Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday Snippets: Friday Funerals and Summer Gratitudes

--A week ago, our realtor had our first open house.  We got an offer, negotiated, then the buyers decided to wait until after they returned from vacation.  They knew they were risking that another offer would come along.  Yesterday, we got another offer--and a signed contract with a deposit.  Here's hoping!

--Right now I have a pound cake in the oven--first baking in the new house.  I've written about summer pleasures and how many of them I've already missed.  On Thursday, when I went to the grocery store, I saw that raspberries and blueberries were on sale.  I remembered a distant dinner party on a summer night, with pound cake and berries and real whipped cream.  I splurged, and today we'll splurge on a calorie dense, high fat dessert.

--I also bought a honeydew melon and a cantaloupe--the perfect summer breakfast!

--Yesterday, I met one of my poet friends for lunch.  We had been meeting regularly until my schedule imploded in June.  I'm always grateful that she forgives me for my bursts of business. 

--She's considering moving to San Francisco.  I feel both envious and happy that I'm not considering a move across the country.

--I spent the afternoon unsnarling a scheduling knot, a knot which is too complicated to dissect here.  I hate having to undo a perfect schedule and upset faculty schedules.  But there is some part of me that loves when my brain starts zinging and seeing new possibilities, new ways the puzzle pieces can fit together.

--So far, the faculty affected have been gracious.  I am grateful for gracious faculty.  Yesterday, one of them came in on a day that she doesn't have to be on campus--we were going to discuss changes to her schedule.  She appeared just as I realized I wasn't going to have to touch her schedule.

--As I said, I'm grateful for gracious faculty.  She was halfway expecting much worse news, like job loss or job reduction--even though I tried very hard to make clear that we were just changing schedules, not lives.  She did not berate me for making her drive across the county for a non-appointment.  She was SO happy that her schedule would remain the same.

--I finished my Friday by going to a funeral.  Occasionally, as a church member, I go to funerals of older people whom I only knew because of our shared church going.  Last night was one of those kind of funerals.

--So why did I find myself so weepy?  I found myself missing my grandmother and my mother-in-law; I found myself missing people who are still alive.  I had that sense that I often get at funerals:  "Does it really all boil down to THIS???!!!"

--We sang a lot.  I wish they had been hymns I like.  Instead we sang the one about coming to the garden alone in the evening.  We sang "The Old Rugged Cross."  It was a blood of the lamb redemption/humans are so unworthy kind of songfest.

--At one point, the parishioner had gone to a more evangelical expression of the Lutheran faith.  At one point, we held hands and raised our arms to sing the Lord's Prayer.

--I do not have the upper body strength to be an evangelical.

--I know it's unusual, going to a funeral on a Friday.  It's much more traditional to go to happy hour, after all.  I love the relaxation of a good glass of wine at the end of the day/week.

--But I do wonder how our lives might be changed if we ended every week by going to a funeral.

--It's good to be reminded that we will not be here very long.  It's good to be reminded that much of that time has already slipped away.  It's good to think about what's important and what's not.

--Funeral as recalibration!  We need more of that, not less.  I think of the stories (or was it James Joyce?) of monks who slept in their coffins every night, so as to remind themselves of their mortality.

--I don't want to sleep in a coffin, but I do want reminders of the preciousness of our time here, of the importance of keeping our priorities in order.

--Art is one way to do that, the creating of art.  I'd also like an object or an artifact made by my artist self to keep mortality in mind.

--But for now, it's off to spin class as I try to keep my mortal body in fighting shape for as long as possible!

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