All Things Are Petty

This past Tuesday I was with one of my kids sitting on a bench at a church. A woman I don’t know drove up, parked and then walked toward the church to deliver a present. As she walked up to the bench on her path to the door, I said to her, “I feel bad. I didn’t get you anything.” I thought it was funny but it seemed to throw her off and she said some stuff about her running behind schedule and how busy life is. “You know how it is this time of year.” How would she know what I know? I didn’t even have a present for her. I’ve spent the past two decades incrementally opting out of holiday madness. Yeah, I know HOW it is because it is WHY I opted out. But we all have these things we mindlessly say about the mundane that may or may not help advance real connections.

I considered her response and commented to my child, “Wouldn’t it be great if we said profound things when we don’t know what to say, instead of commenting on the weather or re-enforcing silly and oppressive paradigms? She could’ve said, ‘All things are ready if our minds be so.’ To which I could have replied, ‘That we would do, we should do when we would…’.”

My child called me a nerd! :-\. I insisted my way would make the world a better place. “There’s probably a parallel universe where they do that,” the child offered in way of consolation. “Why I gotta be stuck in this one?” I whined.

:-). Soooo… . How about this weather? Mild enough for ya?

Telos Vision

When he was a kid, my dad took a mail correspondence course and became a TV repair”man” at the ripe old age of 13. He went on to get a degree in Electrical Engineering and work with computers from their infancy and on into internet. This made our childhood interesting. Tami and I have loaded cards into a room-sized computer so that the “super computer” could perform some important task, like make a pixeled poster of the Mona Lisa. Our family was at least two years ahead of our neighbors when it came to most technology. We had satellite, VCR, home PC… when many of our peers had never seen them. But the real fun was in where our home was backward–the TVs.

Because dad would ever be the TV Repairman, our house was a TV hospital. We got scraps from friends and family. This could make watching TV an adventure. For example, there was a time when the TV in the family room had no sound and down the hall, in Matt’s room, the TV had no picture. The pictureless TV was by Matt’s open door but there was still a fun split-second sound delay. Changing channels was doubly-fun–with yelling numbers down the hall, “Okay! Now 13!” And these were KNOBS. Those were fun.

I’m glad I had so much analog experience. I like the lightness of wireless and the cloud, but there’s a tactile beauty in the contortions of antena adjustment, weight of vinyl and solar cycling of dials. 🙂 You snappers of whipper just have no idea… .

My Cusp Runneth Over

I was born in Texas in 1966. The “Women’s Movement” (on the heels of “Civil Rights’ Movement, as Suffrage followed Abolition) was a fetus. “Girl Power” was something only my children would hear as children. My mother and grandmothers didn’t have all the power and opportunities I did, my daughters have more than I. I’m in a better position to take advantage than my foremothers and better position to not “take for granted” than my daughters. I like my life on the edge.

I was born in Texas on the 31st, at 1:34am. This puts my moon sign right on a cusp. One Moon Sign description starts, “It’s as if you were born wise.” The other begins with, “Even those closest to you can be shocked by how cold you can be.” My best friend suggested I can pick my moon sign (seeing how being born a couple of time zones away would change my birthday) and of course I picked the former. But the truth is both have truth. Wisdom is not synonymous with kindness–I can be really cool (“cold” even)–indifferent (unbiased, rational and unemotional), but my reasons for being cool are based on my insights.

My grandmother was born before electricity, my parents before TV. I was born before VCRs, microwaves, personal computers (my dad was a computer engineer so I grew up very aware of how computers shrunk in size and grew in capacity), internet, cellphones… . I watched the world move from analog to digital. I’ve felt how heavy a record collection can be and appreciate how vast a cloudy music library can be.

I remember being asked what I would be when I grow up and being exasperated by the question. All the women I knew were only three things: stay-at-home mothers, teachers or nurses. Being married to a house as “career” was very unappealing. Nursing is gross and it’s mean to stick needles in people. So I said “teacher.” I might have been a good one, but I decided I didn’t want to do that either once my opportunities expanded to “secretary” which I also rejected (and to prove my rejection, I never took typing and now peck out an impressive ~21-words/minute–on my best day), “interior decorator” or “designer” which never filled me with passion because I don’t want to just make the world prettier/shallower and psychiatrist (which I rejected after a few boring classes). I ended up doing not much of anything. I have a genius brother who has obsessed on many things. He’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of most. I’m a lethargic dabbler who has mastered nothing. But that’s okay with me. It may be selfish–I’m sure it’s immature, but I just can’t make myself groove out as a cog in a system I see as inherently flawed. In another age, maybe I would’ve flourished rather than floundered. In yet another, I would’ve killed myself.

Here I sit on the edge, approaching my 49th year. I feel good. Not great. Not bad. I feel good. Omne bene. Recent medical studies state a healthy person should live 120 years. I could be ENTERING midlife (rather than exiting it, as I feel is the case). Another cusp. What will I do with the second half? It’s going to be more spiritual. I’m long past living it worrying what others will think about how I’m living it. And I want to leave echos for my kids because listening to my cousin’s CDs has been so meaningful for me.

Almost a year ago I decided to do _Three Years of Three Wills_ (Williams Downing, Shakespeare and Blake). It was supposed to start back in January. I have three recording of _All’s Well That Ends Well_ but haven’t been able to get them uploaded. I’ll post an introduction at the end of this month and start the series in September.

Every seven years, all the cells in the human body renew (even brain cells). I won’t be 49. I’ll be 7. I’m also changing my name to Jitk7.0. 🙂

Peace and love to all my readers. (Both of you–if that many.) And to the billions who don’t read me.