seek and you shall find
- @CarolynArends plus, you know, wings. 18 hours ago
- You are not alone. ~ facebook.com/john.blase/pos… 3 days ago
- @Kristen_Strong 12 yrs out here and I've found no key. You simply have to guts-it, and keep repeating Memorial Day, Memorial Day, Memoria... 3 days ago
Some angels are very necessary. They keep you alive long enough to tell yourself the truth. Then you can decide to shed your unshed tears, or not. To live then one-eyed, so to speak, or not. Should you choose the tears you won’t be alone. The very necessary angels will tarry and minister to you as they did the Savior in his desert. Their honest affection for human triumph is extraordinary, like its the singular reason they were bred. Such angels deserve our tears.
Struggling toward ambiguous ends, our lives plaided with exposure then sanctuary (the pattern of survival) we script hoity vision statements that toity company walls but have no desire on their bones so we stay starved searching half-awkward half-willing tentative to simply come out and say what it is we all want: a people, a place, a peace. In a word – home.
Are you ever afraid of dying? I’m not talking about the dying that will deposit you directly into the Lord’s presence (as some hold). But the dying that will tear you from the fabric of here, here where you’ve seen wonders. I don’t believe I’ve ever told you I fear that second kind of dying. But I do. I’m telling you now because I’ve recently seen how life changes in an ordinary instant, reminds us we live in a game of gossip, whispering our stories to the next in line. We die. Then we’re passed along in another’s tongue, and I’m afraid they’ll edit a crucial detail.
Dear Winn: Thanks for the reminder that Lent may be 40 days but Easter’s 50. I don’t like to give a season too much power, but this Lent felt relentless. There have been some brighter spots since Easter broke, and I’m mucho thankful. The big news around here is that Sarah has decided to go to Pepperdine in the fall. It was strange, Winn, for the usual w0w-factor at Pepperdine is the beach which is directly across the street from campus. I mean directly. But the weekend Sarah and I went to visit it was raining and the place was socked in fog. The only water I saw was that dripping off Sarah’s umbrella. I let Sarah have the umbrella, sacrifice ya know. But even in the rain, I was wowed. I just kept having a feeling that this was the right place for Sarah. In fact, at one point I texted Sister Meredith and asked her to light a candle for me because I was afraid I was gonna lose it the feeling was so strong. I kept it together, for the most part. Well, there was one moment when tears started leaking out but I just looked up, and they got mixed up in the rain. Somebody asked me about the “sacrifice” of having two in college this fall. Such a strange question to my ears. I get it, but since the days our kids were born there was never any question I wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice for them. I was all-in from the gitgo, whatever it takes. That doesn’t mean its easy, but it does mean I’m not spending a buncha time deliberating over sacrificing. If you don’t want to learn to sacrifice, don’t have kids. That’s what I say at least. I wrote a poem the other day about the Gadarene demoniac. Remember him? I’m not sure why he was on my mind, but he was. In particular about the days after his miracle became old news and everyone went back to their usual lives and he became blended in once again. I wondered if he stole away at night, back to the tombs. My hunch is that there were spots of time, when the demons weren’t badgering him, when it was quiet. In those moments he talked to the dead, and they listened. I don’t believe his missed the demons by any stretch, but I do wonder if he missed the conversations with that captive audience, and probably also with himself. After Jesus left him, I believe that man carried the burden of his healing for the rest of his life. We so want to believe it was clean, happily ever after. I don’t know, maybe it was. Maybe I think too much. I know we said we might ease up on these letters after Easter broke. And I probably will, ease up. But I’m still going to write from time to time. Because you are my friend, and I think you feel the same way I do about some things. Not all, but some. And sometimes having a friend who understands some is, like grace, sufficient. ‘Nuff. Coraggio. John
Our Sunday hope is you never slunk back like a dog to its vomit, no turning back, no turning back. But you did, didn’t you, after your miracle aged? You slipped away as the city snored to the garden of tombs you could navigate blindfolded. Maybe you even stripped down naked as you once ruled in your madness just so your skin could lick the stones and grass, this homecoming all your sleeping family and friends clothed and right minded would never understand. Legion went and left quite the hole. Oh, by all means good riddance. But what witnesses failed to grasp was your collateral loss – those who would listen. You went back because you needed the dead. There were times, weren’t there, when you sprinted for the edge where the swine rushed over? But you always stopped short, those stiff voices pleading Turn back. Turn back.
Some days I don’t know what’s more of a threat – Isis or the Twitter god. One’ll behead you while the other’ll besoul you with 140 pecks of loopydoop spirituality or of course, scripture porn. How to avoid these hidden reefs? I don’t know, I’m afraid the bird’s outta the bag and have you ever tried to get a bird back in the bag? Dear ones, just watch for eye-dolls. Love, John.
We drove to Denver, just the two of us, because I’d promised. She had birthday money burning a hole in her ever evolving brain. We spent significant time in American Eagle where I stood beside the entrance to the dressing room which is guarded by perky butted mannequins in bikinis, or underwear (I can’t tell which). I tried to think about hamburgers, and was almost successful. Next stop – Sephora – where we waded through a sea of girls and women, the air burdened with perfume and performance. My youngest daughter is drawn to this oxygen, I see this. Checklist checked, we motored home and I opened the sunroof so we could listen loudly to Meghan Trainor’s “No” plus that song about cake in the ocean, and several others. I sang the words wrong to them all, which she corrected with grins. She knows this game I play with her, called Keep the Conversation Going. So far my youngest daughter gladly plays along, I see this. The last song that spun was one of my new favorites, about that boy who once was seven years old. Aging man tears accompanied those lyrics, like they do every single time. She sees this.