Friday, April 20, 2007

sorrow in virginia

I wanted to post this bit that Brandon wrote to me the other morning via email. It really got me thinking about the impact that this tragedy had and will continue to have on our nation and world. Let me know what you are thinking and feeling in this time...

" ...I was driving to work this morning and felt an overwhelming sense of anger toward the Virginia tech. much so that it made a deep impact on me...I cannot remember a time in my life where I have felt something so visceral and had such full and complete disdain towards another person. I felt so intensely the need to vent my aggression, to rip the steering wheel clean off in my hands would have been a start, to scream from the depths of my gut would have been healing to a degree, to bloody my hands on that boys face would have been a small shred of justice for my own anger and hurt. And look at me, how connected am I to what happened? I am a person, on the other side of the united states, connected to those who perished by the common thread of sheer humanity. I want to identify with the victims, not as students, not as US citizens, but on an honest level...on a human level, on a level that acknowledges the eternity of the soul; and believe me, that is the only comfort in this whole thing at this point...vengeance is in the hands of the Lord, and the fact that that boys soul will spend an eternity in hell, and that his suffering will be unsearchable in its extremity and eternity is so strangely comforting to me."

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

leave it to oprah

there's like a million other things I should be doing right now. I had this afternoon off, my mom took lily and I had ambitions about cleaning, online banking, cooking etc... yet I found myself sitting on the couch watching oprah. That oprah. To me she is like that cartoon figure when you have the bunny or whatever, and over one shoulder is a devil bunny and over the other shoulder is the angel bunny. She is the devil and the angel bunny. I want to dislike her because she just might be the anti-christ... not really but she does so many "great" things, and contributes so much money and time to make the world a better place, but she does it all in the name of Oprah- not Jesus. She likes to pull the Jesus card every once in awhile, but for the most part she is on the "whatever you call God is God" trip. She's like that verse in timothy, "they are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning, but never able to acknowledge the truth." Well that might be a little extreme, but you get the point. Well today I fell prey and was, as usual, deeply moved by her topic.
I won't get into to many details, because I wouldn't do it justice anyway. But the gist of it could best be described by my main man and potentially my last life's soul mate... steinback- "...and of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen. And here I make a rule- a great and lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting- only the deeply personal and familiar" (east of eden).
Now that I have kids, I feel this new intensity for any injustice to them. It tears at my insides and makes my heart ache to not only hear about orphans, but to see them. The orphans, or foster kids- whatever you want to call them- on todays oprah really got me thinking about my own kids.
I'm kind of one of those people who likes to savour things- some might call it hording. Like 'Lost' for example. When we get a disc from Netflix - it has 4 episodes on it. Brandon is ready to sit down and watch all 4 that first night. Not me, I want to watch two, and then save the other two. Or better watch just one and then it'll last longer. I do it with ice cream too, use a real small spoon so it lasts longer. I remember when we were living over in Scotland- we didn't have any money so everything - from food to movies- any indulgence was such a treat. The smallest thing or event was such a treasure- a new shirt, going out to eat- you get the point. That's what I saw on oprah- kids savouring everything- this lady started a charity where she donated pajama's to foster kids- most of these kids had never owned their own pair of pj's - some didn't even know what they were. Can you imagine? Lily loves pj's - in fact - it's one of my very favorite things to buy her. It's like the closest you can get to buying coziness. So what a perfect way to show these kids without much cuddling in their lives love and comfort. Their very own pj's- I just picture these kids wearing the heck out of their little pajamas- whereas I wash lily's every time she wears them... she could care less about them
Oprah went deeper than pj's though- she found this other guy who donated books to a remote village in Nepal- and was so affected by the experience- he quit his high brow job and spends all his time building libraries and schools for the world. Images flashed of these little barefoot kids just relishing their one little book that probably wasn't even in their language.
Seeing this made me want to throw all of lily's toys and pj's for that matter away and just keep one toy and one book and so on... just so she would cherish her possessions the way these kids do. Yet it was bigger than that - I look around my house, and in my closet and see all my 'stuff.' Each thing seemed so important when I bought it- yet most of it now doesn't even get a second glance. When we moved back from Scotland we didn't have anything. No furniture, no dishes, no nothing. Morgan of all people, gave us a couch. I use to look at that couch and think it was so cool and so nice and I would sit in it and feel so thankful for it. Now I complain it's not big enough and its outdated. And its not just the couch- it's everything. I've become so dissatisfied. Always looking for the next purchase, the next vacation, the next raise etc. How do I get back to the novelty of a used sofa... but more importantly, how do I get my kids to love and cherish that one book and that one pair of jammies...
I know it goes back to Jesus- doesn't it always, and if you tell me its the verse about selling all my possessions, I'm just not sure I'm ready... but seriously if anyone else has any ideas- throw em out there. My heart needs to change...