Tuesday, May 18, 2010

freeway flowerings

The guest speaker at All Saints on Sunday was a man who’d lost both hands and an eye to a letter bomb sent to him when he was protesting apartheid in South Africa many years ago. I had the thought that, wow, it’s bad to send a letter bomb to anyone for any cause, but when your cause is pro-apartheid? Extra bad.

The topic of the sermon was forgiveness.

The speaker said that, if he met his bomber now, he’s not sure if he would forgive him. Maybe, he said, if he learned that the bomber had spent years working in hospitals. So his point was that forgiveness is complicated, and should come with strings attached.

But what I took away from the sermon was the importance of being big and brave in the world. Lately I’ve been feeling like life is good, but because I’m a guilty, superstitious person, this goodness has made me small and afraid. The more I have to lose, the more likely fate is to swoop down and take it all away, right?

So church made me want to be big and brave, and I left with an openness in my chest that I hadn’t felt in a while.

By Monday I was back to stressing out because I wasn’t sure I could get my family to agree on hotel accommodations in London this summer. Yeah, it was embarrassing just typing that. The man who lost his hands to apartheid should not have to share blog space with my vacation stress.

Today I drove to Fresno for work, listening to Chris Pureka and Cat Power and Wicked, and I swear every other song made me cry a little. In a good way. The pink flowers on the freeway median always remind me of family vacations. The highways seemed so endless then. London will probably be wonderful, if the opposite of endless.

I remembered that sometimes I like driving. I had dinner with my colleague-turned-friend Devoya and remembered that I always like her so much. I think we are both –NFJ’s, although she is definitely an E to my I. Every time we have Thai food together in Fresno, she sees at least two people she knows, and tonight was no different. She told me about a play she’d written and a gospel brunch she was planning, and I felt, if not brave, at least big and open.

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