Sunday, August 31, 2008

August and everything after...

OK so I am still a bit envious that my daughter saw the Counting Crows do a “special’ performance of the above title earlier this month but the title does indeed fit this piece.

As summer draws to a close, many folks I have talked to are pondering how fast time flies when you are having fun.. a curious comment from people whose summer started off in flood recovery mode.

I have been thinking about this month and what I have done and left undone.

I have traveled home twice. This involved driving to Chicago and getting a non-stop from Midway to Albany each time. It is a 4 hour drive to Chicago. I lost most of a day each trip to being plain tuckered out.

Last weekend when I was home was a whirlwind. My wife’s 60th birthday party and a ballgame at the Joe with Abby, Irene, Shawn and of course my granddaughter Angeline.

I had a great time. Angeline and I played let’s take Grandpa’s baseball cap off and laugh at his big head every time for about 4 innings. It was good to know I can still get the ladies to laugh.

Being away from home 23 of the 31 days of August – is a record I guess for my wife and I to be apart. It has given me time to reflect some, probably too much but here goes..

I have this lyric from Tim O’Brien stuck in my head:

“I've been up and down the road a time or two I guess
Now it's time to travel around with less and less”

I changed hotels 4 times in August. Nothing can get you more tired of your stuff than to have to pack it up and load it into your Chevy so often only to have to unload and unpack it again..

Today as I drove around this city trying hard to get back to normal from its flood (downtown is still a ghost town), hearing that they are evacuating the Gulf Coast and New Orleans in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav and hearing of the devastation of monsoon season in India and the need to rescue several hundred thousand people cut off by the resulting flood waters I kept hearing this Gordon Lightfoot lyric

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours”

I found it interesting that a song played at the Devotional gathering this morning was based off this verse:

Build ye for yourselves such houses as the rain and floods can never destroy, which shall protect you from the changes and chances of this life. This is the instruction of Him Whom the world hath wronged and forsaken.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 261)

I saw the movie Babylon A.D. yesterday – great story, bad movie. It was a great statement on the relationship of Science and Religion. The scientists tried to create a genuine miracle to give their “religion” substance and meaning. This will be lost on most folks due to all the bang bang shoot em up stuff – but it was a very good story line.

This morning I read a short story called “Bulletproof” by T.C. Boyle (this month’s Best Life magazine) which tackled a school district labeling the Biology text book with a sticker that says that Evolution is a theory and should not be construed as fact. It quickly touched the creationist argument and told a tale of a 15 year old girls powerful statement of belief. The sense of ill ease and the out of balance nature of the adults who smugly dismiss simple belief and anything non-scientific. It made you think. I recommend it.

The movie and the short story make me wonder if God might not be making a comeback in our cultural circles. (I mean I know He never left – but you could not tell that from what generally passes for art.)

So I am in a hotel room on a really beautiful morning on the cusp of September thinking deep thoughts. I hope one or two of them take hold and move me forward.

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