signatures that they had collected, but the only one that the Chinese officials let in was the celebrity with the press following him. Out of idle curiosity I asked who the celebrity was, and to my delight Shelley replied "Joey Cheek."

It seems that he has been working closely with the Save Darfur coalition and I just didn't know it.

He has also started his own group of international athletes dedicated to ending the genocide called, Where Will We Be.

Go Joey!

Say It Ain't So!

The Washington Post tells me that the Weekly World News is folding! Without its willingness to report on what no one else is willing to touch, how is a girl to stay informed about the comings and goings of Batboy? Or of Elvis? How will I know when another biblical story has recently been proven true? How are the Men in Black going to keep track of all our alien visitors?

You may think that I'm mocking but I am sincerely saddened. It's not that I usually trusted the stories that graced its pages (ok, never) but I could count on it to always be there, amazing me with its creativity.

World Weekly News - Bat Boy

The Best Spam Ever!!

Ok, it really was just SPAM, advertising some company which I've never heard of.

But the subject line of the email read:

Three days later, however, he woke up and asked, "Why am I not dead?"

Any spam that can make me laugh as that one did is welcome in my inbox.

Only in the MidWest?

Multi-tasking at it's finest!

Mindless Kindness

I was at the airport flying back from General Assembly, tired.  It seems to me that whenever I fly nowadays something always goes wrong - a plane is delayed for whatever the reason.  If it's not weather, it's mechanical.  I don't remember it being like that.  I just want to get home.

Today it is weather in DC from the morning that has delayed this afternoon flight.  Not in the best of moods, I decided to treat myself to a slice of cheesecake.  One of the airport stands had specialty cheesecakes of different flavors.  I went for the cinnamon apple with a layer of real, thinly sliced of apple on the top, like an apple tartin, but with cheesecake.  How decadent is that?

The woman behind the counter was talking to a friend on the other side of the glass. She talked while she helped the two customers in line before me, barely looking at them, her actions clearly slowed by the conversation.  I am usually patient about such things but I was tired and thus impatient and thus annoyed.  She asked me what I wanted, still talking, barely looking at me, and reached into the case to get my order, barely looking at the pastries. Her hand paused at the smaller piece that was closer to her reach, then moved further into the case to grab the considerably larger slice.  And then she took my money and handed the cake to me, still in conversation, as if she couldn't care less.

I was considerably less grumpy, of course.  But also curious.  Her mind seemed clearly elsewhere, but something was still present enough to notice and to go the extra two inches to make a stranger's life a little sweeter.

Moment of Peace

General Assembly, where UUs from all across the country - all across the world, actually - is an exciting time.  There are workshops and visiting booths and shopping and plenary (internal business) sessions and satellite meetings and public witness events and catching up with old friends and making new ones.  And for some of us, also staffing the booth and attending meetings and making announcements.  

In short, GA is exciting and also overwhelming.  Not conducive to taking the time to breathe, let alone celebrate the summer solstice.  But as it was, the longest day of the year fell during GA.  And Mer and I decided to take some time off to go outside the convention center and pay our respects to the sun.

She had been running earlier so she knew the neighborhood around the Portland Convention Center better than I.  We walked a couple of blocks to the bank of the river, and there, over-looking the water, was a giant peace sign made of grass and flowers.  We strolled into the very center of the circle, looking at the sunlight reflecting off the water, then turned and faced each other.  I read a short piece from our hymnal.  And then we stood there, in the bright warmth.... surrounded by flowers, in the heart of peace.  

I remember it being quiet, but it couldn't have been, could it?  With all the bicyclists and people walking by, having fun.

On the way back to the convention center was an empty lot, filled with wildflowers.  (So not so empty after all.) Wild colors. And then it was back into the concrete cavern for the rest of the day.  But that seemed to make the moment of sunshine even brighter in my mind.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Summer Solstice.

Capitalism doesn't discriminate

This arrived in my email box this morning:

Liberals: Get pre-qualified


Your credit history doesn't matter to us!

If you OWN property and want IMMEDIATE cash to spend ANY way you like, or simply require to LOWER your current payments by a third or more, here is best deal we can offer you TONIGHT (hurry, this deal will expire THIS NIGHT):

Don't worry about approval, your credit score will not disqualify you!!

Nice to see that someone is willing to spam me regardless of my political leanings. Tongue Out


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