Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011.12.04 25 Years of Wedded Laughter

Evening conversation or its lack between a middle-aging couple, retired and gratefully vital but with occasional memory lapses, can be sparse or sparred, but most always risible.

Astonishing how SHORT the “short” is in short-term memory loss.

Example: SHE confesses to forgetting to flush. (Now that’s VERY short term memory loss :0

HE reminds her by calling attention to it, loudly of course and from two flights down.

OK this is us of course. It's how we stay married by laughing.

What did I want for our 25th wedding anniversary?

I answered boldly and with surety: I want you to stop wearing underwear and socks. It would make folding the wash so much easier.

I knew his asking was a joke because we have long since not given gifts to each other in the interest of not accumulating anything that we will have to pack and move, facing wrenching downsizing choices.

OK, he said, if you don’t ever buy another stitch of clothing for as long as you live.

I won’t, I swore, silently adding “with Godde’s help.”

How did we make it the second time for this long?

You’re too ornery and I’m too terrified, he said.

Or vice versa I said.

Obviously, we have little shame left. And today we caught ourselves defensively competing over who forgot or remembered what—when and correctly. Imagine! BUT... what one forgets the other remembers and vice versa.

We’re having hysterical fun, even when we fight which happens often and lasts shorter than short-term memory loss. Not really a fight just a skirmish to make sure we’re both clear on our points. Just so neither forgets!

This is aging love—all gratitude, all laughter, and all truth in a big fat spiritual grab bag.

Thanks be to God whose sense of humor is eternal.

2011.11.27 Advent Commandment

Every pregnancy is holy and every pregnancy asks us to slow down, heed inner life growing, and wait with gentle patience for the birth—of Jesus and whoever else is en-wombed.

No flesh is illegitimate!!

A wisdom that needs to take on the tenor of a commandment for all seasons, not just Advent. Our culture is blessed with instant communication. I find it helpful and use email but not social networking—yet. I still love long lunches with friends and park bench chats — in the flesh.

I received this email from a friend recently. She was getting tied in knots by email correspondence, if it can be called that.

She wrote: i've come to hate e-mail - no voice, no nuance, too quick, too easy (and you can quote me on your blog). i get about 150-200 per day at the college. madness, sheer madness.

Noting the irony I shot back my instant reply with a quick click: Tis madness indeed! And it's deaf, dumb and blind to boot!! Jesus, however, did heal such blindness with a click of his prayer-suffused hands, no? Maybe we should pray on this, to heal the device-addicted culture. Of course we will be called old fogies but I don't care. We are older, not fogies just spiritually sane.  We can remember a more connected less harried world. And Eucharist is for remembering our embodied holiness, last time I ate, right?

Paradox: The more connected our devices tell us we are the more disembodied and non-incarnational we get.

Today’s culture is anti-Christian. I don’t need everyone to espouse Christianity. Some days I don’t myself. But it sure wouldn’t hurt to pay attention to one of Christianity’s central ideas: INCARNATION.

If G-d or the Holy lives in our human flesh, honors it enough to dwell therein, then maybe we need to do likewise. Touch and the keen eyes of understanding heal souls.

The lady preacha (not ordained) Baby Suggs says in Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved:

"Here, . . . in this place, we flesh; Flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it, love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. . . . Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them, touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face, ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, You! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. . . . You got to love it. This is flesh that I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance, backs that need support; shoulders that need strong arms. . . . More than eyes and feet. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear em now, love your heart. For this is the prize.”

This is the prize: ALL flesh is blessed so bless ALL flesh.

(This means you have to keep in shape AND love your muffin tops, too.)