Tuesday, January 16, 2007

God Moments

Does everyone get God moments?

(Some of you are going to totally think I’m whacked out in this one. Eh. As if you didn’t think I’m whacked out over the whole Korean Drama thing. Like I care.)

I define God moments as those occasions where one is touched deeply by something vast and inexplicable; the purposes and reactions of the moment vary.

That doesn’t explain it well at all. For me, generally, it’s a moment of awareness that makes me go “OH”. It hits me in a place inside my heart that is never touched by anything else and I’m more often than not moved to prayer.

I can sense some of you squirming. I’m used to this, with the label of the “churchy” one in the family. J But I’m really interested to know if everyone gets these, identifies them as God moments and acts on them. I do not believe I’m the only one who gets these.

There are varying degrees of these moments for me. Very often – pretty much daily – I’m compelled to pray for someone or something. Understand, I’m asked to pray for a lot of people and situations, and I try hard to remember them all by name. I’m talking about when I am “inspired” to pray for someone or something not on that list. It gets plenty weird when I’m compelled to pray for someone I don’t know well, and it gets bleeping scary when I’m told to pray for myself. I worry that I’m going to get in a car accident or slip in the shower and crack my head open or something.

But then there are moments that have moved me to tears. Those moments I don’t really share with anyone – moments where time seems to change. Yeah, you’ve seen that in movies, where Keaneau Reeves stops and you hear this swoopy noise, and bullets go toward him in slow motion and he ducks them all while the camera pans around to get a 360 degree view of hot hot Keaneau Reeves.

Sorry, had something a little more earthy than a God moment there. <>

Interestingly enough, many of these moments are connected to songs for me. Don’t ask me why, ask God. It just is. Anyway, some time before Christmas, driving into work on route 7, a song I’d never heard came on – “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Definitely a Christmas song, btw.

As I’m listening, I drive by an eclectic variety of people. People crossing the street, riding bicycles, waiting for rides, holding coffee, reading the paper, jogging, waiting for the bus with their children. And it happened. Time stood still. All those people were in slow motion. I’m looking around at them and feel this rising in my chest, and its like I can see every single one of them, even the people driving in their cars passing me, in front of me and around me. And I’m supposed to pray for them all. So I do. And then these words come on:

And it's someplace simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that’s faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child that saved this world
And there's 10 million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

I was totally creeped out.

Who needed the prayers? Was it one person? Was it everyone? Was something horrific going to happen to the world and everyone at the same moment had this same feeling and there was this vast millisecond of communal world prayer to mitigate the disaster? Uhhhhmmmm – no. Didn’t happen.

But, if you were one of the people on route 7 that day <> hey. How ya doin’?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Second Down

I was forced to buy glasses not long ago.

Those who know me know me well enough know that I hate to spend money on myself. (Unless its on books. Because I am a book whore.) This sort of Scotch aspect of my character can be viewed most prominently in my clothing and/or overall fashion sense. My friend Ken delights in reminding me that my beloved green cordoury coat was more suitable for the homeless than on me.
I bought my glasses 6 years ago. I never liked them much, but they were in my plan and I think I probably paid a minimal copay for the exam and my glasses. I generally wear glasses until they break and yesterday was no exception. The poor metal had given up; had wasted away to thin nothingness. I'm sure it hung on for as long as it could, until its little metal heart just stopped beating.
There was no super glue in the house and I was forced into duct-tape creativity. As it was holding together, a sad little voice inside me said, "Hey"; hinting that I might be able to get away with this for a bit. This worked really well for 30 minutes until my head started to hurt and I felt like throwing up. OK. So I called my insurance company, found out what my vision benefit was, located a participating provider and carefully walked out of the office. I was very afraid my lens would drop out and I'd be forced to drive on the highway with one eye closed.
I made it to the mall without incident. Except for hearing the song "Tracy" on the radio...Kees.
I am a veteran of the eye exam. I started wearing glasses in 4th grade (kitty cat sparkly white ones - my lack of fashion sense had fully manifested itself by the age of 8 ), and was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1993. I've been dilated more times than I care to count. My eye doctor was duly impressed.

Then she did it. She tore open my carefully constructed wall of denial and shoved her face right through its seeping cracks.
She told me I could use bifocals.
I was visibly shaken. She might as well have told me I was menopausal. I explained that I was not emotionally prepared to wear the obvious manifestation of my decrepitude. She laughed - as if she understood. She was barely 30. What the crap did she know? I don't think she even had children. My mind toys with expletives. I could run rings around her experientially. "Oh, and here, why don't you buy a hearing aid while you're at it?" or, "How 'bout I throw in an oxygen tank?" she may as well have shouted.
I remember one day hearing an ad for Geritol and thinking it made sense. What the eff? When did this happen? Geritol was for my Gramma and Grampa who watched Lawrence Welk every Saturday night while they sat in their little beds gazing at each other over bottles of stroke medicine while their toenails grew freakishly long. That isn't me!
Is it? Is it?

Korean Drama

I like Asian TV.

Back in September, one of my favorite Asian serials had ended and I was unutterably sad. "Heroes in Black" or "Wo lai ye" (Here-I-Come). It was a dramadie, mostly silly, some good cliff hangers, it was all fun.

It was the story of Song Dou - a seemingly lazy bum during the day who is foster father to DouDou (which I think means Little Bean). At night, he is Wo lai ye, or Here-I-Come, a Robin Hood as it were, stealing from the corrupt rich and giving to the innocent poor. Enter Feng Pobu, disgraced imperial secretary, transferred to Dianchiang who eventually becomes the magistrate. Feng is intelligent, articulate, honest to a fault and fair in his decisions. I liked both characters very well.

I gotta tell you though, it ended unsatisfactorily. Without boring you with the gory detail, Lu Feiyan (the strong-willed shrewish restauranteur) didn't pick her true love and five years later, our two protagonists were still vying for her affection. Hey, Song Dou! You're hot! Find someone else! Whatever.

But now I'm hooked on another one.

And boy is it good. One of the highest rated television shows in Korea during 2004 - 2005. Men would rush home after work just to watch it.

Based on true people. See guy with the sword on the far far right? He is a slave who rises up in the ranks, loves girl-on-the-end, girl-on-the-end loves him, but they are star-crossed. Really hot pensive looking guy standing next to the smirking bitch is a friend from his youth - who has saved slave boy several times from the gaping maw of certain death loves the same girl-on-the-end, is so intense and absolutely ruthless (but that's why you LIKE him), they recognize that their destinies are entwined as mortal enemies, but you ache because you know that the two guys have a deep bond and if they'd only be on the same side...oh, its very very good.

But you know me. You know I read "spoilers". You know that I know how this ends. And it isn't good. And it isn't happy.

And I can't tear myself away.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The March

401K contributions. Prudent and responsible retirement planning. Sleep deprivation. Inexplicable muscle torpidity. Partial hearing and/or memory loss. Obituary scanning. Pre-menopausal symptomology. Ocular degeneration. Bifocals. Annual mammograms. Personal dryness.

The above words have become a common enough part of my vocabulary. I can honestly say that there is not one word in that series of phrases that I used when I was in my 30s. Well. Unless it was to produce the following sentence: "I'm suffering sleep deprivation due to surprising, but hardly inexplicable, midnight boffing. "

It's a strange sort of twilight space to be - in my 40s. My intellectual being tells me that I am not old. I am vibrant and alive! I am witty and can hold my own in mixed company! I am an intelligent woman of substance, comfortable with who I am! Pleased with what I have accomplished! I am excited about what I still want to achieve! Eschew stupidty! Repudiate juvenescence!

I have endured death, divorce, and dual male adolescence. I have earned the respect of corporate executives and the scorn of one backward woman offended by my managerial requirement of occasional attendance.

Old? Bleep old. 80 is old. I can do anything I want to do. My children are (mostly) grown. I earn a decent living. So what if I'm putting the maximum amount of my paycheck into my retirement? Adroit fiscal regulation is thoughtful and astute.

I'm at the top of my bleeping game.

And then my physical being sniggers at my intellect.

I'm not talking about some artless optometrist telling me I need bifocals. Nor some taut twenty something looking at me with pity. Them? Without exception, I am unconcerned; I endure the vacuous mouth breathers in a detached manner. Life hasn't beaten them down yet. They don't have a clue. Let them - alone - raise three agile-minded teenagers into thoughtful capable adults. Then we can talk.

No. No. I'm talking about me. Myself. My body at war with my mind. Bleep it - I won ribbons in track for the 100 meter hurdles! I won the bleeping MVP trophy in volleyball! At one time, I alone excited the ardour of hot young men with my lithe, supple figure (see Dan Hughes; Frankfort, NY, May, 1981).

Nope. Nope. I'm talking about the simple things. It becomes increasingly difficult to accomplish what had once been fully taken for granted. I now fear, in my 40s, that I am never to enjoy the banality of some tasks ever again. Getting up in the morning pain free. Walking the bleeping dog - breathing hard. Driving in the snow - anxiety ridden. Hurdle stretches - weighted with pain. Weight loss - teeming with insurmountable obtacles. Showers? Yes, showers. Now frought with terror. Is there anything more mundane? More pedestrian? More prosaic?

But today (and I beg your forgiveness for the disturbing visual) reaching for the shampoo, I slipped. I fell. Out of the shower. I fell without deliberation, wrapped in the shower curtain, to the floor hitting my head on a corner wall. Hoping against hope that I could make it to work during our busy season, I dragged myself back to the shower, it was ok! I was still young! Vibrant! Capable! I could make it to work! I could save the day!

But there was Blood. Lots of it. Lots of Blood.

A cousin, eight staples, and one vicodin later...

You might as well have told me I broke a hip.

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