I used to talk to myself a lot during my college years. Maybe I had too much time on my hands. But our conversations were sometimes illuminating.
It was a sunny day, early in the fall semester. I sat beside a window on the library’s top floor. My limbs weighed heavy with pressing questions, the ones about distant destinations. From my oversized chair, I saw how the laurel oaks were shedding their leaves and already covering up paths. Was one of them mine?
I wanted out of that library.
The weight of my books didn’t matter. Back then, I needed only a single leather strap over my shoulder to tote around everything that mattered. My blue Jansport fit like a good home, still mobile enough for me to move.
In a box somewhere in the basement, I have a button with a bold proclamation on it.
“I’m Thumb-body Specia!”
Everyone in my class got one, though maybe I’m the only one to have kept his all these years.
I don’t know if my self esteem got the intended boost or not. But I did get a shiny button.
And then I think of a friend from my college years. Ken still had a smelly gym locker full of contempt for the state of public education. “Teach students to have self esteem? Come on! Teach them how to Continue reading →
Bad news wafted into our home yesterday. It was too much to smell at once.
I was in the middle of writing. Thoughts were swirling and pulling me back to my car accident and coma which took place 19 years ago. My heart was steeping in thanksgiving as I replayed those memories. God’s hand had redeemed my life. He protected me.
What if God decided to assess our spiritual performance by using nine-week grading periods?
Or, if the Trinity preferred, trimesters could be instituted, with some form of cumulative assessment at the end of each.
Either way, everybody knows when these terms come to a close. The rectangle yard of my desk usually serves as a harbinger. There, unmarked papers start multiplying like white bunnies, while those with red streaks huddle together next the computer, waiting to be placed in their cage.
With a delicious Irish meat pie sitting on the table, my 4-year-old son looked across the same table and saw a chubby red rubber ball, 13 months his junior. Carefully, with a small elastic string, he tethered his brother to a hard, mischievous paddle.
“Jaaa-ames,” he pulled, “Me going to drink your miii-ilk.”
“Jaaa-ames, me going to eat your craaa-kers.”
As the “playful” paddling continued, each smack was met with a shrill, vile cry of defiance. Meanwhile, my half-full plate of food steamed in front of me, while a half-empty temper steamed inside of me. The noises were a bloody distraction from my meat and potatoes — like watching a battle unfold on the evening news during supper. Only this was worse — because I had to get involved.