Sunday, July 26, 2009

As of yesterday, I handed over the reigns to Andy, the new hire for Faith Lutheran Church's custodial position.

I had this job since July 2002 and it was a God-send; I had just come off of a two year support from my denomination and a prior, one-month stint delivering newspapers up here for the Cincinnati Enquirer was like prison. The custodial position came along and was super flexible and a great place and church to work for and allowed me to do what I needed to do with Veritas.

Since working for IWU from last September, there isn't sufficient time to give what I once did now that my summers are, I had to give it up. I thought I could hang on to it, but Cathy was right.....just 'twasn't to be.

Though it's kind of hard to believe it's been this long, it has been truly good in every sense of the word. And so, I set up another marker in this journey and continue to say that I am thankful.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Does anyone really blog anymore and not get paid for it?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My temple is built on wood and of stone
Each space is filled with the things that I own
Idols and gods that call me to bow
I try to be free but there's no freedom now...No freedom now

The ones I hold dear--Those most precious to me
Some days I set them afloat on an indifferent sea
And these things in first place--They're worth nothing at all
At night in my dreams graven images call

And my gods won't let me sleep
And what a man sows that he will reap
I toss and turn at night
I've got places to go, got battles to fight
And my gods won't let me sleep...tonight

Ambitions once good--Once noble and pure
Now rule with a rod and I cannot endure
Those bonds I have forged with two will hands
They're not easily torn by the strength of a man

No other gods before you--No other holy shrines
Oh, I want to sleep in peace when I lie down
All other voices calling
All of the hands that pull me
Call and demand allegiance to their crown
-Wayne Watson, No Other Gods

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A year ago today, I took my hands- hands that gave a lot of life to a creature I'd dreamed of having since I was a child- and signed a paper that would legally end it.  Yes- it was a euthanatic decision made countless times by many nobler than myself.  But illness found my dog's head in my hands and lap one last time, my voice and face in hers, she slipped wide-eyed from consciousness to somewhere from which she'll never come to matter how loud I call.  I know mercy's side of the argument and the necessity of a dignified passage, but there's a preciousness of life that bludgeons me....that the giving and the taking away can both be love-acts.  

Here's a post I made to this blog about a month and a half after Vega died, on April 2nd, 2008:

I'm still grieving over the loss of Vega. I can't help it. Now that I'm working morning shifts (6am-130pm), I am the first one home to wallow in an empty house that had this creature for the previous 12 years....every day, she was there to greet someone....whoever it come through these doors.

I've had three dreams about her and I'll wake up crying (or think I am). I am taken aback at the kind of introspection the grief has offered me and I've been surprised at all the other similar grieving circumstances I've had that get lassoed into the situation. But I parse these feelings and contexts to their rightful place and I still find I need to be grieving sometimes. Over this dog, nonetheless.

And, yes, I've lost close people in my life. But the affinity afforded me with the care of this creature, over whom I was graced with the "alpha" status, has set me into an emotional process much different in many ways and threaded with varying degrees of theological complexity, offering a simultaneous fix of comfort and cold.

I guess a picture tells most of that to which I cannot adequately speak. This picture was the very last time Vega would enter our house from the backyard, where we would let her go to relieve herself. The meager deck stairs in her stage of dysplasia were phenomenal hurdles in that time. There was a fresh snow the day before and her paw prints were left right up against the bottom stair leading to the deck. The night following her death, there was a light snow. I remembered on my bus route that day that I could still find her paw print if I'd search carefully enough, in spite of the snow. I began to be angry that it HAD snowed, because, when you grieve, you search for tendrils of physical connections to the one you loved in such close proximity to their passing. So I got home, went to my knees outside to where I thought the prints were and gently dusted away the top layer of snow in hopes of finding the last remaining physical proof of her final journey into the home she dearly loved.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, went to the chiropractor today for an adjustment.  Somewhere, unbeknownst to me and for no discernible reason, said back decides about a week ago to start "catching" and bombarding my hypothalmus with a healthy shot of faint, electrical signals my body likes to translate as pain.  I don't remember any particular recent over-exertion or injury, though I've had these kinds of things off and on since 1991.  I just started my training for the Cap City Half in C-bus in May and I'm not too enthused that I'm a bit lame.  Especially now, since I just got back on the road.

My wife thinks I'm a nuttmunky for having gone out this past Tuesday to log in my 4-miler for which I was scheduled.  I thought it was pretty heroic, trudging out in the midst of a high wind warning, with 49 mph gusts.  I would be remiss if I didn't say it was the most grueling 4 miles ever.  (But my back was already hurting, so there).  Dodging (thankfully) twigs and trying to catch breaths that would whisk away in the gusts before I could snatch them took as much effort as running this usually fairly easy course.  

At one point during a stretch where I was in a headwind, I was literally stopped from running to complete and sudden stillness, nailed in my tracks and subsequently, running in place.   I felt like Jim Cantore on the Gulf shores reporting hours before a landfalling hurricane.  Then I realized how ridiculously slow and lumbersome I must have appeared.  My course took me through campus and even the Miami kids weren't out on their usual jogs and runs.  It was just me.  

I love times like these.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Well, I had a minor surgical procedure done Monday...nothing too involved, though I do have six stitches and it is causing me to walk with a nutty gait. I am pretty much sidelined I think until January 24th when the stitches get to come out.

This is causing me considerable consternation, being this sessile. This will be the longest period of time that I have gone without running since I began running on November 30th, 2007. It's going to be a rough ride till that day comes when I can run again. Wanna know how sick I am? I was driving home tonight in the blowing snow, winds gusting and snow falling.....and all I could think about was being out there running in it.

I still don't know what race I'm going to do yet. I have decided that I'm at least going to begin training OFFICIALLY when I come back on the 24th. I've gone through my training log over the last year and I am enthralled that I had the sensibility to keep one from the beginning. I can definitely see my growth and progress over time. Having proof keeps you going. The log also serves as a marker for those days for which I am terribly fond. So much self-learning and so much life happened. And having someone to share it with was great too. I'm going to miss that for sure.

So what shall I do....another half? I'm worried about the time commitment for a full right now. Where do I race? Anyone want to run with me? You know, I'll run alone for sure. But I do love having someone to share the rigors of the training with me too. I enjoy that kind of accountability. These few weeks will pass, I'll have to decide and soon enough, I'll be into it yet once again. I can't wait.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rags make paper, paper makes money, money makes banks, banks make loans, loans make beggars, beggars make rags.
-English Proverb

Monday, January 05, 2009

Well, looky here......I am a blogger once again. I've been around the block quite a few times in the last little bit during this latest hiatus. I'm trying to parse through what's noteworthy and what's not. I'm just not sure yet. I have a lot to say about a lot of things, but I'm not sure about the format yet. The last year of my life has left me reeling for many reasons. I am almost at a loss to explain it in some ways, but hopefully, in due time, I will do so.

Right now, the best I can say is that I feel a bit "lost".....not like I don't know where I am spiritually per se, but it just feels like I've left myself back somewhere tucked in the earlier part of this year and all of a sudden I find myself right here.....wherever "here" is. There have been some really good things happen and some rather perplexing things to boot. Strangely enough, it seems that the only connection I feel I have to who I was before, say, February of this year, is running. When I run, I am transported to times/places that were familiar (but by no means "easy"). I guess I mean familiar by the connection I feel I had to myself as opposed to the current time. Running has been that bridge to transport me and offer me solitude and solace over these last few months. It had also been a vital lifeline to other people who are close to me who shared the endeavor with me.

Well, in some ways, it looks like I may be the only one intent upon doing a race this spring. That's okay though. Although I do miss looking forward to sharing the training with someone, inevitably, people have to be intrinsically motivated enough to do it outside of them (or me) just wanting to have a running partner(s). I know I have to run. That's never been a question, regardless of who will do it with me. Running's like that friend who's always won't waver or skimp or waffle and I never question it's purpose (even when it's physically a drag). But I know that not everyone has to see it that way either. So I do it for myself. And I do it to connect with God in some remarkable ways that don't happen outside of running. While it would be nice to have someone who has the same desire to run as I do, the lack of such won't deter me.

I'm thinking that an option this spring would be to try and run the Knoxville Half Marathon in Knoxville, TN. During the Xmas break, I reconnected with a buddy of mine that I've known longer than any other friend in my life and he suggested that I come down and do that one with him. Knoxville is where I was born and I'd get to finish at the 50 yard line at Neyland Stadium. So, while I'm not set for certain yet, I'm definitely considering this race in light of the fact that it doesn't look like there's any solid desire(currently) for others up here to run a race this spring.

It's not quite what I was hoping for, but, I (for one) am still trying to become a runner......hence, I'll keep running no matter what.