Friday, May 18, 2007

Social butterfly

Is what I've been the last 18 hours. First, I rode the Metro to Dupont Circle, walked a few blocks east on Q street and had a wonderful dinner at Hank's Oyster Bar with my seminarian friend Beth. We got to know each other a bit better and spend some "friend" time unencumbered by school projects. I also got to see her condo a few blocks from the restaurant. She and her partner have made it into a beautifully cozy, comfortable and efficient space. It is small yet gave the impression of having all of the space in the world--not an easy feat! It is an oasis in a very active part of the city.

I took Heaven, Roger Ferlo's collection of essays, with me on the train and read one by Barbara Crafton on my way back. I find myself energized in neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle as I feel more a part of humanity. I love riding the train as that is the best place to people watch. Crafton seems to think the same way. I noticed in her essay that she referred to things that have worked subtly over the years to separate us, watching TV instead of going out to the theatre, driving cars instead of taking trains. I found myself nodding in agreement. I don't understand why many think other people so dangerous and vile that they cannot be with them. Garrion Keillor speaks about that concept a bit in his Homegrown Democrat. We are designed by God to live in community, and are happier and better when we do.

And at 0730 this morning, I attended a going away breakfast for one of Taciturn's co-workers who is leaving to be a commander in Colorado Springs. This person has been nothing but kind to me, even when we have disagreed on matters of faith (and we definitely disagree on socioreligious issues).

I'll give you an example of his kindness to me. I was forced to move two weeks after Taciturn was deployed to the desert last year. At the same time, my MS-like neuromuscular illness flared up with a vengence, as it usually does when I am under great stress. This man, who has a wife and four children and a very busy job as well, was at my house for at least two hours a day, three to four times a week until almost everything was unpacked and put away. He hung art on my walls, hauled boxes away, climbed ladders to place things onto shelves for me--whatever I needed, he did. He personified the love of Christ in action. Other people did help me at that time, but he went above and beyond. And when I had a mini breakdown 3 weeks after the move due to a bunch of military bureaucracy dumped on me, he blamed himself for not helping enough! Certainly that wasn't so.

In any case, I wasn't about to miss his goodbye party. He was a good friend when I needed one.

Today is dreary, the type of day I like to spend in bed. Lots of planes roaring around though today, so I think I'll make tea and read. I need to call a few people today as well. It is going to be tough to get on/off the base today, so I will work a bit of pantry magic for supper as the base grocer is closed. It'll be a fine day.