October 7th, 2007


"then sings my soul . . ."

I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning, eating my breakfast, inhaling the cool [57F at 10am] misty air coming from the open window, and loving it.  I do enjoy the classic sunny days, but it's the colder weather that viscerally lifts my spirits.

I was reading Alan Jones' Reimagining Christianity and got to this part (p. 50):
    Sometimes I feel like one of the old rabbis in the Hasidic tradition who told the story about the people gathering in the forest around the fire to tell the story of redemption.  As time went by, they forgot the story and could no longer find the place in the forest.  But they did remember that there was a story.  All they could do was light a fire and tell the story that there was once a story.  This isn't as gloomy as it sounds, because it is a story about the power of stories.  And the rabbis knew that God loved stories.
I just about cried.
love you

Jesus wept. / Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" (John 11:35-36, NIV)

It is apparently time for another round of: Dear God thank you so much that my parents are (and always have been) so good.

I remember slamming the door to my room, screaming sobbing jumping up and down on the floor, as a child and probably as an adolescent as well.  I never remember my parents telling/asking me to stop.  And it would never have occurred to me to expect them to.  I was venting my emotions without causing any actual damage.  This is what people are supposed to do.

On of my earliest memories is of sobbing with my mother at the end of A Tale of Two Cities.  (And yes I do mean early -- my mother says that once I learned to read [and, no surprise, I was an early reader] I read on my own, so a memory of a book she read to me had to have been early.)  It is from my mother that I got the term "marshmallow."  We are both big ole softies (though I am sometimes dark and crusty on the outside).

I remember watching the Flowers for Algernon made-for-tv movie (probably with my mother), and near the end of the movie, as I was crying, my younger brother (then 12 years old) happened to come out of his room and into the living room.  He was all derisive, "It's just a mouse," and I remember screaming at him, "SHUT UP!"  I wanted to have this emotional experience uninterrupted, thank you very much.  That's the only incident I can remember where my crying was actually discouraged -- and it obviously doesn't even count.

I remember when Phyllis died (I was about 12) my mom commenting that my dad was grieving in his way (he wasn't crying).  Crying wasn't a required reaction to emotional situations in my family, but neither crying nor not-crying was privileged as an emotional response.  I also cherish the story of how my mother had to be the one to read me the final chapter of The House at Pooh Corner -- wherein Christopher Robin goes away -- because my father couldn't do it without crying.

World Communion Sunday today, and at both my churches we sang this hymn (Closing Hymn at morning church, Opening Hymn at evening church).  I still like it a lot.
This is my song, Oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.