Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dreamers and Calculators

My dad has this ongoing joke about people being "right brained" or "left brained". One side of the brain is more active than the other, producing artistic, dreamy, deep thinker types on one side, while the other hemisphere fills people with logical, mechanical, practical thoughts. If you are really lucky, you have a good balance of both, which makes people like you more, because you appear less weird...supposedly. Again, it's all about balance.

Ever meet someone who thinks absolutely, completely and entirely different than you? You know, like people who blog? They think these odd thoughts, then take precious time to write them down, then risk life and limb by posting them on the internet for all the world to see? Such strange and twisted people, they are. I've met some really "interesting" people who think so differently than me that they are actually interesting to talk to. Their stories are off the wall and I like taking one of those brief vacations from my way of thinking in order to go where no man has gone before, into their world...I stress the word brief. It's like going to the ocean and just sticking your feet in the cold, uncertain expanse flowing before you. Don't dive in, you might choke on the unfamiliar salt water or even drown. Just dabble and let God's great, diverse creativity overwhelm you for a moment.

Fortunately, I have been taught not to make fun of people who think from the opposite hemisphere. That is just ignorant and proud...unless of course you are married to one and then it provides YEARS of entertainment. Opposite thinkers often marry, because they balance each other out. Two extremists, blended together in order to make a healthy, functioning single being. Whether it's a spouse or just a dear friend, we need to give each other liberty and respect for different ways of thinking. God made us to depend on one another so that we would learn to appreciate one another...that's my very cool God being wise again. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go 'round, both the dreamers and the calculators are God's design. We may never understand them, but we can love them, live with them and benefit from their strangeness...I mean uniqueness...whatever, just refrain from calling them names or tripping them as they walk through the grocery store isle with arms full of tofu.

I posted a video on facebook once of Luccino Pavarati and Jon Bon Jovi singing "Let it Rain" together. It is still one of my favorite things to watch. Two absolutely different worlds colliding to make something really beautiful. Pavarati didn't snicker at Bon Jovi's black leather suit (that we know of) and Bon Jovi didn't expect his duet partner to dance around the stage seductively (thank goodness). They used their God given talents together for a good and honorable cause.

That's what my husband and I do...I dance around the living room in flowing white dresses while he sits and figures out how to balance the bass and treble on the stereo better. He's so cute :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thanks for Nothin' Nietzsche

So, here is a nutshell history of human thought:

Ancient Times (Prehistory is an oxymoron)- "I know God exists because I just talked with him"

Middle Ages- "God exists, but I'm not sure what He's saying, so let's make up a story about Him and do crazy things in response"

The Enlightenment- "I've decided that God might not exist because I'm thinking more now and He doesn't make logical sense to the way, I'm really smart and basically good"

Modern Era- "If we just follow reason and science, we will find God and the truth!"

Postmodern Era- "We couldn't find God and the truth because all the rest of the idiot world isn't reasonable like us and we can't agree. There are limits to what science can prove, so I guess I can't really know God after all. HEY...LET"S JUST ALL MAKE UP OUR OWN GOD STORY AND MAKE IT OUR OWN LITTLE TRUTH! " There can be a gazillion God stories out there to believe...only one will be true and saving, but we'll have fun and peace in the meantime!

I'm trying to understand the history of philosophy better these days. Am I sort of close to accurate in my summary? I was more of a science student and missed out on a lot of amazing information through my school years...another reason why I love homeschooling :) History is the only academic subject I insist on doing WITH the kids because Mom needs to know these things! Although we have heard the saying before "History repeats itself" I don't think we are paying enough attention to how knowing that can help us. We just continue to think the same thoughts, come up with the same answers or un-answers and forget that others before us did the same and we can read about it. Read about the dangers of abandoning the notion of God in exchange for self worship or even the dark, hopeless beliefs of Nietzsche. This postmodern German philosopher is famous for his brilliant quote "God is dead." He suffered from severe mental illness leading to death, by the way.

Postmodern thought has contributed, I believe, to much of the rebellion, suffering and suicide our culture experiences today. Believing that there must be a God, but we can't know Him is a very depressing and hopeless thought. You CAN know God. You can know what He is like, what He has done and will do, how you were made and what will make you happy, both now and even after this temporal life. It's the simplicity of trusting His word, the Bible. Many think this is foolish thinking, but I believe it anyway and have daily joy in it. Everyone is thought of as a fool by someone. The important thing is not to be RIGHT all the time in your thinking, but to be right with God in His thinking.

I love the way Michael card puts it:

So surrender the hunger to say you must know,
Have the courage to say I believe,
For the power of paradox opens your eyes,
And blinds those who say they can see.

"God is alive and well"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How 'bout Rome...for Lunch??

Ok, so I'm having one of those 'can't shut my brain off" kind of weeks. I would like someone to invent a robot pill that allows me to just do the laundry, make dinner, help the kids and wait in the doctor's office contently without thinking about the meaning of life or world peace. We dreamers sometimes have a hard time with the regular, the familiar and the boring. Even though I may be wearing Levis and a ponytail, In my mind I'm dressed for safari or planning my second honeymoon. It can be a bit difficult, on those days to do the responsible things and not hop on a plane to Rome to check out the ruins. Seriously, you have no idea of the daydreams one crazy housewife can muster up.

It used to be a bit of an emotional problem in my younger years, but I'm getting the hang of how to handle it now. I have a great coach who helps me find the balance between reality and fantasy. It's really quite entertaining for him to hear my ponderings, fortunately, he doesn't call me a nutbar or a try to make me like him, he just helps me sort those things that can really happen from those that might have to wait...for hell to freeze over...then we will consider the adventure. Sometimes his advice involves the words "Just roll over and go to sleep. You'll feel better in the morning." I used to be offended by that, but not anymore. Now, I remember that not every thought needs to be entertained and analyzed, sometimes I need to "take every thought captive" as the Bible says and exercise self control, for my own peace of mind.

Smothering the dreaminess is not good either. Use your powers for good, not evil. It really helps make homeschooling exciting and creative. It transforms into entertainment and brief adrenalin rushes of laughter for the whole family to enjoy. It just colors the world a bit when things are looking a little gray. It helps to remember that King David, Peter the disciple of Jesus and even Martin Luther were passionate dreamers. Left to full expression, it would be tragic...sort of Lady Gaga tragic...but kept in check and properly dispersed, it can be a wonderful, creative, God honoring masterpiece.

God knows what I need even before I need it. When I feel the need for "fun", creative expression or some kind of change, I tell Him, then watch for His leading. He doesn't make us this way then tell us to "put a cork in it", but He doesn't intend for it to be used for our own satisfaction or intentions either. I think that is why so many famous artists, entertainers or writers end up depressed and suicidal. The passions of the mind are not managed well and given to the Creator for healthy expression. In the words of Rich Mullins, "We are not as strong as we think we are". My own imagination and dreams cannot become my god, but can be used by God and will bring Him glory and me, satisfaction.

Gotta go make breakfast and weed the garden...pretending to be Julia Childs and planning the second honeymoon all the while :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Name is Holly...and I am a Plate Spinner

Ever have the eye opening experience of living with yourself? Children are truly a gift from God, and His gifts are sometimes practical jokes. You know when your parents have said to you, "I hope you get a kid JUST LIKE YOU when you grow up!" Well, I did, and God, in His humor and wisdom gave me a kid that is time urgent, spontaneous, rough and allergic to details. My oldest child, a whopping 10lb 4oz baby boy, almost died shortly after his birth 15 years ago. It was the most exciting and frightening time of my life. God's grace and mercy sustained his life, and my sanity at that time and gazillions of times since then, I am sure. Besides all of the wonder and pure joy his personality pours out on us daily, he is often like a walking mirror for me, sending clear images of things I do and have never seen before.

I can always tell when he has been in the Kitchen. Nothing is put back in its place, cupboard doors are left open, and an Archie comic lays on the counter beside the tell tale glob of jam dripping from the counter edge onto the floor. Every room that has recently been blessed with his presence holds an aura of displacement and energy. Kind of like a small town after a tornado has passed through. Small children have been physically hurt and many furniture pieces broken after a short experience with his untamed physical passion. But the compassion and concern that follows the damage are just as obvious and sincere as the roughness. I pray daily that he will master self control.

I'm not sure that I was quite that dangerous as a child, but the speed with which he performs and the bypassing of details is definitely convicting. Many a jest have been sent my way as people find loose ends and temporary fixes around my work. I honestly can't decide if this character trait is a blessing or a curse. I know that certain things must be done "right", but this household would never function properly if I devoted that kind of time to each job. I guess I have decided that getting everything done "sufficiently" rather than "perfectly" is better than having half the jobs not done at all. Am I making any sense?? I am resolved to endure the little digs and jokes in order to keep our boat afloat. I'll reserve my attention to detail and slowing down for administering medication and driving a van full of kids. I just love moving fast and getting a lot done... except at coffee break.

There aren't too many things that drive me more crazy than watching someone do something really slowly. Sometimes it's like watching surgery...I can't even's too painful. I want to grab the tool from the turtle and do it myself. By the way, I married a turtle. It's a good thing though, as the balance is necessary for survival. My son has helped me access my situation, weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision. My decision is...full steam ahead except for medical emergencies and wounded emotions. What can I say? God made us fast for a reason...and the world needs more professional plate spinners. We must grab the hands of the turtles and drag them along with us. Things need to be done, and done yesterday! Put on your seatbelt Myers clan and learn to enjoy the ride, cause Momma can't slow down! She's on a roll and Daddy's smiling in the passenger's seat. He has the map and the car keys, but MY foot is on the gas pedal. That is the way we work and it's been working for almost 19 years. He is the direction (thank goodness for that) and I'm the motivator. Bonnie and Clyde? Sonny and Cher? Louise and George Jefferson? Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog? Whatever...matches made in heaven :)

Knowing yourself really helps you handle your kids with more patience and hug harder too. Maybe when I am in my 80's I'll slow down...hopefully they'll have high tech, hover craft walkers by then so I can get to Bingo quicker, and I'll send for my son to get me where I want to go :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Seashells and Transisters

There is just something about the beach along the river that is magical to me. My family and I were at a homeschool graduation party on one such beach lately. Lots of people, food, fireworks and celebration of one young man's very hard work completed. People from a few weeks old to those in their eighties were together. I've never been to a grad party like that before. The warmth of the fire, laughter of teenagers out on the river, the hum of boats and the glorious covering of the starry sky cast it's spell on me again.

We lived on the beach as kids. The same tranquility was felt then, but with much more excitement in my ignorant bliss of childhood. We spent long hours in the narrow length of woods along the beach building forts...houses really, with many rooms filled with log couches, rock tables and floors swept clean to earthy, brown carpeting. Nature provided everything for the domestic details a young woman desires. A clay hole near the water provided moulded and dried bowls and plates (and sometimes body paint). I even remember a broken rock in the form of a telephone, and tree roots which were divinely shaped into a spiral staircase of three steps leading to the upper level of our homestead.

My "first kiss" involved a leaning old tree who was Rob Lowe one day and John Schneider on another...whispering sweet nothings into its bark. I have two wonderful sisters and Mim who shared my creative endeavours and whose chronic laughter appreciated my silly imagination. I also have a dear "sister" friend who shares these memories and added MUCH to the dreaming and pretending I was a slave to. They are like treasure boxes, holding secrets and gems of experiences, locked away, but always there for nostalgic pondering.

Funny, I don't recall any cell phones, video games or Internet getting us through the day. Our attention was totally centered on exploring, swimming, sunbathing, creating and talking...a lot of talking and singing. All we had for technology was a little transistor radio which played "It's Hard to say I'm Sorry" and "Love Rules" over and over as we lay beside the beach fire, wishing we didn't have to end the night and walk home to bed. A tent soon went up on the beach so that broken engagement with the night sky would not have to happen again. Short trips to the house for food and hard wood kept Mom informed and content. No email, just long hard shouts or twitters of short messages from beach to house kept all parents involved updated on our "status". One neighbor even had a big seashell that they would blow into as a signal for their daughter to come home. Everyone knew the signal, and there was no opportunity for argument or debate with that shell Teen magazines kept us stocked with pictures of Springfield, Leif, Ponyboy, Dillon, ...who am I forgetting?? We each had our favorite "friends" added to our imaginary profile...some deleted and some added as our loyalty swayed. It was a brief time of getting to know the world, God and ourselves. We weren't trying to figure out who who wanted to be yet, just enjoying the present and dreaming of what was ahead.

Sure, times have changed as far as activities and opportunities are concerned, but human nature is the same. Kids are still kids and one needful thing we, as big people, can give them is lots of time interacting with the real world. They need to form some kind of relationship with it, attach themselves to it in a healthy way. Unplug for awhile and live in the real world, face to face with people and nature. How grateful I am for that childhood, those friends, that little radio, my grand imagination and the great outdoors.

The summer has just begun...make the best of it :)