(Strange side note: When I write that word, which I’ve used more than once, I invariably think of a sci-fi movie that took place in a prison in the year 2XXX, and all the prisoners had an “abdominizer” implanted in their stomachs. Rather than being an effortless way to a super six-pack, it was a punishment device. If they tried to escape, the abdominizer ball would sprout wicked blade wings and puree them from the inside out. Being perverse, I kind of thought that would be a great idea for blending soup or clearing clogged drainpipes… You know, unless it got beyond itself and went out of control.)
The iPod “1-2-3-4” song is here. I can only understand a few words of it, but they seem like nice words, and the voice and tune are pretty.
I think my parrot is smart, and it’s been hard work keeping him on the straight and narrow path of virtue and honesty. Not so lucky were the caretakers for this birdie.
Courage, wisdom, fortitude and spirituality. I was reading a post about faith here, where the blogger mentions moments of that hair-raising, eerie feeling that you are not alone in the moment – that something greater, kinder, and wiser is with you. I’ve had those, too.
About 8 years ago, my husband lost his job due to the machinations of a person of evil intent. We were in poor shape financially, the children were all under 12, we hadn’t been here in our little town long, and I was scared – scared that we wouldn’t make it, that my husband would become so depressed that he’d be unable to work or seek work, and that I wouldn’t be able to bring in enough income to keep the wolves at bay. I don’t cry on many shoulders, but I had cried, very briefly, on the shoulder of a female friend who’s had her share of scary moments. It helped, but not enough.
One morning while I was deep in the fear-of-the-future well, I was standing at the kitchen sink, washing a pot. It was early morning, I was the only person awake, and I was crying silently. The sun came through the window; I took a deep breath, put down my head and prayed -- I asked God to grant me the courage, wisdom, fortitude and spirituality I would need to get through the coming days. As they say in 12 step groups, in that moment, I really did give it over to God. I felt the worry slip from my shoulders, the hair on my neck stood up, and I felt a greater presence. Two days later, my husband got a call from his former employer, asking him to come back – they had uncovered the misdeeds of the other fellow, fired him, and wanted to make amends (and keep clients). I’m not saying the two were related, but I know I got through the two interim days with a lighter heart and true hope.
Anyway, when it comes to the topic of faith, that little foursome – courage, fortitude, wisdom and spirituality – represent to me a prayer applicable for life, to whatever greater power a person believes in. And then I think of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. I’ve never been a Catholic, but I believe there is wisdom across the spectrum of faith. When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a local paper published an interview they had with him, and he was quoted as saying something along the lines of “I don’t pray to God to take away the cancer. I pray to him to give me the strength and wisdom to deal with it and to help others to do the same.” I was humbled by that statement, and breathed it in as wisdom that I needed then and continue to need when obstacles arise.
On a more light-hearted note, one of the gals in my knitting group makes me laugh because she has a “punishment” closet for craft projects gone bad. If the project annoys her, has awful instructions, insufficient bits, or is getting on her nerves for any reason, it goes into the closet for being naughty. Eventually, when she feels like she’s able to deal with a truculent, fiddly project, she’ll rootle through her closet and find something that has been suitably punished and bring it out and work on it. She claims, tongue in cheek, that sitting in the closet causes them to rethink their resistance to being crafted and they are much more amenable later. She has one project though that still shows no remorse, despite serving a total of nearly 10 years in the closet. It has not yet been deemed completely unsalvageable, and she optimistically estimates it should be more approachable before the end of the decade.