Archive for October, 2015

The Tablet of your Heart

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The one who holds my heart and I were down south for a wedding last weekend. It was a rainy drive there and back, grey sky, and a misty kind of light filled the landscape softening the cool colors of the trees and intensifying the warmer colors of the grasses that were coming back to life after the three-day soaking.

At the wedding, the celebrant, a grandfather of the groom read a passage and for some reason his words, “the tablet of your heart” struck a chord. The words were “write this on the tablet of your heart.”

I could picture it. A stone tablet, a permanent record, that each of us holds deep within us, and written in stone, those words that mean the most to us. The celebrant read “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Its all from the book of Proverbs, I’d read it before but hearing him say it, in the silent church, with the bride and groom looking deeply at each other, it made me think. What words are on the tablet of my heart?

His recommendation “kindness, truth” are a good start. It wasn’t until I started life again and gave my heart to the one who holds my heart, that I experienced kindness every day. Its odd to say, but true, she does things for me, for others, just out of thoughtfulness, out of kindness. We all should have some of this each day, and of course, you can’t repay kindness with a gift card, you can only repay it with a payment in kind…a kindness.

The dictionary says kindness is a quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Acts that in our polarized political landscape are not really valued. Watching the news, listening to the rhetoric (even spouting some from time to time) one can understand that its hard to be kind and courteous when railing on and on about something or someone. I get reminded that to be kind, considerate, or generous one has to step back from the heat of the moment, look at the people around you and think “wouldn’t they feel better with a cold glass of water right now?”

Well its not always water, sometimes its chocolate, or an unexpected gift, or a hand to hold.

The tablet of ones heart is hard to read. We don’t often look that deeply inside, partly because its hard to do, partly because the tablet has some not so nice things on it. Its part of being human, we can’t always be the best of ourselves. But when we’re not being the best of ourselves, maybe thinking of the tablet, and what’s being etched on it just then, might help us step back, take a breath, and shine a light on the words we want to represent us, kindness, honesty, humility…

I used to have a daydream where the Cubs won the world series. It was with the 1969 team, Banks, Beckert, Kessinger, Santo, as the infield, Jenkins and Hundley as the battery, Williams, Phillips and Hickman as the outfield. It was only a daydream, but that team, it was pretty humble, no superstars, just hardworking team players.

I thought once I’d make a logo of the logos that I’d hope had made me. That Cubs team, the driver of the number 6 in trans am, a driver/engineer named Mark Donahue, Dad’s company logo, the North Dakota State Flag, Virginia Tech’s logo, a collection like that. Some way to remind myself, work hard, be kind, contribute to the team, “us” first not “me” first… Things I aspire to, but don’t always live up to. Maybe those things are on my tablet.

Anyway, the rain is gone for a few days, the air is cool-ish (low 70’s!) and its a good day to take a moment or two, breath the air, look around, and see what could be done to make it a little better.

Be good to each other, be kind to each other, read your tablet!

say what you mean and mean what you say

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The one who holds my heart and I went to see “Everest” last night. I expected the scenery to be incredible and it was, the 3d glasses made many of the scenes too real, I found myself catching my breath, especially as the climbers crossed a crevasse on a bridge made of ladder sections roped together, what a crazy thing to do!

I pretty much knew that it wasn’t going to be a happy ending type of movie, I had heard about the storyline and so I knew not everyone who went up the mountain would come down the mountain. The most incredible scene (spoiler alert) was when the climb leader, stuck on a rock shelf, out of oxygen, frostbitten, understood he wasn’t going to be going home to his wife and soon to be born daughter. His team at base camp improvised a way for his wife to speak to him over the radio, at first motivating him, and when a rescue attempt failed, saying goodbye.

Most of us do that every day, say goodbye as we head out the door, or hang up a phone, or head off on a mission to the grocery store. We say “good bye” and “I love you” as we part. Maybe some people would get used to that, always believing that we’ll be back with them soon, and not giving the words another thought. But, next to our prayers, these actually are some of the most important words we say every day.

I can picture ten families in Oregon today, remembering the words their daughter, son, mother or father said as they headed off to community college, probably wishing they said more, probably wishing they’d have said “wait, don’t go today” but we always go, we have to, go to work, go to the store, wherever, we go because for many of us we don’t get to live each day of our lives together.

So we say how we feel about the person we’re leaving. And we mean what we say.

You never know what a day will bring, be sure to say the words, be sure to mean them.

Take Care of each other, Think well of each other.