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May 5th, 2003

Return to Early Spring

Last night when I drove my rental car from the Detroit airport, I noticed that many trees here don't have leaves yet, and that many flowering trees are in the kind of rampant flower we experienced in March in Texas. Michigan must not be the same place as Texas--what's more, it must be to the north.

I went to one of those "non-chain" neighborhood pizza places, where they brought me a huge deep dish cheese pizza. I remember college days when "non-chain" pizza was a kind of gourmet experiences, but those places in my old college town are now all closed, as cardboard pizza sells better because it's faster and cheaper to buy. I rather like the taste of cardboard, actually, but I don't think one should admit things all the things one learned in kindergarten in a public weblog.

I have two books from the Saturday church rummage sale. I love to buy old hardcover books about which I know nothing, based on their texture and cover pattern alone. One was by the author of Magnificent Obsesssion, so I was expecting something of one type, but in fact it's a book about an Arabian princess who meets Christ and John the Baptist. I don't read many arabian-princess-encounters-the-divine novels these days, so it's a change of pace for me. I also got something which I considered of maximum kitsch value--a book of aphorisms by famous folks throughout the ages, collected as "Dale Carnegie's Scrapbook". On every page, right by Pliny the Edler and Marcus Aurelius and William James, Dale pitches in with a phrase about how if you smile at people, they often smile back. I notice that, although I make fun of "positive thinking" once in a while, I have a better time in life when I do in fact think positively. It's probably a sin of some sort, but I'm not sure which. I imagine it's an "off label" sin. You know, not one of the Seven Deadly Sins, where you get to wreak havoc or engage in rampant carnality, but instead a sin too minor to qualify for the list. For such sins, which we'll term the "off label list", one does not go to Hell; one just becomes pretty much what I am today. It's damnation in a minor key!
I feel pretty positively about that. I believe, actually, that s/he would tries to save his/her life will lose it, and s/he who tries to lose it in an intriguing way will surely save it. I think that Grace hides out, sometimes, startling those heedless of its power. It's like a velvet ant--you think it's all attractive and ornate, and then it stings you into a different consciousness. I'm mostly conscious of a need to sort documents and eat dinner, though, so I cannot pretend to a higher plane.

I wish I could fly a few hundred miles north, to a Canadian woodland, where I'd wander aimlessly, experiencing what there is to experience. Had I planned better, I guess I could have come early and done that this past weekend.
But actually, I have a different wanderlust these days. I want to spend more time in very familiar places, but finding new things. Remember being a kid? No car, a bike with a limited permitted radius of travel, and yet the world was so vast. I want to sit in my front yard, looking at the flowers, or in the local park, soaking in just everything. I want to think positively about improving, and not spend my life chasing down boredom. I thought this evening how lucky I am--my work is a LOT of work, but it is virtually never boring. I want to make my leisure the same way.

Our friend Donna proposes entering my now-finished CD in a
"not very talented" musical contest. This sounds like a good idea. I want so badly to get the jewel case inserts printed out, and distribute this CD to all who want it. Is this bad of me?, I wonder. Is it permissible to glory in self-expression, even without talent? I don't know, but even not knowing, I'll glory anyway.

I need a guppy tank, full of free-flowing feeder ("cull", or "wild" or "the ones you get for a dime") guppies. My ambitions in life these days run to meeting my deadlines, enjoying my cases, splashing creatively everywhere with an unsteady hand, and enjoying the wonderful folk in my family.
I feel a sort of Spring bloom inside, and joy won't be denied.