My wife was explaining the Christmas story to the children on the way to church this morning. She was explaining in detail how the story takes place very long ago. Matthew was paying close attention and added “Probably they rode dinosaurs.” That amused me to no end. I imagined Mary riding to Bethlehem on a dinosaur, like it was happening in the “Land of the Lost“.
“Elise you should be aware that I’m only four; I’m just a little boy.” –Matthew
I’ve been a little distracted lately and haven’t finished a book in a while. I did manage to finish Ordinary Wolves, by Seth Kantner. I really liked this book’s descriptions of being outside. There are very few books for me that capture what it’s really like to be outside. That feeling is found throughout this book and it all rings very true. It paints a wonderful picture of what it feels like to be truly connected to the land and it manages to avoid over-romanticizing it. The book also was a great portrait of what it feels like to be an outsider. Reading a book like this really makes me want to spend more time in the wilderness and be more connected to the wild. If you have ever felt at home outside, you might enjoy this book.
Not long ago, I was talking to a young co-worker about crushes. Her eyes lit up and there was a certain kind of smile that can only accompany a deep and secret crush on someone. You could tell just by looking at her that she was full of the kind of affection that is untested by exposure to another. The object of her affection, and I have no idea who it is, was unaware at least to her knowledge that she had any designs on him. Seeing that look in someone’s face was like feeling the first warm breeze in spring after a long cold winter. You might not properly understand what I mean if you don’t live in a cold climate. I live in Minnesota. It’s very cold here. If you don’t live in a cold climate, the idea of a warm spring day following a long, blustery winter may not seem like a big deal. It’s a very big deal in Minnesota. For much of fall it’s just a little cold. Then out of the blue, a really cold day appears from no where, much like it did this last weekend. The day is so cold and raw that the wind goes through your winter coat and settles into the core of your body. It’s so cold and windy that your soul loses its moorings and start flapping behind you in the breeze. Winter has come for good and it is not going anywhere soon. There is nothing I seem to be able to do to blunt the effects of our cold winters. I wear long underwear. I warm my car up for excessive amounts of time. I keep my house toasty warm. I only go out for short periods, but truly there is nothing you can do to completely escape the cold. Monica recently described the cold as smelling metallic. In Minnesota there are weeks where it begins to smell like metal with dried blood on it. I’ve gone weeks without seeing the sun. You lose your sense of smell and you don’t even know it because it left you so gradually. Your sense of smell never even slammed the door on it’s way out. Winter lasts so long, I stop believing in spring. I stop thinking about it. I don’t hope for it. I expect the next ice age. The without fanfare it begins to slowly thaw. One day, you go outside and realize you don’t need a jacket. That day there is a breeze. You smell things you had forgotten about, like lilacs and freshly mown grass. You feel the warm sun on your skin. To say that it feels good is an enormous understatement. I’ve abstained from food for as long as three days. It felt amazing to eat after that experience. But my fast was self imposed. In Minnesota, the cold is imposed upon you. Short of moving away, you are caught in the vice grips of winter, and you never know exactly when it will end. This feeling of a rapturous spring can also be reproduced upon arriving at a tropical airport. It’s even more intense in that circumstance, as your body doesn’t have much time to prepare for the assault on your senses. The smell of the flowers, the feeling of the sun, the cries of the birds all combine into a sensation that feels so good you think you might be delusional. That’s why when people talk about the cold in Minnesota, I always talk about how delicious it is to warm up. There is nothing that comes close to being warm after having been cold for a long time. Seeing this young friend, with that look on her face reminded me of spring. I’ve been married awhile; long enough to have been both warm and cold. Until I saw that look on my young friends face, I had forgotten what crushes and young love can be like when you are young, and the object of your affection doesn’t even know, and you are afraid to speak to them, and you know you can’t hold yourself back forever. Spring is a wonderful thing, especially when it follows a long, blustery winter.
You met me at a very strange time in my life.
I’ve always had a dreadful ear for song lyrics. I’ve no idea what many songs are really supposed to be about. For some reason the song by the Police, “So Lonely” always has sounded like “Sonali” to me. This goes back to seventh grade at least long before I ever met anyone named Sonali. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who doesn’t hear the lyrics quite right. The web site kissthisguy.com collects misheard lyrics. According to this web site other people believed Sting was saying “Salami” or “Sue Lawley.” I’m alone no longer. [Link courtesy of Liz]
I recall my Driver’s Education instructor talking about angry driving. He seemed quite adamant that angry driving can lead to missed exits, accidents or at the very least tickets for speeding. One day, while I was driving during the on-the-road segment of the class, he told a classmate named Shaun and I about a driving dream he had experienced. In his dream, the instructor was being chased in a car by some evil doers. He led them to a place where he knew there was a high cliff and purposely tricked them into driving right over the edge of the cliff. He was quite shook up by his dream. At the moment he realized he had killed his pursuers he also realized that his wife who had died some years previous had been sitting in the passenger seat for the entire duration of his dream. His recounted dream has haunted me to this day. While I understand his rationale about angry driving I’m not quite as certain about angry blogging? Where does angry blogging lead? Does it lead down the rabbit hole, where no one but the white rabbit is meant to go? I guess it only matters if the target of one’s anger is either a regular reader or at least able to read between the lines. I’ve thought about blogging anonymously. It has advantages as discussed by the always eloquent Monica. I would certainly be much more willing to bare certain aspects of my soul if I knew I wouldn’t have to explain my posts to anyone or have my next employer looking them up. In the final analysis, I don’t think anonymous blogging would be nearly as much fun or ego building for me. I’ve always described my blogging as a pathetic “cry for help”. I can’t be helped if you don’t know who I am. Jennie warmed my heart by both quoting me and riffing on this very topic recently. (It’s like Christmas comes early when I see someone quoting me.)
Todd wrote a brilliant comment on my post entitled “National Novel Writing Month“. The part that really struck me was this bit.
“I don’t pretend I’ll be a huge seller but the act of creation is sometimes enough. And the fact that it’s “out there” in the world is also at times comforting.” –ToddI agree with Todd. The “act of creation” is a good enough reason all by itself. I wrote a lot of blog entries before I ever got one comment or even proof that anyone ever read my posts. I wasn’t initially blogging because I had an audience; I just wanted a creative outlet. Sometimes on my best days, I think of my entire life as performance art an absurd play, or a funny cartoon strip. If I could just remember this on the days when I am tightly wound and stressed about life. Thanks, Todd. Be sure and check out Todd’s music.