Ebb and Flow

Posted by: Richenda at Friday September 12, 2008 in

It’s been a while since I’ve logged in and I’m worried now that I’ll turn into one of those Seminary students whose life ends up washed away in a sea of Hebrew Bible Classes. In truth I guess I wouldn’t mind that, too much!

To make excuses, I haven’t blogged because it’s been a heck of a couple of weeks.

I broke my foot, for one thing. As I’m headed out the door on my way to my first day of Seminary, I forgot to pay attention to all my limbs and WHAMO, ended up with visibly mangled toes. (Eew.) Worse, I had to reach down and grab the worst of them and from its new creepy, backwards ‘L’ shape, pull it out and up to make it straight again. (Double Eww.)

I made the drive to Seminary, anyway (a two hour drive), as I didn’t want to miss anything. But the foot still hurt so the first thing I arrived I headed to the hospital. I spent orientation hobbling around the Salem hospital getting x-rayed.

The result? Of my battered, mangled foot, only the middle toe was broken. Oh, there was some pretty intense bruising, swelling and mangling, but the foot bones shining out from the x-ray looked sound enough. Good! So I stuffed my “Live Long and Prosper” shaped foot into my shoe and hobbled off. lol.

That was last week. It’s been a pain. Literally. But hey, I’m grateful for shoes that are sturdy, and I am also grateful for the reminder to PAY ATTENTION, already, and remember the things dangling off me are fairly important to my health and well-being so it’s not, I mean really not, a good idea to whip them around like I was the Tasmanian devil or something.

[Update on the foot: It’s September 25 and the foot is now in a boot splint. After almost 4 weeks it was still sore and…um…crunching when I walked. An x-ray confirmed that it was not healing, and I am now wearing a boot that will make me qualified to play a one-legged Frankenstein in any public playhouse in the country.]


I’ve also, like most people I know, been watching those hurricanes, Gustav and now Ike. Ike is terrifying and I understand from the news that people are going to ride it out. I don’t know about anyone else, but I still remember the pictures from Katrina. For some of those “non-evacuees” I could hear kids in the background. My heart stops still.

The strangest part is that so far away from the disaster, in Washington State, my life just sort of marches on. On the anniversary of September 11 this kind of struck me double. I kept my kids home from school when disaster struck that day, but yesterday I filed my bills and notes and cleaned up the clutter on the countertop. (My cat had been using one of my tubs of envelopes and ‘stuff’ as a litterbox—Triple Eew.) It makes the whole thing kind of surreal. How can I be sitting in my house worried about the nasty result of cat-anxiety when so many terrible things are going on in the world? How do you deal with that?

Meanwhile my husband hops a plane to France for business meetings. (His meeting place was right near the Iffel Tower so he sent me a cell pic. Nice!)

Without him, I was down a driver and his car is a stick shift. With my foot still sore, I do not want to drive his 5 speed, you know? As a result, my youngest got a crash, should I say a st-st-stall, course in driving a stick.

The nice thing about VW Passats is that they have the nicest gear shifts! Wow, talk about engineering, vewy, vewy nice.

The trouble with that, though, is it is a very unforgiving car to learn on. My daughter’s honda would have been a much better choice but she moved out. (Wah.)

Michael was a natural, thank goodness, and I’ll have to hand it to my fellow humans on the road: they were pretty nice about it the couple of times he stalled out at the intersection.

And…in all of this I began the meditation prayer group I’ve been wanting to start at my church. If you haven’t tried meditation prayer I just can’t recommend it enough. It can be hard, and all the rest, but wow, you learn so much about yourself, your life, your humanity, your world, and your God. If you are looking for a transformational relationship with God, this is it.

For the first sessions I brought an overflowing bowl of apples from my apple trees. Not only was it to make us think of abundant beginnings, but it also made the whole room smell of apples. Mm…

During this time I also got to wish my God-son a happy birthday! I can’t tell you enough what a great kid he is, he’s the ‘everlast’ with his brothers behind him. I’m not sure who they’re babysitting, but babies are always a hit with this group. :)

Talking to him made me sad, though, because we are so far from each other. There in the picture are three of my sister’s fabulous kids. But the majority of time they’ve been growing up we’ve been hundreds of miles apart. I feel like I’ve missed out on something very precious, something I’ll never get a second chance at getting to do. And that just tears me up.

And I cry out, and I’m screaming—I want to put the brakes on the march of time through my life. I want to get hold of the ebb and flow and make it all stop so that I can do all the things I want to do. How can I just sit here in the face of that? The loss in my life! The storms, the terrors, the things I’ve struck, or forgotten, or missed! I mean, if I really sit long enough to pay attention to that, I am overwhelmed. How is it possible to hold so much grief?

And what am I reading this week? Exodus. The story of exodus reminds me of all of this. Of amazing joy and devastating tragedy, that we are all strangers in each others’ land. From alien to nation to alien in the ebb and flow of Egypt, Canaan, Babylon… And all I can think of is those broken Egyptian bodies in the sand. Does it matter that the tambourine plays in the face of so much brokenness and destruction? My heart breaks at bodies on the river shore. What is this triumph? How do these things come to be?

Stay safe everyone under Ike today. I am in prayer for you.

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