I debated what to call this post. It's going to be a bulleted list of random miscellanea (yes, that's actually a word; I looked it up) of things going on in my life. It reminded me of soup, since I just made chicken chili last night. So I settled on Random Life Soup. Perhaps there will be more of these so titled entries at other times when a list fits better into my schedule than the more lengthy posts I would much prefer to write.
So. Random Life Soup. August 11, 2009.
* I got some pre-cancerous patch of skin frozen off my nose today at the doctor's office. I considered going blog wild and taking daily photos of the developing ugliness - and titling it "Wanna See Something Gross?" But then I thought better of it.
* I am working hard to get us ready for the Fall Festival (Sept 25-27) and the Wildlife Festival (Oct. 3-4). I have been inventorying what we have, seeing what we need, ordering, cutting mats, matting photos, packaging photos, re-inventorying, and then doing it all some more. I have yet to frame - my most dreaded task but I am determined to begin tonight and put it off no longer. (Rrreah! Too late now as I proofread this much longer than intended post! Not happening tonight!) Also on the list is making note cards by affixing 4x6 photos to 5x7 note cards. I have set up shop in the basement because, frankly, there is no peaceable room elsewhere in the house. My cats are becoming lonely kitties because I spend hours down there working while watching movies on my laptop. I'm home, but they don't get to see me....or nuzzle my elbow as I work like one Bobo is doing now.
* Had a very "down" day Saturday...one of those midlife identity crisis, beat-your-self-up kind of days where I wondered about the usefulness of my life, why I'm still really just a child inside, will I EVER grow up, and what am I to do with my life in this newly opened chapter. Feeling weighed down under a boulder of such burdens, I took out some water color paper and drew a little depiction of how I felt. It was mostly words, forming a sort of concrete or rock wall that took up all but the lower inch of the paper. Under this burden was a tiny little, bent over, stick figure crawling wearily beneath the squashing weight. Overly dramatic maybe, but such is the way I think any of us can feel at times.
* I went to the same church on Sunday. After my bout with .....with... whatever that was on Saturday, my Sunday was filled with people. People reaching out to me. People introducing themselves to me at church, people I know making a point of grabbing me to give me a hug or say hello before I left, and running into an old friend at Wal-Mart afterwards. (You always run into people at Wal-Mart after church up here. I'd forgotten that.) In the back of my mind I faintly heard the echo of Saturday's skewed vision which cried "useless" and it was being softly and unknowingly challenged by all these people on Sunday. I could almost feel the sweet little smirky smile on God's face as He said, "Useless? People care about you; do you know that?" Well, DUH! How easily we can lose sight of the obvious when all we can see is a mountain of burden placed suddenly on our back by a skewed, negative perspective. I intended, Saturday night, to do a companion drawing, one of opposing nature. One that listed, in some sort of depiction of life and freedom, the things the Bible says GOD says about me. But it grew so dark on the porch outside, and I grew tired, and I could not find a design to my satisfaction, so I decided to wait. I must make a point of getting it done. Funny how often the good stuff comes less freely. It reminds me of a line by Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" when she is recounting her life and how she ended up becoming a prostitute. When challenged by Richard Gere that she could be so much more, she says, "The bad stuff's easier to believe." Hmmm. Yes.
On to more Soup Ingredients!
* I bought my ticket to Alaska. I'm flying up and driving home with The Fisherman in September. I'm looking forward to seeing the north country in Fall, excited to be with my husband, and taking another (the same?) road trip with him. I'm even SLIGHTLY looking forward to living in our van home. Although it is with a bit of trepidation I state this because I have been warned that through the passage of the summer "it's not going to be as neat as it was when the summer was new", and that "there's not as much room as there was when I was there before". Yikes! I am also somewhat anxious about two other factors this trip means. 1.) It means I have to have EVERYTHING done for the festivals by August 30th. And, 2.) it means we will most probably be arriving home just 4 days before the festival! Yikes and double yikes!
* Today I saw "Julie and Julia". Loved it. If you haven't heard of it, it's about the lives of Julia Child and a woman named Julie who starts a blog about cooking all 524 of Julia Child's recipes from her famous cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". It's very cute. Meryl Streep plays Julia Child and, as usual, does an excellent job. It seems over the last several years, I have been seeing quite a collection of "writing movies." I'm loving writing more and more (still not sure I have anything to say or not, or if I can begin to say the things I have an inkling I MIGHT be able to say...someday) and I seem to keep stumbling upon movies about writing or with main characters who are writers, whether or not the story line revolves around their writing. I am tucking them all away as little treasures of inspiration and encouragement as well as tidbits of advice and warning about the field of writing. Included in my little collection of writing movies are: Finding Forrester, Little Women, Becoming Jane, Miss Potter, and even the partially risque The Holiday, and now Julie and Julia. Even Dances With Wolves inspires me because of how he narrates from his journal throughout the movie.
* Thinking also of separate but agreeing "words" I've heard lately about what we spend our lives "doing." One, a conversation with a friend. The other, my continued reading of Ken Gire's, "Seeing What Is Sacred." Both have basically said the same thing in the last 7 days, and it is this: that while, yes, we are each given gifts, abilities and talents, and that, yes, God has intention and purpose for us in His giving of them, the most important purpose He has for us is much simpler than the using of those gifts. The ultimate purpose of our lives, which overrides all specific utilization of our talents and gifts, is our relationship with Him and with others. When our life is over and summed up, it's not so much the questions of "What did I do with my talents? Did I create art? Did I write a book? Did I run the company well? Did I reach the potential of my gifts? The questions God is interested in are more along these lines: How well did I trust Him? Trust Him with ME? How well did I love? How well did I love Him and how well did I love others? What did I do with all those people, precious to Him, whom He brought across my path while I was using the talents and gifts He gave me? - I think they're right, that God's focus for us is much more simple and basic, quiet and beneath the surface. It's the quiet strength of an intimate relationship with Him that really trusts Him, receives His love for us, and loves Him dearly in return. And it is loving others. Others. Me. We make up a WE that is the focus of God's love, and His pleasure. My high school Young Life leader said something to us once. He said, "There's only two things that we know are eternal from this life: God's Word and people. Spend time in these two areas." Simplified down, it's how well we love. I add to that, how well we trust. Trust Him. (See yesterday's post about the True Faced blog post on Trust as well as the post itself here.) Trust and people are not exactly the strong suit of this fear-prone introvert who prefers to write from behind a computer monitor.
* So...a balance. I prayed that God would teach me the balance between having creative passions and I think even dreams given to me by Him, and the higher purpose of loving and trusting Him and loving others along my way. Wow. Mmm, mmm, mmm. And, wow.
*Oh...and a man sat behind me in the movie today who could very well have been Captain Sulu from the old Star Trek. He even sounded like him! I'm telling you, he was the spitting image in both face and voice. What he would have been doing in my po-dunk neck of the woods I can't even imagine. And he was with a white haired, average looking woman, not with his "partner" (correction, "husband", but I'm not going there) whom I would expect to see him with. ....As if one expects to see Sulu at the movies in small town Arizona. (And, yes, I realize, it probably wasn't actually him. But I'm tellin' ya...)