Sunday, April 22, 2007
William Oliver May was taken to be with the Lord yesterday. He was Stephen's Papa, and so much more. He was my grandfather too. I grew up never knowing my biological grandfathers. When I was a little girl I wanted a grandfather so much, that one of the elders in our church kindly offered to be my surrogate grandfather and even said I could call him grandfather. Kind as his offer was, it just wasn't the same. Then, there was Bill.
I first met Bill as Stephen's girlfriend, while visiting him in Sarasota. He gave me a big hug and a kiss. I was instantly attached. Later, as Stephen and I struggled through our first year of marriage, he and Elsie opened their home to us on the weekends and we found ourselves there relaxing around the pool, sleeping in, visiting the Greek district and the Sponge Docks. On each of this visits I was always greeted with the same outpouring of love. "Well Helloooooo!!!" followed by that lovely whiskery kiss and a hug. Sometimes he would say "There she is!!" Bill and Elsie never made me feel like a visitor or an in-law. Secretly, I came to think of Bill as my Papa too, that longing my heart had felt for so many years was fully satisfied in those precious times spent with him. I even loved waking up in the wee hours to the sound of Bill snoring away in his chair downstairs. I loved him so much that I am not sure that I am fully able to describe how much I will miss him.
I am thankful that our Lord is a merciful, faithful, and loving God. I am thankful for Bill's peaceful passing and the knowledge that this sweet man is resting with his Heavenly Father. I am thankful for having known him and eternally thankful for the love he shared with me. I cherish every memory of my secret Papa.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
My boss just got back from a trip to Maine - her first. I spent the day thinking about our two trips to Maine thus far and our upcoming WEEK IN MAINE in June with the Mary and Larry show. Its going to be so refreshing. I just used that word because I started to write "awesome "and, I use that word too often. What I should have said is .. magical.. transcendent ..? I can't find my word. Crisp. Ah, there it is. Maine to me is crisp in the most wonderful of ways. I have loads of pictures that I love from Maine but the one above makes me laugh. It's Stephen scrambling up the rocks after getting totally drenched by a huge wave :)
This is from the trip to Montauk. I am mildly obsessed with this image. I am not sure why. I think its the composition of it. It is perfectly balanced in my eye. That is comforting to me. Plus only I know just how big this naked fish was - huge. The wave is just about to take it away but is still in its ascent onto the sand so its fresh and bubbly. I know that I am a little out there but seriously - its just one of those perfect pictures to me.
This one is from Montauk too and makes me blush a little. I had the biggest crush on him that day. Huge crush. I love those days when you are crushing on your spouse. I think it's important to remember what that feels like, and to embrace it - and HIM - when you feel it.
Last but not least, I read an interesting verse today and it really stayed with me all day today.
Mark 1: 40-41 says "A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing" he said. "Be clean."
It was the word "willing" that stood out at me. The man did not say "will you please heal me?". He asked Jesus if He was willing to heal him, and He was, and answered to that effect. I am still processing this. I think that I carry the verse "Ask and you shall receive" around in my head as a back up plan. I know that if I will only ask, He is faithful. That man with leprosy wanted to confirm with Jesus that He was willing to do this healing. In essence, that it was His will to heal the man. The Lord's affirmative answer is really powerful to me. This man was desperate to be healed at any cost of that most terrible disease but he didn't demand or beg he sort of asked Jesus with this incredible amount of faith implicit in his request. He knew he would be healed if Jesus commanded it, but he did not want to presume that it was His will. Thankfully it was. I am no Bible scholar at all but that simple phrase kept flowing through my mind all day "If you are willing.. I am willing." It gave me me all sorts of joy that I don't normally carry around with me. So much so that I was giggling and laughing at anything and everything :) It was kinda fun. Especially good timing too since today we paid our Federal Taxes to the tune of $4300 and on Monday the states will take another $1700 from our miraculous bank account. Not one ounce of panic in this "Type A" heart of mine. Stephen and I are strangely excited to be wiped clean and start fresh. I don't really know why but I am going with it ! Some people cut their hair when they enter a new phase in life.. some people buy new vehicles or clothes or get a tattoo.... In this house we pay our taxes :) I dunno man.. "If you are willing.. I am willing." it feels pretty good.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Happy Easter everybody! I am enjoying my post Redeemer afternoon napping and listening to lovely musically girlie offerings. Tim Keller was fabulous as ever this morning. Once again he spoke about Peter which Stephen and I really love since we both identify with Peter more than some of the other holy folks. I have never been to an Easter service before and the joy and excitement at this one was palpable. I love Redeemer and each Sunday that I make the trek to Manhattan to sit and absorb Tim's sermon, I feel a little more nourished when I leave. We we started there I was in a state of severe spiritual starvation (self imposed as always). Now I am starting to feel a little tight in my spiritual pants. This is a good feeling. It makes me more sure that I really want to get involved more and become a true member. Join a small group and all of that. I keep saying I want to do these things and more and more the Lord is reminding me that I do in fact have the energy I claim to be without. Not only that but He is really giving me a longing to share and be involved with others. He is doing this by making me feel like I am getting fat off of the sweet, delicious and nutritious Sunday sermons. I don't want to be a glutton! You guys saw Seven, right? Anyway, it was a great Easter and I am glad that I am gaining that weight that I have been in such desperate need of.
As for the rest of our weekend.. it went something like this.
I finally got the desire to head into Chelsea to get my art on. It has been awhile folks. Stephen was ECSTATIC. I was cold and got grumpy on our walk to the Subway. Cold weather does that to me sometimes - Hot weather does it Stephen. Typical. Anyway, I decided to tough it out and just go anyway. When we got out at 23rd street, there was a street fair! YAY! Roasted Corn!! NY Street Fairs are pretty lamo in general. They have a couple of venders selling the same sort of things they sell in Time Square or other touristy spots. But, they also have fair food which is always a greasy delight! My sour mood vanished immediately. "See?" Stephen said, " The Lord knew how much you needed some roasted corn today!". Love that guy.
Stephen tried on a hat that was still attached to its family of other hats. It was still too small. Anyone surprised? Poor little big head kid.
New Yorkers love any excuse to eat and walk around in the middle of the street.
Some guy was selling empanadas with mozzarella cheese inside. SO good. We got some kettle corn too, to eat at the movie we were planning to see later.
Ok. So after the street fair we continued on our way to the galleries. This could be art ya'll. Not sure. Its obviously a smashed up cab. BUT, it is not in a gallery, its on the street..NEXT TOO a gallery (Gagosian) .. and ALSO next to a cab repair shop. Hmmm... You be the judge. I determined that it looked pretty photo worthy and thats about it.
There was a pretty fair amout of good art happening. This is a piece at David Zwirner by Gordon Mata Clark who is not longer with us. This was a recreation of a piece or the type of piece he did back in the 70s (?). Very hippie art. It was a very simple bare bones structure with the construction materials left around and inside there were tables and chairs and... food! Rice cookers full of rice and a spicy coconut milk and tofu soup in huge pots, hot and ready to eat. People were wondering in and out of the structure eating and talking, using their laptops. Just hanging out .. in the art, man.. It was pretty fun/cool/neat. It made me wonder how many artists and art students had come by here for lunch in the weeks since its installation :)
Another nice show at Zwirner by Yutaka Sone. They are glass or resin snowflake things. I think they look like snowflake jelly fish. Really fun.
This is some of James Turel's work. I LOVE his work. Its all about fooling the eye. I have this image sideways but you get the idea anyway. These are panels that are hung about 6 inches behind the wall face and they chance colors so slowly you can hardly tell its happening. It looks like the panels are just floating there.. or at first glance, like they are mounted directly on the wall.. but they are not. It really fools with your mind. I like that. Some of his other work has been a lot more interactive and I like that more I think. Rooms that are lit so slightly that you can barely see to walk and strain your eyes in the darkness to keep from stepping on the other people in the room with you. You had to be there I guess but if you ever get the chance to experience his work in person - jump.
This is for Jeremy J. This is that Frank Gery (sp?) building that was being built while you guys were visiting before. It is kinda insane actually. Inside, there are panels that slowly change colors - neon primary colors. They were closed or I would have taken pictures of that too.. guess you guys will just have to come back and visit.
Last but not least.. we saw Grindhouse guys. Quentin Tarantino is my hero, the master, the end all be all of film makers. There are many of my readers that will probably disagree with me so I must classify my remarks. I love his movies. I always walk out of the theater after seeing his films feeling like I am tough as nails and ready to curse a blue streak and ride a Harley at 120 mph down Flatbush Avenue in spike heels and black leather with no helmet and a healthy dose of revenge to exact. He and I kinda have a thing goin' on. Thankfully, Stephen is right there behind me on my bike. He loves QT's films probably more than I do. SO... I won't bore you any further with my personal taste..but I will say if you liked Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill (1 and 2) .. you will love this one too. I could go on and on but I said I wouldn't and I won't. Go see it. It's stinkin' awesome (vroooom..vrooom). Nitee nite.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Something amazing happened to me today, on the subway.
I was listening to a song by "The Weepies" from a mix that arrived in the mail from my good friend Jane. It is titled "gotta have you". I sat on the train, deep in thought, listening to this song. I was thinking of how much it reminded me of the way I feel about my attachment to Stephen. This reminded me of true love, real love, selfless love. That made me think of Stephen's grandmother, Elsie. Which inevitably brought to mind his grandfather, Bill, who has always treated me like his own granddaughter and gives me whiskery kisses on my cheek whenever I see him. I thought of Angie and Morrison and Mary and Larry and Mom and Dad and my Gram. The tears in my eyes started to well up and spill over and down my cheeks. I hid my eyes with my hand so that my fellow commuters would not have to witness my emotional moment. I was crying full blast pretty soon. I have no idea why I was crying, really. I was thinking of people whom I love and cherish and who have become such incredible examples to me in my life. They were really tears of joy mixed with the nostalgia of missed loved ones. I sat there, tears flowing and nose running, tried to snuffle in the privacy of my self imposed invisibility.
We arrived in Brooklyn. As we pulled into the station I raised my head to look out the window to make sure we were where I thought we were. Yep, one more stop to go. I put my head back down. A moment later a folded piece of white paper appeared on my lap. I looked up just in time to see the girl, who had been sitting across from me, leaving the train. I opened the little square of paper and read, "It will get better. Keep your chin up!" with a tiny flower drawn in the upper right hand corner. I immediately smiled, and stopped crying. That girl will never know what her small, sweet gesture did for me. It gave me courage. What she did was so brave, so empathetic and touching. Somehow it didn't even matter that I had not been crying out of frustration or grief, I was so touched by her thoughtfulness that all I could think about was my foolish assumptions of invisibility.
I have come to expect so little of others, to return their gazes as though they were not there. New Yorkers have this ability to look through you, not at you. I have acquired this habit as well. Looking into so many hundreds of eyes, for me, is overwhelming. I assume everyone else does the same. Which is why I spend most of my days in incessant anonymity. My mysterious note writer has given me the courage to start looking into a few eyes. To become visible by acknowledging the visibility of those around me. Thank you mystery girl, for seeing me and reaching out. Your gesture has not gone unappreciated.
This is someone else who has always seen me and I have never been able to be invisible around. I love this picture. Mostly because of the way Megan is looking at Michael. Ah, true love. Touching.