Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 21

Battle of Flowers here in SA: we saw a mini-version in Helotes at the day care next door to the dentist. Cooler, sans booze, less crowd, just as much vim as the downtowners. I sound like a grinch when I cantakerize about New Orleans and parades with throws. I need to lose the grinch-speak.

Clearer head this day, though we are still waiting on the "rain, the park, and everything." I know everyone downtown be praying for mercy for the parade: just don't scare it off altogether: Ms Torrential and 3-4 inches be just fine with me.

We have been out and about: Donna the DDS, sushi with Mama Tina, canvas for same Mama, Blueberry Hill at WFM, back for a PBS afternoon, and time to let the fingers run on the keyboard. And dance for rain. Brother Cyrille Neville on the cover of new home Austin Chronicle: that's my blood down there...

We are all back home, ready for the weekend. A couple of hours back at the fiction, another speed bump of worry passed.

Day 20

This I am writing the next day, after a day's worth of a screeching, ibuprofen-proof headache that left me all closed up and messy inside. Saved, I was, by my beautiful son who climbed up beside me at some point to do "energy work, Dad": cool hand that turned to Sophie-dog heat in 30 seconds flat, then counseled me on and demonstrated a good head massage as well, the little 7 year old yogi-dawg. The pain did not fully abate, but it got me on the right track. Before dozing off, I called on Jesus and Mary, who came in for the final swoop. Woke on Day 21 with my head back.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Day 19

Our unweatherly weather continues: anything beyond 3 weeks of spring is always a blessing.

My list of prayers grows: for BB, toiling away in the Big House, and all who toil and suffer in his absence.

Speaking of toil, Copperfield is done. The last hundred pages did seem to drag on: episodic loose-ends tying was a bit much: maybe one nice encore chapter? Though it was fun to read of the ascendancy of Creakle and his star penitents. The more I read of the Creakle descriptions, the more brilliant McKellen's portrayal, right down to the wet hair. And that slab of whatever going into his mouth as he pronounces DC's mother not just "very ill," but "dead." The very same man to give us Gandalf? Please.

Okay, give CD a break: DC is his "favorite child" - why wouldn't he take his time in the leave-taking?

Oliver Twist seems to be next up, minus GKC's rumpus this time.

The Dean has come to live with us for a while, to guide my tiny mindful steps.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day 18

Blancamobile is back with us, sprung this afternoon. Dipped a bit more into Copperfield, then napped: woke to sunny skies, this after a slightly sultry morning, so the sun was not exactly welcome: heat on sweat, no thanks.

Well. Out the door to pick up Walden, deliciously cool - yes, cool - air. Windows down on Blanca, tunes. Back home, all the windows thrown open: sitting here at the computer, it was actually too cold. Yes, almost May.

There are further tales that rain is also on the way, o so joyous.

Mrs. Baby sprung from Brazil, napping.

Earlier, Stella came by the classroom and confirmed her daughter Sylvia's diagnosis of cancer. Fifteen years old. Sylvia hanging tough for now, while Stella falls apart. I know it's everywhere, but I was still stunned for someone so young: it has been a long time since it was that close. I ask that Sylvia, Stella, and all those around them be blessed and feel whatever grace they can feel in their lives.

This for Candice, too, and her newbabe.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Day 17

Armenian Remembrance Day.

Very quiet morning, a little sleepy, but toodled across town on Basse. Next to last day of the class, we covered the material, and then took some profile questionnaires with amusing results. As there was nothing else to cover, we broke out early, though I stayed around with the returning Ms R, this being her next to last day at the school altogether.

Back across town for bagel lunch with Tina, quick stop at home to change, then down to Hawthorne to pick up Walden. Off to buy some shoes: he's a happy boy! Now, he's pbs-ing and I'm droopy eyed.

More livelied up now: through my goop, I still felt supported.

Shoe shopping, bad fooding, "Sunday Will Never Be the Same."

Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" is definitely a guilty pleasure; Springsteen's "Glory Days" and "Tunnel of Love," tambien.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day 16

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. John 20:19-31

Back to Reconciliation this morning, Walden to Sunday School (with Tina observing) and I off to a Bible class.

The above quote from the Gospel reading is what stood out for me; I who always insist on some form of proof, looking for the miraculous, yet knowing on some level that I need to find the way through the simple (simple?) way of ordinary life. No lotteries, no bailings out, not because they do not exist, but because I need to learn through simplicity, through faith, through faith.

And yes: "ordinary" life is anything BUT simple.

So, there I was, this morning reading the liturgy without hesitation, not because I believe the words; in fact, if I stop long enough to reflect upon them, they would give me anything from pause to offense. But, how I envision my participation in the liturgy is of bathing in it, a baptism via its energy, the intentions behind. Apocalypse as the unseen things. Bathing in the apocalypse, the uncovered. Trying to leave my insistent concrete self at the door, see what the ear and eye seek out.

Tina in the choir, a place to revel for her.

I simply need to join this energy, this love.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day 15

Lazy day, lazy. Hanging loose, until our visit with newbaby S, what a quiet sleepy dark beauty. A couple of easy hours over with S and D and their new lovely. Held her a couple of times, walked her around to settle her back to sleep: tiny little hotbox, like our own little firesign.

Time, too, with the four-leggeds, especially that big black baby Morgan.

Did I say that Ian McKellen was exquisitely nasty in Copperfield as Creakle? Omigod.

Day is rolling down, Mr Baby racking up nerf-baskets behind me, little Iceman "fanger" roll in the making.

We just be slackin'.

Please excuse the prosaic, but the AutoFolk keep on shinin' their light, gonna make everything, gonna make everything alright.

And I ain't in no hurry...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Day 14

The blessings of thunder, lightning, and rain overnight. Shook it all up quite nicely, and cool this morning to boot.

I have wiled at length this morning, naughty indulgence: Copperfield by text for a good hour at WFM over coffee, then home to cine-Field, with the exquisite Fields-McCawber. Wonderfully surprised, ups and downs: I look forward to the latest version, though I do very much like the 1935 Aunt Betsey.

It hit me, finally, in WFM, what a wonderfully comic figure Dora is: though Agnes' advocate through much of the novel so far, I found the scene where Dora sees through DC's efforts to "form her" quite lovely: very strange, but all that had previously irritated me shifted to blithe comedy: I'm hoping 1999 plays it more that way: Raquel Welch, say, in the Musketeers films: blithe folly.

Artless?

Along comes Ms. Eileen with her Findhorn ways this morning. "To obey and follow." "To stay open in order to hear." Is she turning up the heat? To what extent does this apply?

Later:

How cool was it to pick my son up in the car, without all the bus mangle, Mrs. Baby toodling along on her own in the new mobile. Don't get me wrong: the bus mangle has been its own blessing: how else to have read the bulk of what I have devoured over the past few years?

Watched the 1999 Copperfield, an exquisite production: so nice to have slowed the pace down and not race to the end, as Cukor's frenetic 1935 film seems to have done. Who wasn't excellent - even if chillingly so (see, Rosa Dartle, The Murdstones, good old Heep)? Nice to hang out with my babies watching this together. Yes, I was boo-hooing throughout. Joanna Page's Dora was perfect.

Don't get me wrong: Roland Young's Uriah and W. C.'s McCawber are a hoot.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day 13

The fog has lifted: blessing of cool air and a tiny bit of rain. Grey skies outside the window as I write. Left LazoLand for Castillo and things on the auto-front are much better. The prisoners have been identified and it is time for their release. Is it ever.

I am hopeful that this new commitment we have made to ourselves will bear other fruit. And it is my intention to get things lined up from my end, so that things can keep moving. I pray for the help of all who are with us.

It seems odd, in a way, to be so hesitant to accept Christ as one of us. Or, better yet, as Sloane Coffin would say it: to be believed in by him. There is such a blankness there. Looking for a clarifying image, it reminds me of the silence of sitting next to Tom years ago and feeling that words should be there, though none - or a tentative strangled few - came.

Maybe words are overrated in this. Lord knows, I can do words. Perhaps what I need is simply quiet time in the room with him, time to feel. And heal. That feels better.

Peace.

Will miracles never cease:

Dean Ornish undercover in Mickey D's. When I first saw his little placards with YogaMama, Asian Salad, and a bottle of H2O, Mr. Cynical was tempted, but DO is just way too disarming, way too much the Texas imp: he would delight that he has found his way inside yet another bastion and take it all just for what it is, what it is, what it is. He's been assailing bastions all his life, why not one of the biggest of the BIG. SuperDean me, if you please.

WallyWorld can't be far behind, eh?

My being in the bastion ain't no undercover: just shameless catering to a boy's lust for chemistry: cola and dr p.

Nasty, not in any way Johnny G would have it, but nasty. Well, maybe nasty just as the master would have it.

Paz: otra vez.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 12

A sadness around me, within me. It was a very quiet morning, small gathering of students. Some fun with math - my fun only? - but fun nevertheless.

Walking from the biblioteca to the 8, it felt like I was walking through it, a river of sadness.

I feel so inept, mentally mouthing the Lord's Prayer while meditating. Tongue-tied: how does one connect to those in the room, besides a rehearsed prayer? It feels so ridiculous to plead for things.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day 11

Woke up very foggy and groggy this morning: bed too late again, though for the worthy cause of the Armenian Genocide film and discussion. It's about an hour and a half into the work morning now, students quietly going about their tests (those few that are here) and I feel like I am beginning to come alive.

Groggy as I was, I got all my early morning things done with time to spare, so I sat down to meditate. The grogginess felt difficult to penetrate, so I began reciting the Lord's Prayer as a focus: it helped.

When I walked out of the house, the whole neighborhood was in a fog, and as it turned out, misting as well. So odd to see sheets of mist in the streetlights and yet feel nothing. I slept deeply on the bus ride, much deeper than usual, waking up at all the stops, GONE on the rides in between.

More later.

Later:

Adventures in LazoLand, the ups and downs of car chasing, but at least - and importantly - we are IN the chase. This feels good and bodes well. Definitely a blessing.

Before the chase began, it was still a largely groggy day, combination heat and sleeplessness. I was surprised that I managed the afternoon's pages for the novel, but they went well.

Day 10

It was a difficult day to feel connected: I can see how I crowd the room with my other attentions. I need to allow for quiet time built into the day, when all distractions cease. Quiet, meditative time to breathe and feel connected.

Stopped off at the biblioteca to pick up Reynolds Price's Three Gospels. Picked up his A Palpable God while there, too. Waiting for the 8, I read a brief translation of one of the post-crucifixion appearances Jesus made with Peter and "the boys." Simple, spare, with the sound of something right out of the woods of the Carolinas or Alabama. Jesus at one point sez "Boys, got any fish?" I like the familiarity, the down home. It brings him in close, one of us, country. Neat touch.

While on the bus with Walden, I was reading a bit more of A Palpable God, and Walden was reading a paragraph from it as well. I handed him the book and let him read the "Jesus and the boys" excerpt: so cool to sit next to him on the bus while he was reading. We were sitting up front, one tiny tiny baby across from us (born prematurely?), but dressed up in all kinds of paraphernalia; on our left, was a little girl, less than a year, BIG baby, big Mama's milk kind of baby, though I'm not sure she was being nursed. Two tiny pigtails coming out of the top of her head.

Tina and I watched the Andrew Goldberg film The Armenian Genocide, as well as the panel discussion that followed. The film was excellent, and the panel allowed the idiocy of the official Turkish position to be exposed in all its ridiculous glory. Peter Balakian and Taner Ak├žam were superb in articulating their positions, as was the "moderator" Scott Simon. The two representatives of the Turkish position were exposed as complete chumps. We had been initially outraged that PBS had, we presumed, been pressured by the Turks (and may, in fact, have been) to conduct the panel discussion (for "balance," a typical Turkish ploy); some stations around the country were refusing to air the segment, but as it turned out, the panel ended up reinforcing and further underscoring important points. Both the film and the panel segment have to feel like significant victories for all people committed to bringing the truth of the genocide to light.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 9

Easter: the Bunny poet has done her thing. Readying the day for O's visit.

There is a yellow iris in bloom in the front yard: perfectly timed. Many hibiscus flowers - red and peach-colored - front and back. And the bougainvillea is still thriving through it all: the scrawniest (at one time) the most hardy.

Shortly, we are off to Reconciliation.

The naked man returns: in fact, the sermon focuses upon him for a time. It was nice to see his return and hear Robert meditate on him for a while. Interesting points raised about the Mark gospel in general, its spareness, its "omissions" and the attempts to bollywoodize the narrative.

So, the women go to the tomb and instead of finding the body of Jesus, a young man in a white is seated there, with the information: seek him not here, go to Galilee. The simplicity of the man, and yet he has the information. Is he or is he not the naked man? Who are they? Interesting how much we can identify with him because of his anonymity.

I'm struck, for now, by the importance of not simply accepting or rejecting "the novel - the four part novel - of Jesus." The prayers, the liturgy, the narratives, if simply taken in by my all too active head, are easily dismissed, debunked, what have you. But, as paintings, they elude the brain, and work in deeper into the body, where I need (and seek) the healing. In the two unidentified men resides great mystery, and therefore great energy, and therefore they function as focal points for my attention, my deepest attention.

O was here through the afternoon for boureg and other goodies.

Still, the reservoir of unshed tears as I sit in the service at Reconciliation. The energy of the place is certainly chipping away at my antagonism/dismissal/indifference - yes, I know, an odd tribunal - regarding Jesus. I can feel a nearing to him, to the profound energy and message that he represents for me: the me that seeks, not the me in my thick skull.

A possibility: the - at least working - title of the current novel may be Galilee.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Day 8

From Mr. Copperfield:

"What is natural in me, is natural in many other men, I infer, and so I am not afraid to write that I never had loved Steerforth better than when the ties that bound me to him were broken. In the keen distress of the discovery of his unworthiness, I thought more of all that was brilliant in him, I softened towards all that was good in him, I did more justice to the qualities that might have made him a man of noble nature and a great name, than ever I had done in the height of my devotion to him. Deeply as I felt my own unconscious part in his pollution of an honest home, I believed that if I had been brought face to face with him, I could not have uttered one reproach. I should have loved him so well still - though he fascinated me no longer - I should have held in so much tenderness the memory of my affection for him, that I think I should have been as weak as a spirit-wounded child, in all but the entertainment of a thought that we could ever be re-united. That thought I never had. I felt, as he had felt, that all was at an end between us. What his remembrances of me were, I have never known - they were light enough, perhaps, and easily dismissed - but mine of him were as the remembrances of a cherished friend, who was dead."

So, to each, as is...

Later:

5:18 pm, SGC was born. Tina and I were 5 minutes from heading out the door for an afternoon date when Mama S calls, sez I'm here, she's coming. We are cellphone-aphobes: had she called a moment later, we would have been long gone. We drop Walden off as planned and head for the hospital: Tina joins S and D in the labor and delivery room, I settle into the lobby with Copperfield and the More Hilarity of DC and his love for Dora. We are all in our elements. Hour and a half later, Tina saunters out, "she's here." Back to the room, all calm and quiet, and a beautiful black-haired baby. 80 pages of Dickens and a few strolls around the hospital, and a brand new pretty baby in the world? Too much.

Peace to Baby Grace.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 7

Day at home with Mr. Baby, when is that not a blessing? I know he felt blessed, lollygagging with his PBS friends, while I lolled, adding to the novel (Working Title: Nothing Lingers), and reading on with Dickens and his "favorite child," Mr. Copperfield. The scene with Miss Mowcher, oh my, and CD when DC falls for Dora, and DC and his drunken adventures are hilarious.

On the way back from WFM this evening, I caught a Fresh Air interview with William Sloane Coffin, one of those stay in the driveway listens. I will not do him justice at all, but this was the best: speaking of his relative lack of concern regarding agnostics in the anti-war movements, he said that for him the question is less about who believes in God and more about "in whom God believes": the integrity of Love being a message that speaks through countless individuals, regardless of what they might profess. I like the "in whom God believes." Love seeks.

Back to Walden and Tina dyeing and decorating eggs, the few cracked ones going to yours truly, Mr. Snack. A tangerine-colored egg was my favorite of the bunch - favorite of the ones that stayed intact. My favorites of the cracked ones are nestled in the belly. Yum.

Blessings to the Reverend: 81 years here: eternally there. Peace.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day 6

A different day, this. It started slowly, but still lightheartedly. A. returned to class, after her long - and still ongoing - ordeal, but it was nice to be able to offer what haven the 8 is for folks. Had my talk with K: sad, but needed to happen: the class emptied out at just the right time. We may lose her over this: I hope not, but facing facts may have been too much for her: just a feeling, just a feeling: I hope she comes back.

Downtown to wait for Walden, back to SB. I thought of the notion of opening up, to be clear, to be filled. Wondered if - hell, KNEW - that SB may be going in the opposite direction, but gotta gotta. Hit the ground running, finishing with Ms. Teena and a healthy dollop of Mr. Johnny Guitar Watson: oh my, I had lost touch with just how wonderful, how wonderfully funny, how wonderfully tight and slick and funky the man is: oh my: "the situation is Abstract." Too much: too too much.

Earlier at school, a quick zap from Monster: "we want you to teach in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand..." Bap, a quick zap. Did I ask for, was I looking for? Bap, a quick zap. Bap.

Will this amount to? Who knows, but I like the feel of the energy, the movement, the possibilities. I had a sense as I was walking this afternoon of being uprooted, in a good way, moving to a completely different part of the planet, a sense of the world getting bigger, by the sea, by the ocean in a completely different part of the world, boundaries, this tight little San Antonio world expanding.

And then home to CAR LIQUIDATIONS!!! Who knows? Maybe total scam, bait and switch, nothing doing, but what is to lose? Take our time, see what we see, walk away if nothing. Again, this feeling of possibilites arriving, maybe not these, but nice little bits of disclocations to help us along the way to new life. And why not? Tis Easter: Oestre: new dawn.

We're off to sushi. Peace.

Downtown, moon over San Antonio poem:

moon binny
moon money
moon bunny
moon honey.

Day 5

A day of toil. For such days is this DayBook written - the seemingly insignificant, inconsequential: looking for, finding, experiencing the blessing in these.

Play while teaching. The afternoon turned towards the matter of finding new work, which has ever been a toil. The tiny first round had the potential for dismay, put off somewhat by revising my resume, playing a bit with Monster, and sending out a few queries.

That bit of toil, and then at the stove, just this sense of one thing after the other, got to get through this, got to get through that, and then Walden came in wanting to play baseball in the back yard. Pathetic responses on my part, this toil this, this toil that: time to rethink, re-prioritize: "let me finish making dinner, and then we'll go play for a while." And did: and had a good time, of course. Nice to be out in the front yard (different yard, different sport), cool air, his goofy quarterback moves, learning to use the laces, my baby being himself. Blessings? Always.

But, still a sense of separation, of feeling disconnected. I remember spending a lot of time inside myself: mulling over a student's cheating, mulling over rejections perceived, whether true or not, and most likely not at all: it just all piles on top of the vulnerability of the upcoming search.

Took a bath. Closed my eyes. Asked to feel those around me. And did. Truly, did. Did I clear enough space around me to be filled? No. Still filling the space up with too much distraction, and feeling tired to boot.

So, perhaps I need more quiet - and shudder as I consider allowing it, given how much I fill in, and with what. Things, sportsnews, Dickens, TV, noise.

Mercy. Let me be filled.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Day 4

I mean to write as things come to me: if time reveals me as the More Fool, so be it. As if I am not already, what?

Selective attention/selective inattention: this came to me as I walked from school to the stop. Again, this quiet peacefulness in me, like a wave that stays and moves through me all at once. Mulling over again my Christ-waffling, and yet feeling as if it his presence as much as anyone else's in this wave of peace. Bringing me to the notion of attention. Given: THEY are always present: WE may not be. Attend, and they are experienced. Inattend, and WE disappear. Inattention is less my problem: willfully shutting them out - that is my style.

Who they are, I suspect is as relevant or irrelevant as the names of our childhood "imaginal" friends. I name them Mary, Yemaya, sometimes Tara, because I am comfortable with these names, they resonate, because there is - certainly in the case of Mary - a very old sense of devotion, from early early childhood. Yemaya, because she came to me, adopted me. I was going to say that Christ never came as did Yemaya, for which I have given him a fair amount of grief as one of my many straw dogs. But, consider this possibility: he has been in the room with all the rest, and I have willfully neglected his presence. Striker in the corner, quietly smoking his pipe. What does Frodo feel: suspicion and hostility.

Open the windows: see who else is in the room.

But again, to the names: we name as we see fit, as we are led.

It was a morning for visitors: Rh, the magpie; Larry, with stories; B, with stories of Harcourt and Randstad; Queen B, back from he own walkabouts. My own visit to Sh, to wish her well as she leaves. All these folks, I think, blessing me in my own search, somehow easing the way.

Scorpio to the last: the latest obsession: pre-crucifixion story, the man in linen who follows for a while after the disciples have fled. Seized, he flees naked, the linen torn from his body. Google him, and you find: the gospelist Mark himself, Saul before Paul, nobody in particular, an initiate into Jesus' mystery school, and/or Jesus' lover. Chatter about the "Secret Gospel of Mark." I'm not particularly drawn to any of these suggestions, though I am certainly drawn to the mystery. The words that are there do not explain the significance of their being there: what is unsaid is what carries the weight.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Day 3

There may be more later, but first this: prayers and thoughts for S, her daughter and her family.

I so hungered for a sermon at yesterday's service: so many starting points seemed at the ready: the naked man in linen - wha? Caiaphus ripping his garment. Jesus' silence in the face of the accusers. His cry of abandonment on the cross. And, of course, Peter's denials.

Peter's story stepped up as I was contemplating this next to say. I mentioned Mary and Yemaya yesterday, my ongoing sense of their presence: if not ongoing, at least I feel like I can quickly renew my connection once I call them to mind. God, I fudged: I do not really think at all of "God." The word has little resonance at all. Others' words can resound: Van Morrison's intonings of "Great, Great, Great Spirit" on Hymns to the Silence. Okay, this, yes: his "everything is made in God." That rings, especially the way he sings it.

Jesus? You might as well say serial denials, but never really much of any connection since mouthing words to schlep Youth for Christ in high school. I range from quiet respect to begrudged respect to indifference to mild to medium to spicy hostility.

Well, Palm Sunday is all his story, ain't it? And I think of how easily, how vociferously, Peter waylays him with his denials. What is about him that elicits such immediate denials of his place in our lives? Why so easy?

"Place in our lives": what another fudge, unless you count using him as a punching bag through the years. Though I did seem to be able to find some emotional purchase in the past when I experienced him as "brother." And I love the title Son of Man. Very beautiful.

What I am wanting to comment on, though, is that thread of peace that I felt as I walked through the rest of my day, after leaving Reconciliation. It felt engendered by my time among the others there, an energy imparted, an inner peace. I think of Christ's "two or three are gathered." It felt, dare I say, connected to him: and even as I write that, I have an immediate sense that I would deny what I just said in a second, crabwalk, walk away.

I don't know if it is important to say, but the return to Reconciliation is not a return to Christianity. Maybe, at some point, it will be precisely that, maybe - quite likely - not. The community, a loving community that seems to fit my body, that is what is calling. To be a part of something bigger. How big and whose big is still up for grabs.

But, I want to say: I am thankful for yesterday's peace, and all who set it in motion, all of us the Christs, the Marys, the Yemayas, within.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day 2

Within the last two weeks, up comes the notion within me that I need to feel a part of a caring community of people, and the most caring one I know of is a church about ten minutes' drive away: The Episcopal Church of Reconciliation. First went when K's dad died, for the service. Liked the priest a lot. Followed that with a couple of Easters (great Easter egg hunt for W) and Christmas Eve midnight masses. Always felt very welcomed, a very warm space and group of people. Couple of times to their 3rd Sunday labyrinth walks as well, but never, really, with any thought of joining, or attending any more than what we were doing.

Baptized Catholic, confirmed Episcopalian, high school Youth for Christ, back to Episcopal Church, even considered seminary for a while, but for 30+ years I have been seriously, committedly, lapsed from all such Christianity. A seeker, a wanderer in Eastern traditions, but then this thing just comes up into my face. God and/or Mary have always been pretty private affairs with me, not much for the community thing, though I am a reasonably social person (see dancing all night, below). Yes, Mary: Always Mary, as the tea label said eight years ago. Mary always. And Yemaya. Always Yemaya, at least since my adoption by her in '94.

But, never really felt the need for the community. And then all of a sudden, it's there: I want to be in/among a group of people connecting, in dialogue, searching, praying, loving. I need it: I need to feel its buzz of activity, its peace. I need to sit in the green-shaded windows of Reconciliation, need to walk through the lovely courtyard. So, this morning we go.

Welcomed, as one would expect, right and left. M, K's mom, is there with her bright smile and warm love. Robert, the priest, and his warm welcome. We meet Julie his wife this time: wild woman, WYLD woman. A host of others offering peace and welcome. The liturgy still does very little for me, occasional blips. I am hungry for a Robert sermon, he does them well, close to the immortal sermons of Paul Hawkins. All through the service, I can feel myself filled with unshed tears, a sense of return, need fulfilled (or spoken to, at the very least), I'm not entirely sure what they're all about, but they are there, knocking. After service, visiting, more welcome, coffee, sitting under the big oaks at the wooden playscape.

Home to more Maxwell (Urban Hang, folks, not the coffee) and breakfast and now this.

A word of explanation?

I mean for this to be a place of thanks and acknowledged blessings, without too much of the usual pmb fol de rol. Plenty of space for that in the other blogs, 43 things, what not. Perhaps a quieter space here.

I am embarked upon a search for new work, a process that can bring out the worst in me: rage, despair, cynicism, pessimism. I want this search to be a different walkabout, though, different search: try joy, hopefulness, optimism, hopefulness. The day of confronting the need to start looking again, of course, I hauled out all my usual playthings: see rage, despair, et al.

But, underneath the usual suspects is a thread of something different: a peacefulness, a hopefulness, an embracing, and a realization that we are currently blessed with not HAVING to do this. By that, I mean, not immediately, we are under no gun of necessity. A necessity of sorts, yes, further up the Maslow food chain, but not at ground zero. So, necessity yes; immediate, yes; but not THAT necessarily immediate.

Anyway, the DayBook is a place for the more hopeful side of me to have its voice. Yes, yes, ultimately "there can be only one," Duncan McLeod, and in some future time all the pmb blogs will likely merge, but for now, a greenspace for hope and glory.

Day 1

There were gists on other days this week, but yesterday is where we start. Wedding day for S: new suit, spiffy outfit for W, joy in the air (though admittedly grumpy with time crunch), lovely unTexas weather for the un-air conditioned car set. Rolling down 410, I'm feeling like there's too much traffic, too much noise: I pull off to do the quiet meander down Vandiver. Second stop, the car lurches forward, dies. Will not turn over to start up again. From cool wonder, I am quickly a matchstick away from explosive and gutted. A couple of folks drive around us. Man in an old truck stops to T's right. Pulls over under an oak tree, helps us push the car behind him. We look under the hood together, one with an eye to possibly knowing what to look for, and that one AIN'T me.

Two and a half hours till the wedding.

A. - his name is A - sez, let's go get some anti-freeze, since we're all out: leak somewhere: pray it's not the "new" radiator. T and W stay in the shade of the oak, I go with A (newly moved from Kansas, wonderfully easygoing air, just what the doctor ordered) to Advance Auto Parts, get the stuff: quick stop by A's house to fill up a water jug. By the time we get back to the car, three other cars are standing by to help, and T is on a borrowed cellphone with BOB, the almighty BOB, savior of all things mobile and less than so. Miracle of miracles: BOB answered the phone, and he is home for the next few hours. BOB who shuns the payments we insist on his taking.

A follows us to BOB's to ensure we are okay for the drive. B immediately finds the busted bypass hose (not radiator!!): I borrow his nifty little Civic, take T and W home to get ready (R and L will pick them up to make the wedding on time), zip by O' Reilly for the hose and clamps, back to B's, 5 minute repair, obligatory refusal of money (Me: "Put it on the tab, Bob." He: "You already have money on the tab.") and eventual acceptance, back to the house in revived Merry Hawthorne, into the new suit, and on to the church. I walk in as all others are walking out: Methodists marry quickly: I am only twenty minutes late.

Off to the old Gunther: Robert Johnson's seminal haunt? Food and lots of dancing, wonderfully festive evening. Love Shack, Word Up, Prince, Sinatra, Bennett, Armstrong/Fitzgerald. Nice, very nice, all just hours after the precipice.

Under the hood with Bob (he sees this work as one of his ministries, hence the discomfort with money: we insist it is to support the ministry), I say something about being thankful this didn't happen on the beach trip last weekend, or even on the highway just an hour before. As wonderful as the blessings are, I added that it would be nice to not have to be thankful just in times of car troubles. I think his answer was something like: "Yeah, but what are you going to do - argue about it?"

The dancing, the company, the evening: all blessings too.