Wednesday, October 26, 2011

33 minutes that will rock your world

Until today, I've had this sort of meaningless hangup about including photos or videos in my blog life. I inflicted myself with the vague challenge to always aim for posts written well and clearly enough to not need such crutches. I haven't abandoned that idea altogether, but I'm going to have to give up on it as a law, because this video has to be posted.

Actually, it's already phenomenally popular, and I'm a bit of a latecomer to the scene, so there's a fairly good chance that many or most of you have already seen this. But if you haven't, here's your chance.

I'll warn you, the video deals in part with the Holocaust, and includes some graphic imagery. It's not for children.

Prepare to have your world rocked.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

hope and change might be mutually exclusive

There's no use denying it any longer - I'm a stupidly sentimental person.

One time, a few years ago, Mom wanted to throw away this old whiteish blanket we had (in earlier days it had also incorporated other colors), which had been used and abused to the point that it finally occupied more negative space than positive. With no pretense toward melodrama, this prospect saddened me significantly. That blanket had been a part of our living room arrangement - in three or four different houses - for as long as my young brain could remember having a living room.It had always found its home cast more or less gracefully over the arm of the denim couch (now another relic of the irretrievable past). Always, that is, except for when it had to do time standing in for us kids as a wedding dress, Rapunzel's hair, a dog sled, wings, a flag, a turban, part of a tent, or a puddle of lava.

I asked Mom if I could have the blanket instead of throwing it away, and for several months I kept it wadded up in a ball under my bed. I got used to our living room without it, comforted subconsciously that it nevertheless still existed. Then I forgot that it did exist. Then, some time later, a cleaning spree turned it back up, and I found myself finally enough distanced to accept the idea of discarding the useless, old, long-beloved thing. Beloved, perhaps, merely by virtue of being owned, and even then only realized as such at the point of impending separation - but circumstances aside, still beloved.

Just writing this inspires little twinges of guilt when I recall my final decision to, yes, relegate that piece of my childhood to the trash.

In passages of more recent history (say, within the last few days), I was seized with a fit of organizational madness, and spent an evening restructuring the layout of Cami's and my undersized bedroom, in order to fit this thing here, that thing there, use this space better, and get the electric keyboard out of the kitchen. It worked out quite well, if you don't mind my saying so. (And the keyboard ended up in an empty part of Dad's  office.)

I confess, I may have inherited my Grandma's fabled furniture-moving disease. It's hard to predict where things will be in her house from one visit to the next, and I know people who find this perplexing. I am not one of them.

But I spent that night, much of the next day, and most of the evening following, thoroughly creeped out by the change. My dresser has been under the window ever since we switched bedrooms with the boys several years ago. And all of a sudden - fwoop! there it is on the opposite wall. The plain white shelves Dad built way back when, and which have more or less always been included somehow in our bedroom set, are now in another room entirely. And a weird old green chair I'm barely even acquainted with must suddenly be welcomed into our most private lives. How do we know it isn't a spy? I ask you.

But seriously. It was a little creepy and melancholy at first. I'm getting used to it. And - yes, irrelevantly - it's also made me briefly contemplate my persistent singleness in an innovative new light ... one which sheds a unique appreciation onto the fact that God has so far kept me from the good - but, by all accounts, monumentally life-altering - changes that accompany matrimony. Quite possibly a mercy in disguise, because in light of recent (and other remembered) events, I'm not at all sure I would survive them.