It’s What We Do

This past weekend, I set my alarm for Too Early on A Saturday O’clock, showered, dressed up and then grumpily drove for two hours into the heart of Minnesota farm land. I had a funeral to attend. The father of a friend of mine had passed peacefully at 92 years old and, well, I guess we needed to bear witness. It was not my first choice of weekend activities, to be honest. But it need to be done.

So we gathered in the church, heard and said all the right things. Then we ate the ritual ham sandwiches on white buns and drank the instant lemonade. We made the required small talk. We toasted Leonard’s memory with the traditional weak, lukewarm coffee. Such are the Middle American Christian funeral rites. Continue reading

More Than a Feeling

It’s fall in Minnesota.

fall leavesWell, other places, too, I suppose. But I am in Minnesota, and after 50 Minnesota falls, I know the signs. Things are dying. Other things are turning brilliant colors. And a few things seem to inexplicable just disappear back into the ground. Night comes sooner. Mornings are frosty and getting dark. Folks are digging out jackets and scarves. Heating repair companies are impossible to get a hold of.

But the biggest, most personal sign is I morph into a giant Pooh Bear, wandering aimlessly around, scratching myself and whining “Where is honey?” Continue reading

Brought to This Moment

I am a just under a week back from the second weekend of my enneagram training. It took me a while to catch up on sleep, on housework and work-work. And, once again, it has taken me a while to process what I learned, or more accurately what I experienced. There is so much I want to write about, and what I want to write is such a combination of personal insight and new information and gut responses, that I am having trouble knowing where to start. It seems I am so overwhelmed that when people ask me about the training all I can do is tell them about what we ate.

So let me start by telling you about a meal. Continue reading

It’s OK. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK

Sunday night I finished the the second long weekend of my enneagram training. There is so much to process I can barely get my mind around it, even with the 12-hour trip home from Detroit. I will be writing about it soon; it’s one of the next steps I have promised myself I will take. Besides, I have promised too many people to back down now. But I want to get this one post written before it leaves me. The title comes from a fellow participant this weekend. She was so emphatic when she said it — it struck such chord with me — that I began writing this on the spot. Maybe we all need to hear this.

It’s OK.

It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. Continue reading

Life is Like Coding

It’s a beautiful fall day in Minnesota. The sky is that amazing September blue and completely clear. The sun is warm, but the breeze has a hint of cool in it and is strong enough to rattle the drying leaves just enough to make them sound like a waterfall every minute or two. I love these days.

My garden is about done thanks to some unseasonably hot and dry weather the past few weeks. We’ve reached that lovely point where gardening meets fatalism. There’s no point in weeding or mowing; it will all be dead soon anyway. The tomatoes are either dead or overripe. All that’s left is pulling up the annuals, cutting back the perennials, mulching what needs care for the winter and hauling everything to the compost site. As much as I love that process, it’s not time yet. So, I must spend my time like every other gardener, sitting on my porch, sipping a cup of thoughtful tea and writing about how gardening is a metaphor for life. Continue reading