Friday Night

It is Friday evening at home. A very long week comes to an end, and the weekend begins. On social media, some friends are still posting about the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Others are posting prayer requests for friends having difficult times. Some are posting pictures of their trips to Cape Cod. We are planning heading out to the Cape in a few weeks.

I’ve mostly caught up on various social media and emails; at least enough to call it a night shortly. I’ve written a little. Not as much as I would like, but that is because I’m so tired.

Years ago, I lived on a sailboat in New York City. There was a school teacher on the boat next to mine. She talked about her Friday evenings. Taking two aspirin and going to bed. I’ll skip the aspirin, but I’ll head off to bed really soon.

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August 6th

The Feast of the Transfiguration. The 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. The 50th anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act. The 63rd anniversary of my parents getting married. Jon Stewart’s final Daily Show. The Republican debate. A long day at work.

There is so much that can be written about. Yet it is also after my oldest daughter’s visit and Falcon Ridge. I am tired and cannot find the thread. Perhaps some other time.

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Chevy Volt Stats

We got our used Chevy Volt about eleven months ago. It had around 21,000 miles on it and had used 229 gallons of gasoline. Today, I checked some of the numbers. We now have over 41,000 miles on it and burnt a total of 350 gallons. So, by my calculations, we’ve gotten about 160 miles per gallon of gasoline used.

From various calculations, it seems like we get around 40 miles per gallon when we are using gas. If this is accurate it would mean that we’ve probably driven about 6,000 miles on gasoline and 13,000 miles on electricity.

Using MyGreenVolt, the times I’ve checked I’m probably averaging about 4.5 miles per kWh. Again, if this is an accurate calculation, then we’ve probably used 2,900 kWh in the Volt.

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What Is It Like...?

What is it like,
O Seraphim and Cherubim
to be seated around the source
of all beauty, joy, and love
and receive news
of great sadness;
the loss of hoped for
beauty, joy, and love?

I received the news
sitting on the hills
of Falcon Ridge
a place of beauty, joy, and love,
where angles rub shoulders
with sinners
and the Creator’s creatures
create.

The third time’s the charm
she thought to herself
as her egg,
fertilized in a petri dish
began to grow
in her womb.

As her hope grew
they painted the nursery
planned the baby shower
and prepared the schedule
of visiting relatives
coming to celebrate and help.

In her twenty-sixth week
after achieving viability,
she felt, what seemed at the time
unbearable pain.

Then the water broke.

Hope and fear
ebbed and flowed
that first week in the hospital
as friends prayed
and shared words of encouragement.
Then came the greatest grief and pain.

Stillborn.

I lift up my eyes to the hills
as a full moon rises
over the verdant beauty
as a songwriter sings
of sharing
beauty, joy, and love
simply, with neighbors.

What is it like,
O Seraphim and Cherubim
to be seated around the source
of all beauty, joy, and love
and receive news
of great sadness?

It is more than mere mortal minds
can comprehend.

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A Tiny Baby's Hands: Falcon Ridge and Isaac

One of my favorite songs at Falcon Ridge is Susan Werner’s, “May I Suggest?”, especially when covered by Red Molly with their tight harmonies.

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of your life
May I suggest
This time is blessed for you
This time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright

So, I was excited to hear Susan Werner sing at the Gospel WakeUp Call. Yet instead of singing something that would inspire the crowd to show a little more love to strangers, she spent her time casting judgment on those often criticized for being too judgmental, “creepy preachers, With their narrow minds and very wide lapels”. As if the CoExist bumper sticker on so many people’s cars at Falcon Ridge, didn’t include room to CoExist with some Christians.

My disillusionment was already growing by the time she got to “May I Suggest”, which is why one line, I’d always loved before, struck me as particularly disturbing. On Friday of Falcon Ridge, Isaac James Houston was stillborn. For months, I had been praying for his parents, who had struggled so hard to conceive a child.

May I suggest continues,

There is a world
That's been addressed to you
Addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
Like a treasure chest to you
Of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerise
A lover's trusting smile
A tiny baby's hands

A tiny baby’s hands. Margaret posted

I've been given a memory box of things - Isaac's footprints and handprints

A tiny baby’s hands: they can bring great joy, and great sadness. I tried to hold both the joy and sadness in my heart at Falcon Ridge, which I’ve always thought was about the closest to heaven I’ve ever gotten to on earth.

As part of my own journey recently, I’ve been reading “My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer” by Christian Wiman. The second chapter is “Sorrow’s Flower” and seems to speak well to this holding of joy and grief at the same time.

While I hope that Susan never has to experience the grief that Margaret is experiencing or that Christian writes about, but I do hope that she might get a better understanding of the faith that sustains people during incredible suffering, and become more compassionate, even to those whose religion she despises.

So, instead of listening to “May I Suggest” this evening, I am listening to Fallen Flowers by Willy Welch. It is a song we wrote for some friends of ours who had also just lost a baby way too early.

In the moment of the passing of a child from the world
as his silent roars like thunder in the night
continue to remember when your rage will not be still
and the morning seems too far away to promise any light…
faith is all we’re given like a lantern in the night
so guard it for his glory
its our only weapon in the fight.

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