If your last name is Wilder does that compensate for your dull subject matter?

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

On my lunch breaks I’ve been reading Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. I’m not quite sure why it’s a classic, except that it is classically boring. This is really supposed to be the definitive American play? Really? People live and marry and die? Really? It’s a bit too sugary for my taste. If I have to read about the Stage Manager smiling warmly at the audience one more time, I think I might toss my invisible cookies (all stage props are imagined, remember. How novel!) I wonder if it really is in a time capsule somewhere as Wilder intended. I pity the souls of the future who dig this one up.

I guess to save face I should mention that I haven’t finished reading the third act yet. Maybe something incredible happens (besides more life, marriage and death, that is.) If so, consider this my advance withdrawal of above statement. Here here.

What “To circumvent Lent” meant:

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Last year, as you may recall, I gave up blogging for Lent. I’m not quite sure what I was trying to prove by doing so, but my intentions had little to do with meditating on Christ’s sacrifice. Here is what I wrote last year on Easter Sunday, when my Lenten blogging fast came to a close:

In these 40 days (okay, 39, you caught me) that I’ve given up blogging, yes, I’ve had more time to paint and write and play guitar and, yes, even read the Bible, but that isn’t the real reason we give something up for Lent–to free up time for other things. What a mockery I’ve made of it. And so I’ve decided that until I find the right reason, and the right sacrifice, I’m going to stop throwing it out there, like I’m something holy, like, “This year I’ll give up ___, my biggest sacrifice yet to date!” Honestly that isn’t why I do it, but until I can offer the real reason, I realize that is what it comes off as. And there I risk hypocrisy, which is insulting to everyone, especially to the people
who take the practice of fasting for Lent very seriously, and have the right heart about it.

I needed to remind myself of that this year, as my first inclination was to give up soda, with the unfortunately primary reason of, well, kicking the soda habit. Fewer calories, fewer cavities, one less addiction. But it’s still not the point of Lent. Nope, it’s still not. So what I’ve decided is, instead of some arbitrary withholding, this Lent I will be proactive. I will spend more time in devotion, more time in prayer. And when I realize that, for all of my effort, I still come up far short of earning my own salvation, I will reflect on the mercy and grace which culminate on Easter Sunday when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

With all of that said, tonight I was reading in the fourth chapter of Ephesians and came across the thirty-second verse which took me immediately back to the summer of third grade. I was at summer camp and had just been taught a song that went thus: “Be ye kind one unto another! Tender-hearted, forgiving one another! Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. Doo doo, doodly doo. Ephesians four thirty-two!” And there are finger motions! But I can’t very well type those out here. Perhaps some day, once technology has progressed a bit.

Also, my subject line exists merely for the sake of the rhyme. I do enjoy a good rhyme.

Can you find meaning?

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

There is a woman who listens and a woman who speaks.
Seldom do these two women meet.
Seldom they sever; their discourse is never
too clever
if ever they discourse at all.

This source of life has no remorse for strife inflicted by the fall.
We are all, each one of us, a knife plunged deeply in the wherewithal.

Celeste! Celeste! This is your quest, can you find meaning in it all?

Sonny Norton was a friend of my father’s.

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Wot ‘appened to me blog?? Last seen traipsing about in a paisley print frock. A warm glass of milk soothes the stomach, it does. Next time I fall in love I’ll know better what to do. Next time I fall in love it will be with you.


Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Today it crossed my mind that if 23 was the most adventurous year of my life, then, from what I’ve thus far lived of it, 24 could also be defined by a superlative of some sort. I have a few ideas as to which adjective that may be, but I’ll withhold its announcement until I’ve lived out each storyline a bit further. Life can change so suddenly; a fool presumes to know the future.

Caves. Consistently.

Monday, February 12th, 2007

I looked for it in my coat pocket.
I looked for it in my wallet.
I looked for it in the tray where we keep all of the car keys.
I looked for it in the laundry basket.
I looked for it behind the couch.
I looked for it in my glove compartment.
I looked for it next to the microwave oven.
I looked for it high and I looked for it low, but I could not find my WILL POWER anywhere!

But who spins the wheel?

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Her life was a game of Life, unmistakably. Her rank had been determined by a spin of the plastic wheel and little else. Thinking it would give her an advantage, she took the longer route–the University route. All that did was set her back.  

She married young–she had to. Society had placed a mandatory STOP, determining she was unfit to proceed through Life independently.

She drove a station wagon.

She was still paying off her college loans when the first child arrived, a blue stick of a thing, a boy. They came quickly after that, another boy and a set of twin girls, each one of them plastic, in a manner of speaking, and each one of them a burden. But this was Life and the plastic wheel continued to spin and she loved her husband and she loved very much her children and told them so every morning as she plopped their little stick bodies into the back seat of the station wagon.

At random intervals her life was colored by tragedies and triumphs: She started a party business. She was injured in an automobile accident. She had a short story published in The New Yorker. He uncle died of bone marrow cancer and left her with a dozen cats.

She was not afraid to play the stock market, though often she lost. She wasn’t aware–or perhaps she simply had no use for–the rules of the game of Life: whosoever hath the most by the game’s end wins.

And the game would certainly end, though she nor her plastic contemporaries cared to acknowledge that fact as they sped along, the plastic wheel spinning, always spinning. But it would come and it did: the Day of Reckoning. And all of her wealth was spread out before her and she was awarded a lump sum for each child she had bourne and raised and it was all about money–it had always been about money.

But she would have none of it. Her life was not a game of Life, she knew better. And with great satisfaction she broke the spinning plastic wheel into pieces. It was just that simple.

Giantude forged.

Monday, February 5th, 2007

We’re standing at the mirror in the bathroom. She tells me that she feels like such a phony when she wears high heels. That anyone who sees her knows she’s not that tall, that it is simply the two inch wedge propping up the base of her foot. It’s an act and we all know it. But it’s a time tested bit of fashion, I remind her, and no one really thinks you look silly for it. We all know your eyelids aren’t naturally that shade of green, that your eyelashes aren’t really that long. I don’t feel silly about the makeup, she tells me, only the high heels. The high heels are such a lie. And I can’t bear to walk around in a lie.

All I learned about marriage I learned from J.Lo (in a roundabout way.)

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I will now admit: one of the most profound ideas regarding relationships–marriage in specific–I gleaned from a Jennifer Lopez movie. I’m tempted to write a paragraph to explain why I was watching a Jennifer Lopez movie in the first place, but I’ll fight the urge. All I will say is that I had just completed a sentence in which I mocked my mom and sister for getting so into the movie (Shall We Dance if you’re wondering) when I was hit by the following line delivered by Susan Sarandon’s character:

[on marriage] We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

In fact, thanks to the joys of Youtube you can see for yourself.

(Thanks Susan’s character, I will quote you.)

Anyway, I think there is a lot of truth that that. Who would have thought, buried right there in the middle of an awkward J. Lo/Richard Gere vehicle? We marry a person to assign value to our own life. I know that’s not one of the reasons that they will list in the wedding vows, because unlike the oft quoted passage from the book of Corinthians (Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs) the aforementioned idea, that of having a witness to your life, is largely a selfish one. And marriage is supposed to be about selflessness, and fundamentally I prefer that reason, the Corinthians reason. Because it sounds so noble. But realistically I don’t know. Realistically–and I’m not proud to admit this–I’m more interested in knowing that my life will matter to that one person than I am about submitting myself fully for the good of my husband. Maybe that just means I’m not ready for marriage. Or maybe I just have to admit, at the chagrin of my good taste, that this forgettable romantic comedy struck a cord with me.


Thursday, February 1st, 2007

It was a green arrow, and green always means go, and “don’t walk” always, always means don’t walk. But he walked. He ran. With his ipod drowning out the rest of the world he ran right in front of her car whilst she accelerated through the crosswalk. It was a green arrow, and green always means go. And her car struck him and sent him tumbling forward onto the asphalt. He was, of course, killed. That is, he ceased to be alive.

This was April.