Monday, July 18, 2005

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Every Friday I log onto MSNBC for "The Week in Pictures." I look forward to this weekly exploration into the various colors of the world. Lately most of the pictures have been of war, terrorims, and of tragedy. They like to put in about 3 photos of the good things as well. Today there is a beautiful picture of a porcupine fish in the red sea, 3 little girls in long dresses jumping on a trampoline, and a photo of fans along side a road in Germany as the tour-de-france speeds past - portrayed only by a smeared blur of bright colors with pops of white helmets and a few yellow balloons in perfect focus.

After trying to describe those beautiful pictures I just re-realized how true it is - a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe more - depending on the picture I guess.

I really look forward to these 13 or so pictures each week. They give me a little bit of perspective on the world. And I just realized that it's one of those things that makes me feel small in this world - which in some strange way makes me feel renewed. Why is that anyway? I hear that every so often. Like in the song by that one lady - I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Is it just something people say without really thinking about? Cause I kindof want to think about it.

Here goes. In some aspects of life it seems like we're encouraged to feel the opposite of small. For instance, being told that you can conquer the world, or that you have the world in the palm of your hand. But, the reverse is also taught. Having a sense of being small in this world seems to give reverence or homage to God. We are just a small speck in His great world of creation. Just look into the stars at night. I guess my conclusion is this - (at least for now) we are small in the whole scheme but regardless of that God knows each one of us individually, and He hears our prayers individually, and He tailors experiences just for us as individuals - all of which make me feel pretty big.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Being Silly

Those who know me know I am silly. Really silly. I'm not sure if it is a nurture or a nature thing. Probably both. My mother is very silly and her mother too is very silly. My dad, however, is not silly. I grew up in a very traditional setting. My dad went to work everyday and my mom stayed home and raised 4 kids. I was so lucky. My sister, who has 2 kids, isn't as silly as me. But everytime my mom and grandma and I have the chance, we fill those kids full of silliness. Nothing brings out the silliness in us like little kids do. We use licorice to make uni-brows, mustaches, and large pimples on our cheeks. We try to fit our big feet into their little shoes and when they don't fit we put them on our ears. Have you ever seen an 83 year old act like a monkey - swinging her arms around and making that oohohh aah sound? Or jump on the trampoline with her great-grandkids, or dive on the grass to catch a a floating bubble? That's my grandma - but, I think she will have to be a whole other post altogether.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Another Confession

i have another confession.

i have a window by my desk that is covered with blinds. i purposely have situated the blinds so that from my seat i can see out but those walking by can't see in - (unless they are at a specific angle). by doing this i am stealthfully able to spy on situations that happen outside my office. and i love spying. you'd be surprised, with the blinds there, it's like i'm not here.

The Heat Is On

everywhere i went yesterday people were talking about the heat. it really seemed to be the only thing people were talking about. at Target... "it is like a fire outside"... at a restuarant where i bought a sandwich... "it has got to be 110 out there"...

at work my little office is right by the door, with my desk directly facing the door/window at the back entrance. so, all day i am distracted by people walking in and out. And everytime the door opens i have this uncontrollable urge to look up and see who it is. there's really no use trying to subdue the urge - that would be like not looking at an accident on the freeway or not eaves dropping on a fighting couple in a restuarant. i just have to do it. there's hardly a choice for me. some people feel an obligation to say hello everytime they pass - and i too feel a sort of obligation to at least look up, or nod, smile, or something. it has become somewhat awkard. i have noticed that a few people will deliberately plan to be talking on a cell phone as they walk in so as to the avoid the hello moment. i admit, i've done the same. once in a while when someone has been coming and going all day, and we've already done the complimentary nod several times, just as they're about to come in, i'll pick up my phone and start dialing - or worse, i've even just picked up the phone and pretended to be on hold. ohh, that hurts to admit. but really i've only done it like twice.

so anyway, yesterday, seriously, every person would walk in and mutter "it is so hot out there", "i need a drink", "i bet you're glad you're inside with the cooler instead of out there" was a popluar one. at this i would just look at my pasty white arms and legs - which haven't seen the sun since i was old enough to hold down a full-time job, and look longingly outside.

is it strange that i wear a jacket just about all summer long? it seems like there should be a rule against wool pants and a jacket during the summer months. what you don't know is while, yes it is hot outside, i don't go outside. i sit at a desk all day with the AC cranked to the max. it can actually be pretty cold. when i do go outside - to get some lunch or what-not - i like to sit in my steaming hot car for a few minutes without the cooler on and get warmed up. It's like my own personal sauna. But, of course after a few short minutes, I too start to heat up, get a little sweat on the forehead and I too think, "it is like a fire out here."

Monday, July 04, 2005

I never looked out that window

i never looked out that window
like i did when i was waiting for my mother
to come home from the grocery store that morning

i had received a phone call from the primary president
she wanted me to speak in church
i was terrified

my mother comforted me
and consoled me - never once falling for my irrational excuses
of why i could not get up in front of the group of 30 kids
and perform

she helped me prepare.
i tend to be a procrastinator
but my mom convinced me the more i practiced the easier it would be

i practiced that talk probably 25 times
when my grandparents came over
i would run through it with them, friends
and of course my mom heard that talk the most

on sunday morning i got up earlier than usual
read through the talk again
and got dressed
i folded the precious white piece of paper - my lifeline
and put it neatly and carefully on the kid-size picnic table
i used as a desk

when it came time to leave for church
i picked up the folded paper with my talked scribed inside
and went to church.

soon i was up on the stand
waiting for my turn
when prompted i stepped up to the podium
unfolded the peice of paper and started to read

this was not the talk i had practiced so many time the week before
this was something totally different

i read about 8 words in and realized the mix-up
where was my talk? what was this imposter posing as my own white folded paper
i stood paralized in front of the audience
it was the first and only time i would ever witness every child silent

standing there
i found my mom's face in the crowd and i looked at her
trying to explain what had happened
using only the pleading of my eyes
help me. my eyes were repeating

looking back time seems to have stood still
who knows how long i stood in silence and shock
but i did finally just walk away, down the steps and back to the seat
next to my mother

she motioned to me
as if asking what was going on
i just opened up the paper, she read
she understood

i never did find out what happened to my talk
is it possible that my mother set me up?