Happy New Year!

I don’t want to abuse the metaphor of 2020 as a vision of the year to come. Honestly, metaphorically, most days I can’t see beyond the tip of my nose, with or without glasses. I glance back occasionally, but there is really “no use of looking up a dead horses arse” like coach Walker said after a Jr. High football loss. So, in effect, 2020, is like waking up to another good old new day by the grace of God.

Twenty some minutes into 2020, on our way back from festivities in Allegan, our Ford Flexed as a deer got all up in our grill. We hit it dead on. The deer timed it perfectly to square off with 55mph bullet. I didn’t swerve. No time to. The brakes were applied like a knee-jerk afterthought. Was the animal suicidal or just trying to beat a train of sorts? The doe, fortunately, didn’t come through the windshield. Instead, what happened, at least to those of us who were watching, couldn’t be described without the onset of nausea. All of the humans were startled, but safe; the deer…oh, deer.

Makes me wonder what startling things lay in the year ahead. I mean, last year many things got up in our grill. Think about it. If we have a heartbeat, life has its double edges, does it not? Last year was so 2019 with “Oh, the humanity” splayed throughout. I admit, this is from me, Forrest Grump (My self- imposed term of endearment from this holiday season), and I tend to see through a glass darkerly. The blessings arrive as surprises too, if I am paying attention. The daily reading from Frederick Buechner, January 1st, encourages listening to your life.

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” Frederick Buechner

Not only that, but mercies are new each morning. Forrest Grump is double covered by the God of the universe. Grace and mercy. Mercy and grace. Speak Lord. Teach me to listen. Whether the deer is up in our grill, or a calming vision in a cornfield at dusk, help us God, to wend our way through 2020 with our hearts wide open.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Blues…”Woke Up This Mornin’…” Thoughts On A New Year.

Cliff diving any one? I am not saying go jump off a cliff. While Congress clenched their fiscals we came to the end of the year surrounded by life, liberty and the pursuit of happenings. There is evidence lying/laying everywhere including teenage girls strewn about on our basement floor. Our house filled and emptied over night and fireworks could be seen just over the distant tree line as time and space birthed a new year. I thank God the Mayans weren’t the only ones who designed a way to keep track of our earth’s laps around the sun. For breakfast I drank dark Cafe’ Verona roast and consumed beans & franks and a miniature spice cupcake.

My finger tips now rest lightly on the keys here and I wonder if I will have anything in 2013. Gathering words from the swirling brain cells (Both of them.) and pushing down the plastic squares to form sentences worth reading seems a bit scary of late. I have been taking strolls around the writer’s block for months now it seems. I read much though and experience life here in the revolving door of our house of happenings. They say write from your experience. There is experience everywhere I look. So, what do you want to read about? Or rather, what do I want to write about?…or both.

Snowflakes drift down just far enough apart that if I tried really hard I could count them.

Bacon sizzles as a zombie daughter stands over it.

Buford the bloodhound snores on the couch…

New Year’s Eve, in the midst of convoluted conversation noise, I heard a blues riff in the corner of the living room. Over and over two guitarists laid down the well known ba dah dah ba bum… I sat betwixt them and waited on my muse to lyric the music. Nothing came. No words. They kept laying it down and I sat on me duff.

I am determined not to come up empty in 2013! We all have something to say. In fact, we say much with or without words. Like I responded to a text from a long time friend’s wishes of ‘Happy New Year’…”The world is still spinning and we are hangin’ on!” There were many times in 2012 in which letting go flashed across my mind. The world seemed to spin faster and out of control with Innocents killed, wars and rumors of them, fallen leaders, economies with faint pulses, and not to mention my own faint of heart self. Hmmm.

I am still here. You are still here. Ever ask why? Don’t spend a lot of time with this question, but do ask. Maybe when your eyes first peel open as you lie on a new day is a good time to ask away. I ask with the expectation of a still small voice response. The other day I said a short prayer: (My prayers seem to be shorter and shorter, but more to the point.)  Lord, touch my heart.

The day went as expected. Lisien, my special needs child, asks every evening when I arrive home “how was your day daddy?” My standard reply is “Long and arduous.” That night she even answered the question herself with a smile…”I know, long and arduous, right?” Hmmm. What is my family catching from me with these words? Better change the conversation even if each day IS long and arduous.

My wife and I planned a date to see the movie Les’ Miserables that evening. I almost backed out because I was kind of whipped from a day of grannie stepping deliveries to each door because of ice and snow. I tend to nod off in movies anyway and I heard Les Mis was stellar. I didn’t want to miss any part of it. We went with my oldest son. My heart was deeply touched and I remembered the morning prayer. After the credits and music stopped I thought: We need more Jean Valjeans in this world. Can I become one? Can you?

Short Prayer: Lord, mold my heart. May the choices I make today be the change for a better tomorrow.

I mean it. This isn’t a Hallmark commercial…:)