Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just call me Grumpy

I went out into the cold this morning to bring in the newspaper, and got an unexpectedl treat. The sun was just coming up behind my neighbor's house, peeking around her garage in a pale blue sky crisscrossed by pink, fluffy ribbons of cloud. The landscape lay under a faint, optimistic, pinkish glow.

I didn't care. I don't feel optimistic. It's hard living with a guy who lost a hundred pounds on Weight Watchers. There's nothing like a convert to make everyone uncomfortable. I have gotten tired of his lovingly pointing out to me that I'm obese.

Not chubby. Not pleasingly plump. Obese. The "O" word.

I come from a whole family of cheerfully obese people, thank you very much. They enjoyed life; they enjoyed food.

They got diabetes in their 60s. They didn't enjoy that very much. So much for my argument.

So here I am, day two of Weight Watchers, glaring balefully at my breakfast of 3 Rice Krispies and a tablespoon of fat-free milk. "I'm so proud of you," J. exclaims, as he munches on soggy shredded wheat. He has been up working out for an hour. I have just dragged my carcass out of bed.

What have I come to? I am so hungry I could gnaw off my own arm. Maybe I'll wait till after lunch, and do it in front of all my colleagues. Can you see the headline? Dieting Librarian Gnaws Off Limb, Inquires How Many Points for an Arm?

My biggest regret of the day: I can't get my tongue all the way into the Yoplait Light container.

Pray for me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime

Last night the county college/community chorus started up practice again for the spring semester concerts, which will feature parts 2 and 3 of Handel's Messiah. So off my friend Carol and I went in the dark, cold drizzle, vaguely fearing that we could encounter black ice on the roadways.

Now, you've never spent time with Carol and me, so you don't know how we love to talk. We can, and do, laugh about the silliest things. I have nearly driven off the road many times when convulsed by laughter at Carol's humor. Last night, however, I kept my mind firmly on the road. Until ...

Carol pointed out the window, and we saw the sky had begun to clear, revealing tattered shreds of cloud backlit by the most gorgeous winter moon I have ever seen. I stared at it as long as I dared.

When I got home later, it was a still and perfect night, crisp and cold, with no wind. And the moon was still up, hovering brilliantly above. I was reminded of that Huron carol, 'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime, which goes like this:

’Twas in the moon of wintertime,
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wondering hunters heard the hymn:

Jesus your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapped His beauty round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high:

Jesus your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on
The helpless Infant there.
The chiefs from far before Him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.

Jesus your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free,
O seed of Manitou,
The holy Child of earth and Heav’n
Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant Boy,
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.

Jesus your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.

I let the dogs out on the front lawn, and we stayed about 5 minutes in the cold. On that still, silent night, I could not stand to be in the house. I'll look again tonight for the brilliant winter moon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lunchtime with ... Beatrice Bruteau

"Salvation" ... is not a matter of offering sacrifice to appease God. This is a primitive, not to say barbaric, notion. God doesn't need appeasing. God's "attitude," if we may so put it, is one of eternal steadfast love. What needs "appeasing" is the craving for life of the descriptive self and the fear of destruction in the sinner. Salvation is effected by someone loving the sinner and convincing the sinner of that love. "Greater love than this no one has, that one should lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13). If the convincing gesture is "dying for you," then that gesture can be used because it convinces the sinner of the love. It is the love and the conviction of being loved that is salvific.

Beatrice Bruteau, Radical Optimism, p. 84

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Not quite Martha Stewart

OK, so it's a new year, and in the spirit of compromise, J. and I have reached an agreement about something that has been a source of argument for many months now. And our solution was so simple!

Fuzzy bathroom rugs. I have cornered the market on fuzzy bathroom rugs, predominantly blue ones. Don't go looking for any of these at K-Mart -- they're all gone.

They're all at my house. They cover the seats of all my furniture. They're rubber-backed and impervious to moisture, dirt, mud, and they're totally washable.

Now the three dogs can lounge with me on the furniture. If this is all I accomplish in 2008, it's quite enough.

Martha Stewart would never recover if she saw my living room.