Friday, February 29, 2008

I've been tagged!

Katherine tagged me for this meme. Here are the rules:

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.)

OK, lessee...

A: Artistic. This one may be a bit of a stretch, in the sense that I am not very adept at the visual arts (though I would love to learn more). But I simply adore good music and literature. And I fancy myself something of a writer. So I guess I think of myself as having an artistic soul.

N: "Nice." I'm not entirely certain to what extent this is good or bad. Wise people have repeatedly pointed out that "nice is overrated." But for good or ill, I was raised to value being "nice." It is a part of me. It fits in with my belief in kindness, in consideration for the feelings of others -- but it has it's negative side in the sense that I may not always speak my mind, that I hold too much in at times.

D: Hmmm...I'll choose "Daring." Not the perfect word to describe it, perhaps, but "daring" in the sense of taking more chances, not always giving in to the negative side of "nice." So it's a side of me I'm working to develop.

R: "Religious Questioner." Those who have kept track of my blog postings over any period of time will know what I mean. It's not that I am critical of religious belief, per-se, but I'm not entirely certain just what I believe. And I think that the process of questioning is vital in arriving at any type of deep faith.

E: "Entertainer." Another side of my personality. I love to tell jokes, to be a story teller. A woman whose wedding I attended many years ago told me that I was probably "the entertainer" in my family. (Actually, I was the quiet one). Sadly, this woman became troubled by profound depression in later years and committed suicide.

W: "Wonder." Following Heschel's lead, I believe that only so much knowledge can be obtained by examining the world through the lens of power (of understanding how things affect or control other things). There is knowledge and wisdom to be gained through seeing the world through the lenses of beauty, mystery, wonder, awe. Faith, I think, only begins when logic shares the stage with the other lenses -- when the entirety of our being perceives the world.

OK...that was a bit challenging, but fun! Now I'm supposed to "tag" six people. I will tag: Mags, More Cows, Gannet Girl, Beso Mami, Diane, and Wyld.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Roughly 3 weeks ago, I slipped on the ice while taking my two boys to school. My left foot slipped out from underneath me, and I automatically put my left hand back to break my fall. As I understand it, this resulted in a fracture in my left arm and wrist, with a total of about four break sites. After several hours in the ER, pins were screwed into the bones in my left hand and left arm, and a medieval looking contraption holds everything in place above the skin.

I say this in part as way of explanation and perhaps poor excuse for my absence from the blog world recently. My apologies to those of you who might have been wondering about me.

Part of what strikes me about this experience is that my mind has spent an unusual amount of time thinking about how lame a story all of this is, how much cooler it would be if I had a more exciting or interesting story to offer as to how I broke my arm. My ego would surely be assuaged if all of this had occurred by fighting off a mugger, protecting my family in some heroic way, or even something as mundane as a bar fight.

But no, sadly, I slipped on some ice.

All of this makes me think about the notion of brokenness, of how uncomfortable it makes me (and I daresay most of us) to acknowledge this simple fact. We hide it, we make excuses for it, we act as if it is not there. But the simple, undeniable truth is as plain as the fractures displayed on my x-ray: We are broken, we are humbled, we cannot do everything for ourselves.

Over the years, I have heard many sermons and read many stories about healing, about transformation, about divine acts that cure our brokenness. But at some fundamental level, I'm not certain that this brokenness ever entirely goes away. Perhaps we need it, need to acknowledge our interdependence, need to recognize our limitations. Perhaps growth stems not so much from transcending our humanity at times as it does in accepting it.

Peace to you all.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008