Monday, August 22, 2011


Life is a workshop sometimes.
“You’ll look back on these days, and smiiiiiiiiile…” This last word was spoken with a musical upturn that made it sound almost like a question. But really it was designed to provoke, and provoke is a good word for it—provoke—the kind of sentimentality that, from time to time, causes one to become seriously ill. It’s like walking through the perfume section at Macy’s. Like downing a large bowl of Lucky Charms cereal doused in sweetened condensed milk. Gag. I’ll not rat out the person I’m distantly quoting here, but sometimes an encouraging word is just too sweet to stomach.

Anyway perhaps I will. Perhaps I will look back on this wild period of my life with fondness. But it won’t be because of my primary avocation right now as a juggler. I juggle just about anything I can get my hands on. Time. Money. Bills. Car maintenance. House repairs. School supplies. Literally anything within my circle of influence cries out to me, “You know you want to juggle me!” I’m just saying, and this is for illustration only, but you know you’re broke when your kid gets semi-seriously hurt and you stop and think twice about whether or not you’ll call a doctor because of the cost involved. In this case, Google came to the rescue slightly, but mostly it was experience, which is highly instructive and which saved the day.

But I’m off track. I wanted to blog about happy things today. Really. I just took a vacation to the Oregon coast a couple weeks ago, and did it on the cheap. It was probably the cheapest family vacation we’ve ever managed. I know it’s true that one can’t spend what one doesn’t have (which is especially true when one has sworn off credit cards for good), but it’s still shocking in a way. Gas ain’t cheap either, but somehow we made it all the way there and back, and even managed to stop off at the Embarcadero in Newport for a night—sans kids—to celebrate our ten year anniversary.

It’s funny how life takes you places you never had designs on going to. And I tried not to sound too pathetic when I apologized to my wife, telling her that, by now at least, I thought things would have been easier, that I would have been able to give her more of the “good life,” at least as defined in the vulgar sense. You know, a nicer house, the Jeep she’s been wanting, a little disposable income. That kind of thing. And of course she told me that those things are peripheral, and I agree wholeheartedly with her. She’s preaching to the choir on that one.

But as I drove home from the coast in my used car—for which I’m thankful—but which required that we dip into our last fifty bucks filling up in Pendleton, I realized my perspective is precarious. One can only dwell so long, after all, in the space where one admits at least, with little to worry about there’s little to worry about. Know what I mean? For instance, when all these financial crises began to wallop the world of international finance in 2007, 08, 09, 10, need I go on, and I saw that some people who had 401(k)s had been completely wiped out, I at least was thankful that I’ve never had one. Nothing to lose, then.

That and I believe. Just generally, for the purposes of the topic of this blog. I believe. I think I’m being prepared for something. I may have an idea what it is, but given the life experience I’ve gained up to now, it’s also safe to say that I could be quite wrong. But there are rumors of potentialities that promise vaguely to me that there may come a day in my future when I can hang up my juggler’s hat for a while. Nothing’s certain in life. That’s especially true right now, for so many of us. If you’re like me, you’re not alone. I think the key is to live one day at a time in deep and profound trust that God is precisely Who He says He is. So that’s what I do.

By the way, I’m totally unable to juggle. I’m not that coordinated. Yet somehow none of these concerns have crashed to the ground. Hm.

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