Huh? What’d you say?…

The less I hear these days, the more I really hear.

I’ve noticed lately that I need to turn the TV set up louder and louder.  I find myself asking my wife to repeat herself with too great an occurrence.  When my youngest speaks to me I seem to pick out only about 75% of what she is saying.  Don’t get me started on what it’s like to talk with someone in a room where others are speaking as well.  I find myself smiling like an idiot and kindly agreeing because I can’t make head or tails out of anything being said.

It’s time to face the facts…I’m losing my hearing and I can’t ignore the inevitable any longer.

As this awareness has overtaken me I’ve become more aware of what it is I can hear.  I find myself closing my eyes often listening with greater concentration to the little sounds I’ve ignored and given  minimal attention.  So much that has been taken for granted and not valued, only when presented an oncoming limitation does true importance arise.

Lying in bed at night listening attentively to the pulsing breath of my wife as she sleeps so soundly, hearing the dog stretch his body and roll over on the carpet time and time again, the soft roar outside of the crickets and cicadas as they sing their respective songs of slumber.  I hear the click of the air conditioner on the thermostat as the cooling begins again for the evening.

If I am really still, if I really concentrate, I can hear the faint sound of my own breath.  That’s me I hear!  The slow, deliberate inhale of pure life followed by the same determined exhale of the toxins that seek to destroy me is a reminder of a gift. I am alive!  The creator has put this all in place within me so that I can better understand and experience the wonder and grace of humanity.

Maybe I’m grateful this auditory event has taken place and caused me to slow down and think ever so inwardly.  Focus on the moment, seize now, become one with the present.  This is what the masters of old have told us we need to do to see God.  Maybe they were on to something.

I had a visit last night and it was spectacular.

Slow down and be at peace.  Be still and see God.

Why I do My Own Laundry

It’s really not a big deal.  It requires a limited amount of exertion and effort.  I can do many other things while I’m in the process of doing it.  See, I told you, no biggie for me to do my own laundry.  Maybe it’s just all about perspective.  Seeing this as less of a dreaded project as it is a means to an end.

In college doing laundry WAS a big event.  It meant gathering all my clothes from all reaches of my domain.  Sometimes this meant crawling under the bed and others called for reached dangerously behind the dresser.  Keeping up with socks never slowed me down.  I just played the math.  If you keep buying new socks, eventually after losing enough you still will possibly have two pair that somewhat resemble each other.  Once that was completed, the task of seeking out the required change for the machine came to light.  Never ever did I seem to have the right amount of change and begging for quarters, dimes and nickels was an accepted protocol.  Toting this heavy bundle of smelly clothes across town to the laundry mat was enough exercise for an unmotivated college student.  Then the process of washing, drying, and folding began in the often times a hot, stuffy and poorly ventilated room.  It seemed to take an insanely long time to finish and then it was time to lug the clothes back and put them away.  Check this off as complete.  Now it was time to do something else, anything else to take my mind off laundry and on to something sane, like surfing or skateboarding.

This is why I hated doing laundry.  I’m convinced this is why so many men likewise dislike doing it as well.  The foundation of the exercise for us seemed so distant from the way our mothers did it at home.  It sure was easy with good old mom doing it all the time.

Fast forward…My wife works very hard.  She juggles many responsibilities and brings a shine to the finished outcome.  One day while watching her do the laundry after working just as long and hard of a day as I had I gave pause.  Why should she have to do this task for me?  Why can’t I do this and free her up a few minutes and allow her to relax just as I desire to relax.  Seems fair, and isn’t that what a relationship should be based on, Fairness?

The thought of some guy sitting on the couch with his pants unbuttoned, allowing his belly breathing room, eating cheetos, and downing a cold one asking my daughter to wait on him makes me want to inflict great bodily harm.  I just can’t sit by idly and not set the bar extremely high today so they never fall into a trap of servitude.

My daughters have noticed this change in our family and hopefully paid careful attention.  I desire that they see that the value of a woman is just as important as the value of a man.  That woman was not put on this earth to tend to the wishes and impulses of a man.  I want them to see that real love is a shared partnership where each work together to make the others life more enjoyable.  I can talk about this until I’m short of breath but until my girls see me living out this promise, they may not grasp it as their own.  That is why I do my own laundry…to give my girls a better quality of life.

Girls, seek to find someone who will enhance you.  Look for a partner who will desire to make your life more pleasurable and enjoyable.  Make them desire to seek new ways to make you happy.  Find someone who dreams as big as you do…and chase those dreams into a living reality.

Rocky’s Coming to Town…

I get less and less capable of accepting thinking promoted by small-minded church goers each and every day.  People who seem to understand their grasp on the world represents the interests of the almighty and they are the sole messengers of eternal truth. This same truth seems to only be somehow revealed to these extremists and the rest of us are nothing more than a floating particle drifting aimlessly in the vacuum of the universe.  I wonder… no, that doesn’t really do justice to my lack of comprehension; I’m befuddled how I read from the same writ of hope and walk away with such drastically different conclusions.

Our community theatre has recently chosen to do a production of Rocky Horror Picture Show, which granted isn’t everyone’s favorite blend of coffee.  Yet, it’s an opportunity to bring people together for fun, festivity, and frolic.  The town makes Halloween evening a large event that brings about community, the kind so described in the teachings of the master.  The kind where people of all stripes come together to enjoy the oneness we all share.  Young and old, rich and poor, locals and visitors, as well as people with accents and those without, each coming as life currently finds them.  Community isn’t a melting pot where all are unified in thought and mind resulting in a society of clones incapable of original thought.  Community is where people who have differences work together to appreciate what the other brings to the table in life and celebrate the finished product.

So the big Baptist church has come to the conclusion that this production is harmful to the children and will lead to eventual eternal destruction of the town.  Really?  Instead of working to help those with real problems; lack of housing, hungry children, unwanted babies in foster care, grim employment options, and racism.  Instead of working towards a solution to these very real problems, this local church is using its energy and resources to protest a silly show that makes no claim toward anything other than entertainment.

This is the mentality that tells us to stay away from Halloween for fear of the evil influences that hide in the shadows seeking damnation to those unsuspecting participants.  These same purveyors of promise who previously told us we should avoid Disney World because fantasy fun parks that allow everyone to enter without passing an entrance exam are harmful to the family.  Yet, these same ideologues will promote fear and evil based entertainment that advances a crazed fundamentalist perspective, like the” Left Behind” series of heresy.

As I get older I find myself less tolerant of the intolerant.

I can’t wait for the Rocky Horror Picture Show to come to our community theatre.  I’ve loved the silliness of the show since I was a stupid zit faced teenager.  Bring on the zaniness, bring on the extreme, bring on the outlandish…it’s all in good fun.

Someone tell the zealots of faith that fun is not a crime.  Maybe if they had a little more fun they wouldn’t be such miserable creatures.  These are the monsters we should be afraid of by protesting their influence on our children.

“Let’s do the Time Warp”