November 24th, 2002

abstract butterfly

spaces between moments

We arose today fairly early, and watched the movie in which the Marine is marooned on the island with the nun, while the Japanese soldiers are all around. Then we went to church, where they had a "no sermon" Thankgiving service. I like "no sermon" services sometimes, when people just tell their stories directly to the congregation. The theme this time was holiday celebration. They chose different family configurations, ranging from a young singleton to a gay couple to a traditional family to an immigrant family to a family in which the father was dying of Lou Gehrig's disease to a precocious 11 year old who was more articulate than most adults (her definition of love for which she is thankful to her family members? ice packs for when she fell, and books). This sounds a bit stage-y as I type it, but it was extremely effective, punctuated with songs like "'tis a gift to be simple". Then we had a communion, which is odd because in the U/U church we really don't "do" sacraments all that often (though we do tend to make our own, or un-make our own, or intellectualize our own, or mythologize our own, depending on the individual). Still, the communion was suitably U/U--cranberry juice and cornbread and the minister being careful to explain that when we are thankful to God, some perceive God merely as the natural world, and so forth. I tend to believe in all sorts of things, but it's nice to make a comfortable place for skeptics or followers of other paths. I reach the point nowadays when I am not interested in one's dogma, I am interested in one's heart and soul.

Then we drove home, where I had to try to get my car in 1/4 presentable condition to drive to the nanowrimo meeting in Richardson. I am one of life's disorganized people, so I usually don't worry too much about my inner car chaos. However, this time I was giving a ride to nanowrimo "winner" mtired, who lives in the same suburb in which I live. Right now my white Ford is looking particularly besieged, as I have not gotten the body shop to fix the minor dent from my fender bender, and the car looks like it needs a good stop at the robo-wash. Still, I got the interior in sufficient shape to be only mildly embarrassing in time to be only 10 minutes late for pick up, so things worked out.

This was the third nanowrimo group meeting I've attended. They have all been an excellent time. They involve 7 to 9 people who have little in common in many ways, but who all see the absurd fun in creating something wordy for nearly no reason in a 30 day time span. We met at Cafe Brazil, where I got a fine order of scrambled eggs and bacon, virtually the only "not the healthy thing" I've eaten in a week. The conversation was fun, although I always worry I get so excited that I talk too much. I find myself wanting to read everyone's novel, even those with high body counts (my novel's body count is "one", by the way, but the character does not go out in Peckinpah fashion). insanity_burst brought all kinds of cool nervousness.org ATC's and mail art cards, so we had a great deal of cool stuff to examine and enjoy. We're all going to try to have a celebratory bowling excursion on 12/16. I hope that my trial that week does not cause me to be unable to attend. I love this feeling of making all these new friends. It's so important to be connected to kindred spirits. I am coming to the belief that one must make one's connections directly, because the established ways of doing so don't really link one up all that well. The nanowrimo group folks impress me so much, that I hope I can stay in touch with everyone after the writing is over.

When I dropped off mtired, the Neil Young song "Like a Hurricane" was filtering up through my little car stereo, from the 2 dollar cassette I bought at the New Hope yard sales back in September. Appropriately, the clouds were gathering, as the first heavy winter weather began to blow in. I saw butterflies and flowers in bloom today, but tomorrow it is supposed to get down into freezing weather. These kinds of swings are very season-appropriate here, but I'll miss the warm weather--what a wonderful Fall this was!
I did get a great visual, though--as I pulled back onto Stacy Road, I saw the sun peaking through pink horizon skies, above which were placed a field of huge purple thunderhead clouds. At that moment, the song "Cortez the Killer" came on the car stereo, and this little space between moments seemed so right.

I went to the Dollar General and bought a dollar's worth of mail art supplies. Then I went to the Bethany Lakes Park, and enjoyed 70 degree weather and awe-inspiring clouds, as I took a quick stroll around the ponds. I went back home, and used my exuberance over such a good day to complete one of my nervousness.org exchanges and get it mailed out.

Then my wife had cooked up this wonderful stuff called taco soup, and I watched parts of the Wizard of Oz, which is just so lovely. I will have to get into the office early tomorrow, and fly tomorrow night, but I feel good about the coming week anyway.