Friday, July 11

Well, it finally happened. I don't actually know where I am. I'm blank. I'm sitting in an airport but I don't know if it's in Cincinnati or Cleveland. I think Cincinnati. Regardless, it feels strange not to know exactly were I am. And it seems even more strange that it doesn't actually matter. At all. I always assumed this would happen someday. Here is how I've spent the first part of my layover. There's a chapel about a mile away in this airport. I stumbled upon it. Went in. Listened to my Gregorian Chant. Meditated (it was almost loud enough to drown out the final boarding calls). Said my Our Fathers. Listened to some Lakota George Flutes and took these pictures. I left refreshed. Amusingly refreshed. Now I'm here. Trying to stay calm. Trying to love life. Trying to pass the time. And doing a fine job of it all. Hope the flights on time. When did flying cease to be an adventure and end become instead simply a mode of transportation?

Trip #3

Leaving for my third trip of the summer. I'm at the Grand Rapids airport on my way to San Fran. I'll continue my studies there. Some upcoming reading: Creation and Reality; Micheal Welker, Crooked Little Heart; Anne Lamott (just for fun). And others I'm sure. Once I get going it's hard to stop. Why California? you ask. Well, it just so happens that my beloved sister is there for the summer and I just couldn't go 8 weeks without seeing her. I don't have many plans beside seeing her and reading (by the pool of course). Labri update: My great friend Sarah got home from Labri the other day. She lives in Atlanta. And she wrote about the separation on her blog. She said just what I, also, had felt. Something about how we leave and not only does some of our heart stay there at the Manor House but little pieces of our heart and self also fall scattered across the Atlantic on the way back to our old lives. It's strange, we decided. We leave some of us there and instead of missing just those people and that place, we seem to miss that part of ourself as well. It's as if we are still there. Rattling around in the house, doing chores, reading on the couch, arguing over lunch. And life feels strange for awhile. Until, sadly, we begin to forget and disconnect and perhaps even turn back into who we were before we knew of that place. But we are never really the same I suppose. And that's we we go. So, it was nice to read her blogs and hear the sorrow and relive that moment just for a bit. How does all this fit into my paradigm of finding a home and staying there? Cedar Rapids update: My last post of Cedar Rapids was called "Are floods and tornadoes weeds?" While I was there, I heard my Uncle preach a sermon about weeds. He preached the parable about the weeds and the wheat from Matthew. Several things about it were of interest to me in my search for the heart of this Creation. First of all, I felt compelled by picture of plants to illustrate the idea of creation. Because I think the plants are not only humanity but perhaps more. Perhaps they are systems and themes and idea and trends and emotions. Perhaps that parable has something to say to us about micro and macro life. Inside and outside of ourselves. I'm a little ahead of myself. Let's just say that the reigning idea of my Uncle's message was the we are to take care NOT to pull the weeds. What looks like weeds may be wheat. And, as it would seem, visa versa. The parable states that the garden was sown with seeds of fruit bearing plants. And then, later, another came along and scattered seeds of weeds in among the plants. I think two things. I wonder if the weeds a real. I wonder if what we think are weeds could always turn out to be wheat. I'm not sure if I believe it, or what the implications are, but I'm asking the question. I guess the parable does say that the seeds of weed were sown. Question two: We are taught that creation was distorted, or broken by sin. But does this parable apply here? Is the garden not destroyed or broken but sin is just added to the picture? Added to the already complete garden? this could mean that we are left to contend with sin in our world but that it need not have changed the nature and state of the garden. As I discussed this with my mom after the service. We tried to reconcile this idea with the knowledge that our own natures and wills are not unaffected by sin. But we discovered that here the parable might work on a micro level. There is a garden inside us as well. And there is perfect completion but also the invasion of sin. So within the world there is good, complete, unbroken wheat. And sin. If we are not to pull the weeds in the world or the church, for danger of pulling wheat accidentally, are we to not pull the weeds in ourself either? And there is a larger, more complicated, diverse question left to answer. Are the floods and tornadoes of the weeds? Are they sin sent in among the good order?

Monday, July 7

are flooding and tonados weeds? and who put them here?

Downtown Cedar Rapids had somthing like 32 feet of water. All the government offices and disaster centers had to be relocated. There were empty spaces in the Mall. Here's what it looks like with the County Treasurer next door to the Gap... and so on. Pretty ingenious. Anything touched by the water was considered contaminated. The water was toxic because of all the stuff that gets into it as it rushes around town. Sewage, gas & oil, fertilizers, chemicals, etc. So the first step of four in the flood clean up is hauling the muddy contents of thousands of basements (and some entire houses) out to the curb to be collected by the contracted trash removers, needless to say, working overtime. You have to ask yourself when you see the streets lined with 25,000 people stored atricles, "where has our consumerism gotten us today?" Sort of a poetic human statement here. You think? This is the house next to the one we worked in the first day. As you can see, the water washed away the entire block foundation, right out from under the house. But here is the same house. Curious how those pretty little delicate flowers managed to survive, with gusto, what the block foundation could not.