Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Mantis..2 Kids...20 Seconds..a laugh with a friend...a lifetime of lessons

I never cease to be amazed at how much can be learned from just a few seconds of life. It happens all the time in my life. If I would just stop and think about things a little bit deeper...a little bit richer...then I think my life would be greatly enhanced.

So what happened...

Here's the story...

One of my life friends (she and I have been friends for far over half of my lifetime) were outside catching up while her child and another boy played nearby. Her littlest boy comes running up soooo excited. He holds in his hands a praying mantis. He hands it to his mother and like the trooper she is...she plays with it for a brief few seconds. She hands it back to him and.....

Well this is where it begins...the lessons that is...and where so many of my predispositions are contravened!

In succession the events went like this...

  1. I say "you should go play with it"

  2. He says "it's not a toy"

  3. We laugh

  4. The mantis decides to take a tour of his little body (starting at the shirt...then a bee line to his neck..and onto his back)

  5. He freaks out and starts screaming

  6. Mom valiantly swats the mantis to the ground

  7. The other boy comes running from no-where and steps on the mantis

  8. The original boy picks up the (now flattened) mantis

  9. We are laughing so hard

  10. The boy runs to play with his now squished bug


This took all of about 20 seconds to happen....

Now this was a few days ago and I am still trying to get into my head all of the things that I learned in that moment.

So for your perusing pleasure I now present..a glimpse inside my mind-scape

In the order of arrival.

  1. I truly wanted his happiness when I said you should go play with it...but look at how far my mental schema was off. The boy recognized that his happiness was secondary to the life of the

  2. Life is not a is he correct or what? How often do we look at life from the position of what is best for ourselves. How often have I sat there and wondered what pleasure a relationship was going to bring me today...instead of what pleasure could I bring to others? Life is not a it is a gift and needs to be cherished

  3. Oh how I love those moments with my friend. These are the things that will reverberate in my mind forever. The instances of shared experiences that will engulf my final moments on Earth. I have a few deep friendships which I have no idea how I (with my many faults) have managed to remain a participant in all of these years. But these moments of laughter...holy crap...thats great stuff. We knew we would have material for the next few years to add to the "reminiscence"

  4. Life is a variable. Who knew mantis was wanting to explore. Sometimes right when you think you know what coming next..someone checks out of the situation and goes for a walk about. Mantis knew she was just vacationing but...

  5. The boy didn't. The point here is this variability freaks us out. We can't handle it. Now our "maturity" teaches us to stuff it deep down in our emotional soul so that others just get the "news". But I have seen it over and over (especially with affairs) how this variability of relationship causes us to "freak out". This little mantis's reaction has a plethora of anthropomorphic implications that ...well my mind would hurt if I told you all of the ones that are going through it right now...think about it without me tainting your mind...(it's way more fun that way).

  6. I loved this part...a valiant soldier ready to protect those in need. I love that about her..I love that about you..I love it when I get the chance to do it for others..Just cool.

  7. Now here's the comic part...another valiant soldier...but way on the outside of the "conversation". The issue was already taken care of ...the mantis was ok..the boy was ok...I was ok...the mom was ok..the "conversation" was over and it was fine. But the busy body with great intentions...just wasn't part of the dialogue. He jumped in when all was OK and stirred it back up by squishing the poor mantis. I have done this. Things were fine...the issue was taken care of...and then I come along with my "wee bit-o-undertanding" and make a mess of it. This happens with friends and parents who we divulge problems to...only because we are too weak to go to the one who has offended us. Once we get to that person and make things OK..we forget..our valiant friends and family have had no closure..they are still ticked...and well...might just squish a heart.

  8. Awwww...

  9. Awwwwwwww...part 2...

  10. Sometimes it's just hard to give up the love and say goodbye. I've learned this one way too many times in my young life.

  11. 20 shifted....hope given...lessons learned....lessons remembered....20 seconds...and one squished mantis later...poor little mantis...cute little guy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And the sky's were silent

I remember what my Mom said about when I was born in 1969...that I had chicken hair that had to be cut before I left the hospital
I remember 1976 at 6 years old going into the giant freezer at my dad's work and getting an ice cream
I remember that same year getting one of those cool new quarters
I remember that same year sitting for hours in our van as we waited in lines to get gas
I remember Jimmy Carter
I remember 1979 when Ronald Reagan was elected..I was scared to death...he was going to destroy our country
I remember 1980 when Ronald Reagan took the oath of office and as I ate my Wendy's cinnamon bun...they released the American Hostages
I remember being amazed and for the first time taking a look at a strong America
I remember 1983 when I went to high school ...I was 13
I remember 1984 performing around the country..singer...dancer..clogger...Pentagon...Worlds Fair...Disneyland
I remember 1985 when I moved to Virginia and grew almost 6 inches in height
I remember 1986 when Amy sat me down and told me I needed to change my "style" a "surfer boy" was born
I remember 1987 when I graduated from high school and was headed to college with a $400 scholarship in Opera
I remember 1987 when when they raised my scholarship to (4) yr full tuition
I remember 1988 when I became a Christian
I remember 1988 when I resigned from my scholarship..not very interested in being hit on by my professor
I remember 1989 when I decided to go into exercise science
I remember 1989 when the Berlin wall fell
I remember 1989 when every morning I awoke to a new world map..freedom was on the rise
I remember 1989 when for the first time as an adult...I didn't feel like I had to worry about a nuclear holocaust
I remember 1990 when a professor asked me to really think it through for the first time
I remember 1991 when I ran for student body vice famous quote "this machine is rusting from the inside"..I lost
I remember 1992 when the other students asked me to take that professor in front of the board to get her fired..and I refused
I remember standing up for her
I remember 1992 when I was offered a career as a wellness specialist for Northwest Pipeline before I graduated from college
I remember 1993 when I graduated from college..the first of my siblings
I remember 1994 when I was appointed by the Governor of Utah to be the chairman of the Governors Council of Health
I remember 1995 when I appeared on TV, at elementary schools across Utah, and other venues
I remember 1996 when I got married
I remember 1996 when we sped home fast ending our honeymoon to film a children's video series
I remember 1997 when I began my security career
I remember 1999 when I thought the world was coming to an end
I remember 2000 midnight when I realized --for sure-- it wasn't
I remember 2001 waking up on any given day and turning on the TV
They were playing a repeat of something
There was smoke
I woke Gretchen
There were two buildings
They were on fire
Planes hit them
I called into work
I told them we were not coming in
The TV switched to the Pentagon
It was smoking too
The first tower fell
The second tower fell
A plane went down in Pennsylvania
I could not turn off the TV
We sat for hours..we watched all day...we barely spoke....we barely moved...we called our loved ones...we watched...stunned
I was angry
I was confused
I was waiting for the next piece of bad news
I remember 2001 when on Sept 11, they attacked us...US
I remember 2001 Sept 11, when I skipped work for the first time in my life because it was dangerous to go out
I remember 2001 Sept 11,when I cried..for our Country...for my American family...for Freedom

The next day came
The Sun rose

I remember 2001 Sept 12, for one main reason
It was the first time in my life...the sky's were silent
Not a plane to be seen
No contrails
No engine sounds
I looked up that day and saw nothing but clouds and sky
I had never seen anything like it
I had seen a-lot...I had done a-lot...I had been a-lot
But never anything like this
The sky's were silent for the first time in my life..I had no reference point
I chose my path that day
I chose my direction that day
I made up my mind
Politics were real...I would pay attention
Freedom was real....I would pay attention
My fellow man was real...I would pay attention
I was not an island...America was not safe...
I would care more...fight more...and stand up straight...tall...and true for the concept of freedom
The sky's were silent that day...but my was screaming..and still is
We are America...We are a people who live in freedom...
Our fathers, our mothers, our sons and our daughters have given their lives for a simple thought

and THEY were real...I would pay attention

I want to remember that thought..

The sky's were silent

But my heart was screaming

And I will NEVER be the same

I won't just remember a thought...but many

Self-evident, created equal, endowed by their Creator, unalienable Rights,
life, pursuit of happiness, liberty or death, don't tread on me, WE shall overcome, spacious skies, united.

I will look back...I will remember...Silence will not happen again if I can help it

It's our turn to pass it down...

So they who are to come ...they....will...remember!