Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I have been asked often about the title of my blog, so here it is---

X & Y - Coldplay

Trying hard to speak and
Fighting with my weak hand
Driven to distraction
So part of the plan
When something is broken
And you try to fix it
Trying to repair it
Any way you can
I'm diving off the deep end
You've become my best friend
I wanna love you
But I don't know if I can
I know something is broken
And I'm trying to fix it
Trying to repair it
Any way I can
You and me are floating on a tidal wave...Together
You and me are drifting into outer space...
And singing
You and me are floating on a tidal wave...Together

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I collect monkey statues. The little See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys. Maybe I love them because I would like to view life that way. There is something very comforting about rose colored glasses. Evil? Suffering? What? I didn’t see anything.

I have been challenging myself to take a look, and more importantly, feel, what is going on around me. I also have been taking a look at what is going on in me. What do I think? What do I feel? What is my responsibility? What is real in my life and what is an old tired fantasy or resentment that needs to be laid to rest. Maybe it is the result of re-working the steps. Maybe it’s just some long overdue personal growth. But I’m grateful that I’m willing to look at reality today, and surrender the painful parts to God.

The other day at work there was a drunk passed out on the sidewalk in front of our office. The same day a crack-head was beating his woman on the street. Both cases made me feel so sad, and powerless to help. My sponsor told me not to take on their suffering. He said that instead I should continue to work at the root of the problem. His advice empowered me. I will work with the newcomer and I will give comfort and support to the women who have been battered due to their involvement with drugs and alcohol. And I will thank God for the opportunity to be of service.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

In July 2001 my daughter Jolie and I went to Paris for two weeks. The trip was planned as a high school graduation gift, but I had other motives too. I knew that Jolie was going to be making life altering decisions in the years to come, and I wanted her to start thinking globally. I wanted her to experience cultural differences and be immersed in the unfamiliar. I had traveled before, I wanted her to see and feel all of it. There is nothing quite like the experience of clearing customs at Chas Degaulle Airport and realizing you don’t speak the language, you can’t spend your money, you don’t know where the hotel is and Paris is full of FRENCH people who don’t generally like Americans. It is humbling. We did it together, and it was wonderful and scary and amazing and unforgettable.

Jolie is full of goodness and light. Everywhere we went she attracted people and we made friends. We avoided most of the tourist destinations and instead went wherever there was music or people in the streets. We ate many nights at a Café, where the owners taught us Greek dancing. We rode the metro and walked for miles and miles. Since we were there for two weeks, we made friends and began to feel a sense of community. It was everything I hoped for. I think there is something shining around Jolie that will enable her to be a citizen of “anywhere”.

All of the churches in Paris ring their bells at the same time each morning. It is a beautiful sound, bells ringing from every direction. A waiter at our café told us the reason the bells are all rung at the same time is so that everyone’s hearts will start to beat in sync. I don’t know if that is true. But I know that we had two amazing weeks together, right on that cusp between childhood and adulthood. Jolie lives in Washington now, and I’m still down here in So Cal, but we heard the bells together and our hearts still beat in sync.