Wednesday, October 27, 2004

More on Moore

One thing that happens if you never actually get OUT to a movie is that the only movies you can review are the ones that just came out on DVD. So I saw Farenheit 911 last night for the first time. You already know everything you have to know about it, so I won't say much more except that after I stopped shaking and crying, I logged on to and gave the big donation I should have given three months ago. Then I didnt sleep all night. I'm hoping it's not too late.

This morning I tested myself at church by walking through the room where the republicans who rent space from us were ending their meeting and seeing if I could extend unconditional love to them. I most definately could not.

I want this to have a happy ending and write now that it I will add the republicans to my prayer, and espcially George Bush, and that I will pray to Jesus to help me love them. But I'm not quite there yet. So if you think of it, maybe you could pray for me. Because I'm not much of a fundamentalist, but when he said Love Your Enemy, I dont really think he meant that metaphorically.

Monday, October 25, 2004


Since Elijah's been in daycare, I've been looking for evidence.

When I pick him up at the end of the day, he has no bruises, his diaper is clean and he's giggling with another kid while they send marbles down a little maze. He shows me what he made today - a cock-eyed construction paper pumpkin face. He points out the face parts and names them. I am delighted. He's learning something, he's having fun, he's making things. It must be going well.

Once, he makes a little wimper in the car on the way there.
"What, honey?"
"No yike Diane's house."

Is that evidence? Or just testing boundaries and learning to say no? With a two year old, how much do I repeat what I've said to him since he was born ("OK. If you dont like it, you dont have to do it") and how much does he just have to suck it up because learning to do things you dont yike is part of the human condition?

While Eli's at daycare, I go to visit some people at a nursing home. Without meaning to, I find I'm looking for evidence there too. Not too smelly? This must be a good place. A nurse greeted me with a frown, and then couldnt find a pen so I could leave a note for someone? This must be a bad place.

The truth is, I dont know any more about what's going on in the nursing homes I visit then I know what Eli really does for the seven hours between goodbye kiss and hello hug. The evidence provides the roughest sketch. I'm filling in the rest of the picture with my big box of 64 colors - imagination and experience and trust.

For the rest of my life, all I will have is this: A little bit what I see, a little bit what he tells me, a little bit what I hope is true. It's gonna have to be enough.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Popular Vote

So I got this link from MPR that lets you take a little quiz to determine which candidate you should be for. (Thanks Deanne.)

4 years ago, I backed Nader the whole time, then made a voting booth switch and voted for Gore, crying while I did it. It just seemed so unfair to have to vote for someone who so clearly did not represent me, but I also was taking a lot of heat from people I knew to defeat Bush, and that really seemed like a priority.

Now in taking this little quiz, I find that I back Nader %100, and Kerry only %38 (Bush %0, at least) - but I'm still voting for Kerry.

The question is: is this the compromise that is the inevitable result of a political system in which everyone's needs are only met a little OR have I just totally sold out in choosing the lesser of two evils?

It's not like the old days (now that I'm 35, I can have "the old days" I guess) back in Minnesota, when I was thrilled to check the box next to Paul Wellstone's name. I sure miss him this time of year.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

More about Christopher Reeves

Today Christopher Reeves is pretty much old news. If I wanted to be of the moment, I suppose I would have something clever to say about Jon Stewart. But I don't.

So, for the last decade or so, I've been pretty much as cranky about Christopher Reeves as the average disability rights activist. "Yeah, anyone could make 'amazing progress!' who had 3 nurses caring for him around the clock," I've scoffed. But I didnt think about him much, until recently, when I read a letter to the Sun in which woman married to a quad admits that she didnt like herself very much when she laughed at jokes about Christopher Reeves and his wife. And he kept coming up in other conversations too.

And then he died. You must have read at least one article gushing about what a hero he was. So, it was with some sceptism that I read my daily dose of humanity from Babara Crafton at the Geranium Farm and a link sent by Jeff about him. What did Superman's life have to do with the average person with, for example, my husband's disability?

Both Barbara's stepson and Daniel's dad died years ago - infection took them long before they could make any "amazing progess." And although they talk about him in different ways, both of them marked Reeve's progress over the years. With each of his accomplishments, they didnt scoff like I did. They cheered. "Here's what would have been possible," they thought.

I've not lost someone close to me. How can I know what that is like? But I can recognize in Daniel's writing, and in Barbara's, the longing to see in a person of accomplishment something that is no longer possible in someone we love. Maybe fame isnt all about looks (Reeves certainly had them) or talent or money or power or just plain shallow materialism. Maybe it's about seeing in another human something that is both just like us, and at the same time something more than we could ever imagine.

When I read their writing, and got knocked a little off the high horse from which I was looking down at unfamous people who have to get their life's meaning from famous ones, I was reminded of something else. I was reminded me of why I'm even a person of faith in the first place. Because other Christians before me and around me, and across the whole world are both the same, and are more. More loving, more spiritual, more of a mess and more graceful at admitting it, more willing to talk to God, more in touch with their own humanity (and other people's too), more humble, more courageous, more simple, more complicated.... And I want to get a piece of that beautiful, eye-opening, heart-stopping more.

I used to scoff. But I dont now. Thanks Barbara. Thanks Daniel. And thank you, Mr. Reeves.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Actual Church Sign

For a few weeks before we moved, this church in our old neighborhood had a sign in front that read:

Worry is fruitless, fruit is fruitful.

I kept waiting for someone to change it to

Worry is fruitless, FAITH is fruitful

or something like that, but no one has. I drove by it again today and it's still there.

I have no idea what this means. But I'll tell you what, I havent been able to stop puzzling about it. I actually want to go there and find out what it could possibly mean. Or at least call.

Let this be a lesson to you, mainstream Christians who want to take all the mystery out of church.