uprooted

Bloged in worship by rod Sunday July 30, 2006

I know I’ve mentioned here before that my neighbor built a garage and in the process had to cut several trees. He gave me the trees, and for the first few anyway, they showed up cut to length and even stacked nicely in my back yard, but not split. At some point, it must have occurred to him that just because you are giving your neighbor several cords of firewood, doesn’t mean that you have to cut it to length and stack it for him too. So it started making it’s way into my yard in lengths barely small enough for a good sized man to drag across the property line.


Climb

At some other point, some fun-loving, climber kid tried to tackle a huge stack of wood and succeeded. The stack was brought down on the 1-yard line. Needless to say, my back yard is a topsy-turvy mess of downed trees and branches.
On Monday, I looked out and realized that I’m running out of time to get out there and clean it up before school starts. I surveyed the work that needed to be begun, and knew that I could no longer put off buying myself a new chainsaw. My 3 dollar auction chain saw that Dad got running for me will not start because rip-cord clutch is worn. So I headed off to Lowe’s to purchase my first new chainsaw ever. It is sweet. 42cc, 18” bar, and anti-vibration. Even a guitar player can cut firewood all day and still gig the same evening.
The saw was so good and efficient that I cut up most of what needed to be done on a single tank of gas. While I was back there, I noticed that two roots on the Hickory tree behind the deck were broken and rotting. I showed Jack and said, we’ll probably have to have that cut before long. I saw that it leaned slightly to the back corner of the yard, and figured that it would make it until next summer – otherwise the tree was beautiful and healthy.


Treedown

Last night I drove Molly to Barnes and Noble to Birthday gift shop and then dropped her off at the party just as it started storming. Badly. The electricity was off at her friend’s house, oceans of water were pounding from the sky, and the wind didn’t know from what direction it show blow. Trees were whip-lashing, limbs falling, and water was racing down the street. It wasn’t long before things settled down a bit and I drove home. Apparently, the storm had been here first and the sun was already shining, and steam was rising from the road. The violent storm had claimed my Hickory tree. It was obviously whip-lashed, as it had split straight up the middle about 8 feet and fallen straight toward the back corner of the yard. The good side of the tree remained rooted. The trunk bridged ground to stump directly over my baby Wisteria growing oblivious and unharmed under the trunk.
Now I’ve really got my work cut out for me this week. My new chainsaw should earn its stripes in its first week of service. And me? Well, its hot. ‘twas 97 yesterday and a lot of my shade is lying on the ground. I cut some limbs off tonight after 7:00pm and in 20 minutes my clothes were drenched, my hair was dripping, and I couldn’t see through my safety glasses. What’s a fella to do?

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nueva luna

Bloged in life, luna see by rod Tuesday July 25, 2006

Newluna

I get very lonely during new moon

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cup o’ community

Bloged in community, friends by rod Monday July 24, 2006

Members of Allison’s Sunday School class have been gathering around the coffee bean at Barnes and Nobles on Wednesday evening’s for a long time now. They gather while I’m at rehearsal and after I’ve gone home, settled the kids, and visited the gym, I crash the remnants of their gathering to enjoy a cup of the black stuff and hear the summation of their world-correcting banter. Though in over a year, I’ve been the only testosterone to violate the sanctity of their gatherings, they’ve always welcomed me with smiles and even open arms at 10:15pm after the gym has closed, and I have to admit that I’m not actually fit to be seen in public at that time.


Leah

Gatherings of people around coffee cups are terribly alluring. Coffee creates its own atmosphere that seems to soften whatever non-personal, non-community atmosphere that may be the reality in any given space. The knit that has taken place in these girls’ gatherings is beautiful. I have watched it with a happy heart as they gather simply to be together.


Bug

At some point, one of them (lmb) shared a dream of opening her own coffee establishment, and with the unfettered support and egging on of the others, began taking steps to make a dream a reality.
A reality it has become. On Saturday morn, lmb had a private tasting, which I attended, having been told that she would serve Sumatra especially for me. As it turned out, for the first 2 hours, I was not only the sole male in the crowd of supporters, but as you might have guessed, the only partaker of the black, extra bold Sumatran blessing. Later, /sp’s My Mike showed up and helped me with the Sumatran.
I am ever so happy that this is happening, and I pray that deep and beautiful relationships are formed around the square tables and round mugs of fancy flavors.

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yellow buses and chevy trucks

Bloged in family, life, nostalgia by rod Thursday July 20, 2006

Today, while stopped at a signal light in an intersection, heading east, I saw my Uncle Roy, waiting for the light to change so that he could continue North. He was not on my list of people I expected to see today. Total surprise. His hair was same as the last time I saw him, his window rolled down and arm rested on the door with elbow out. He was driving a slate gray, Uncle-Roy-vintage Chevy pick-up truck, as he always did.
I sat staring at him across the road until the light turned green, and he crossed in front of me and went on his way. It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen him and I wanted to take it in. I stared back in time, I relived moments and experiences and events. I laughed at silly funnies, and quick wit.
I watched his license plate drive around the bend and lost sight of him, but I drove on down the road thankful to have caught a glimpse.

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lifting off

Bloged in life by rod Wednesday July 19, 2006

Whenever one goes on holiday, they wish to bring back something as a memento. Usually, gifts and souvenirs are brought back for those loved ones who didn’t even take the trip. They say, in effect, “we missed you and wished to share our experience with you.”
My favorite mementos are always symbols and photographs. I’ve never been one for trinkets and knick-knacks – those little black bears made carved from coal, or tropical fish carved from coconuts. Even my photographs, for the most part, attempt to be symbols, attempt to capture feelings and emotions, breezes and fragrance, colors and temperatures. I wish to freeze experiences, or even to squeeze together spans of the passage of time into a single frame with timed exposures. One can experience a period of time in a single instant.
So I took 768 photographs while in the Caribbean. I took all the kinds of photos I could think of. I even experimented with slow-speed photos of Allison, in which the background is still and sharp, but she is blurry with motion. We move through time at break-neck speed, constantly changing in the constant. We flurry and hurry about against a timeless, ancient background that changes and moves so slowly that it is imperceptible except for the affects of the interplay of natural forces that have shaped and polished over millennia. One can only ponder at what things were like before they encountered one another and shaped and sharpened. In our own lives, we can see the changes happening if we take notice. We can differentiate between who we were yesterday, and who we are today. If we care to, we can calculate course based on that observation, and make corrections before tomorrow comes and finds us yet further from who we ought to be.
There are distance layers of motion in our everyday. I often think of this while riding in the country and seeing the broken white line whiz by like and endless ellipsis seemingly saying, “and so on, and so on, and so on…” But just beside me, the trees at a slight distance seem to move by somewhat slower. The barns in the fields lazily disappear from my side mirrors and the hills in the distance barely move.
As we lifted off Union Island in a tiny prop plan and climbed to 10,000 feet, we could feel the forces of movement fighting the forces of nature trying to keep us where we were. As we began to level off, at nearly 200 mph, the island below us seemed to sit and linger, it watched us for a very long time shrinking in the sky toward the northeast. In an hour, we landed on Barbados, endless flurry on a static coral island. Next day, we lifte off in a 767 and were in another country, another culture, another time, in less than 5 hours. The speed of life. We swoop in and swoop out of lazy, slow changing contexts and take a moment’s respite. There are those there, like Ents taking in the passage of time, slowly shaking their heads at our flurry, and they slowly wave their arms in farewell as we rush back to our realities.
I snap a photo of quiet, still, breezy island in the distance, far below, sitting crisp and sharp in the exposure, but you’ve got to look through fast moving clouds and a blurred propeller to see it.

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island time

Bloged in culture, love and marriage by rod Saturday July 8, 2006

So you know from my last blog post that my watch battery died. So I left the watch home when we drove to the airport. Of course I didn’t expect Allison to forget her watch. These days almost every gadget that goes everywhere with us contains the date and time. Watch, cell phone, PDA, iPod, computer, etc. Of course the cell phone is useless here in the middle of the Caribbean, so my computer and iPod are the only items we brought along which can give us the time. It’s a bit much to carry around, boot up, etc. just to check the time. So we’ve pretty much ceased to know what time it is. Who cares? Actually, if we’ve remembered to put our requests in the bamboo tube outside, we don’t even have to remember to go eat. The food comes when it is supposed to, so we know it’s supposed to come when it does.
Of course there’s the sun and the moon to help with keeping track of time. You’d think that would be enough for me. But we’re not at home, and I’m watching the moon from a completely different perspective. It rises at a different place on the horizon, and travels a different path across the sky. Tonight it rose about an hour before the sunset, which is almost 3 hours earlier than at home. So tomorrow, it should appear just as the sun disappears and will be nearly full.
So right now, its 7:30, I know because my computer is open, the moon is high in the sky, and the sun set about an hour ago, and back home the moon is barely visible rising stealthily while the sun hangs barely casting colors against the clouds.
So, even though the day seems to wane 3 hours early, it has in fact been a long, leisurely, slow moving day. And supper doesn’t even start until 7:30. Allison is primping to walk in the moon light down to the west end of the island where there is a barbeque happening right now.
It’s X o’clock and all is well.

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