Saturday, March 25, 2006

NCAA is in town

The city of Bridgeport has excitement today with the NCAA women's tournament in our city. The local People's Bank is sponsoring a sports fest for the kids giving them an opportunity to get sports equipment, safety instructions and have fun interacting with the mascots of the local sports teams. It is a big change from 6 years ago when there was no local interaction with sports which makes the the city a beacon of hope for the future.
The life of a sportsman is one of challenge. The 60 minutes takes over 2 hours, but in it is a lot of drama and excitement as the whistles blow, the sneakers squeak against the floor and calls are made quickly from the sidelines. I experienced it from the sidelines when I was active as a manager for my local high school team in the early 80's. Hanging onto the ticking of the clock overhead and the horns of the officials for replacements in the game causes a bit of anticipation for what is to come. But the excitement of seeing the organge basketball go through the hoop-swoosh and 2 points appearing afterward!!!! May the game live on and be a source of excitement for all who watch it and scream at the t.v. for why calls are made that are not agreed upon. and for the patience in awaiting the officials words on the answer to a questionable call.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Shuffling the cards of life

Shuffling the cards of life.
Dining room table has been cleared off and after dinner, Dad asks if I want to play a few rounds of gin rummy. 10 cards are dealt to each other. one, one;two, two; three,three;...ten, ten. The face card is finally turned over next to the virgin deck of cards.
Pensive looks cross each other as the cards are arrnaged by suit for the correct assortment of possible hands. The silence of the room is sliced by the ringing of the phone. 3 rings later, my mom answers the phone. It is my brother who calls to let us know the latest news of an editing job and news of how Abby is doing with her adventures.
The dishwasher whirs in the distance. Mom asks for help with the daily crostic for a clue to help unlock the clue to the quote. I know how hard it can be to find the right word to squeeze within those dashes. Many possible words but only the right one for the author of the puzzle. this life is a puzzle at times-finding the right words to say or deeds to do. But nonetheless satisfying when the pen can be put down. Oh, my mom is amazed I can do it in ink but a few scribbles is no problem for me. They can stay on the page-for life has made enough scratch marks on me. I am not afraid for others to see those.
Back to the game at hand, arranging and rearranging the cards for the perfect chance for gin. In my mind, I am looking for the right combination to spark a high hand at gin. My mom gets up from her puzzle for a few crackers and takes a glance my way and says "interesting cards" Not that I need immediate help. I just shuffle and arrange and see where some moves take me.
Oh, my turn. I just discarded the king of hearts and spades. Not that I want those high cards in my hand. Too many times giving a score of 60 away. NExt I draw the king of diamonds. yet, I struggle to fix the hand to a satisfaction that has all the cards lined up right.
a final score of 40 and just in time before all the other cards are used.
I shuffle 4 more times and Dad cuts the deck for another round of dealing the right 10 cards, I hope. Dealing those 10 cards and then awaiting the sound of silence and the sound of encouragement of how Bridgeport and Cartright Towers is doing.
Being present with each other dates back to the times at Newington Childrens Hospital during the 5th grade. a good activity for a father and son to spend in time and place from Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota and Arizona.
Thanks for that chance to do something so simple yet so profound -to await our fate with the conclusion of the hand. Scores are evenly matched at the end. the final score never matters. just numbers scored carefully on a folded shopping list in life. To be mingled with a silent but constant reassuring love of a father to his son. thanks for the hands.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

By Immersion

This week, our men's study discussed the act of baptism. About 20 years ago, I had that experience as I joined my church body in June of 1986. It was an immersion into a warm body of water. I was so eager to get dunked that I beat my pastor's questions and got right to the answer of YES, I accepted Christ and the work that He did for me on the cross.
Lately, I have been thinking of how beneficial it is to be immersed into life. As a result, I immersed myself into the writing of a letter to a former cell mate of one of our church members since he needed an encouragement and voice from the outside world. Being away from physical walls that enclose is easy, but we all are enclosed my walls of oursselves that are hard to oppen and find freedom from.
The spanish have a term for life which is in the feminine form, la Vida, which is a strong word evoking growth and change and almost has the rhythmn of a dance to it. The other bookend to life is the spanish word, for death, la muerte. It is between the beginning and end of our life that we can dance and flow thorough life. especially through the immersion of ourselves into the experiences of others-being a part of other lives in community through the beginning of water.
For the first 9 months of our existence, we are surrounded by water of the womb nourishing our lives from the start. Life on earth began with that key ingredient of La Agua. so let us swim through La Agua , the dance of life and the journey of time.
So remember the mundane acts of washng the dishes and reading a book or writing a note or thoughts are all ways to immerse oneself into life and not be afraid since we have God and others to hold onto and to life us out of the waters of death into life. May HIs grace be upon the reader.