Monday, January 29, 2007

under a blanket of silence

Sometimes life takes a most unexpected turn. The change can make us catch our breath -- not because it is a bad change, only that we did not see it coming. A new world takes a little getting used to. A couple of days ago test results showed that my niece Corrina is profoundly deaf. It's not the result I was expecting. Both Mark & Dave had hearing issues as children -- Mark was even completely deaf at one point -- but theirs were reversible. Corrina's deafness is not like that.

My Mom said it best as she often does, "this changes nothing and it changes everything". It changes nothing about who Corrina is, she is no less than she was before. It changes nothing about how much we love her or what great things she may grow up to do. It changes everything about how she will learn to communicate, how she will go to school, how she will be parented. Corrina is now part of the deaf community, and as her family, so are we. I have no idea what that means.

What it means for Dave & Janie is a big decision in the next little while -- do they pursue a cochlear implant or not? They have a great write-up on their blog that explains things better. It's a decision that will require a lot of thought and a lot of prayer, and probably not in that order. All day today I kept thinking about James 1:5 that talks about "if anyone lacks wisdom let him ask". I looked it up in the Message and I love the way it's worded there "If you don't know what you're doing ask the Father. He loves to help."

Mark is always telling me that "change isn't necessarily bad, it's just different." (What are big brothers for if not dispensing bon mots?) I think that's the case here. Whichever route D & J choose, Corrina's world will be no less wonderful than that one I live in. There will be no less laughter, no fewer reasons for it. She may not hear it the way I do, but she is already adept at reading faces and believe me, she laughs. I think the world just got a little bigger, not smaller. I don't know what it will look like, but if Corrina's there, I'm all in.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

heads up

The good news is that I finally got my new header up (yeah for cuteFTP and the easiest file transfer ever). I still can't get the blog title to disappear -- I've reduced it to ` to take up as little space as possible. Isn't the new Blogger supposed to be easier? In old Blogger you just toggled the "hide blog title" button. Argh. I was doing so well.

To the designers among you (you know you who are) I know that the green behind my profile no longer "goes" but neither did any of the colour choices Blogger offered. If anyone can pull the hex for one of the blues in the header photograph, I'm all ears and open to suggestions. In the meantime, I was able to do *most* of this by myself, even the photo. That's me in my favorite reading spot on the quiet end of the beach.

One of my goals this year is to keep track of everything I read for the year so there will soon be two lists of books on the blog. I'll keep a short "recently read" list near the top and the full "Books of 2007" down below. I promise not to add a book to the list until it's actually finished. If I was posted a reading wish list it might take over the blog :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

seeing the beauty

It's been snowing here lately and I have not been a happy camper. I wouldn't mind it so much if the roads were ploughed, or if I could afford to hire a driver until it melts. I'm not in the demographic Volkswagon was aiming for with their "Drivers wanted" campaign. Truly, I'd really rather not. It's been snowy since Wednesday, five white days so far, and I realized today that I have almost completely missed the beauty of it.

Snow-covered rooftops, snow-laced branches, dogs chasing flakes along with their tails -- the world in white is incredibly beautiful. I have been so focused on the traffic reports I've almost missed the show. And I wonder why it is to so hard to see beauty in the midst of fear, the good with the bad, the unexpected pleasures mixed in with a situation I would never have chosen. There have been other times, other seasons, when one aspect of my life has so completely eclipsed everything else it was as if the world consisted only of the source of my worry. And thinking now, it seems that there's never a time when I need to see the beauty more than when one thing has grabbed my attention so completely.

It reminds me of a quote I came across the other day in an article that was talking about commitment. "Commitment," the author wrote, "isn't showy. It's subtle and common." Several days later I'm still chewing on that, but it's such a great picture. Commitment is a thousand tiny gestures done so frequently that they are commonplace. I've been reminded of that in these cold, white days when I've needed some help and it has come through time and again. There's a startling beauty in that as well and I need to make sure I don't miss it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

happy new year 2007!

Welcome to 2007! You know you've really become a west coaster when, while getting ready to head to the beach on the first morning of the new year, you look out the window and hear yourself think 'it's not raining THAT hard' and continue to get ready. My initial plan for the photo above also included a festive sparkler but the wind and the rain really picked up down by the water and I couldn't get the crazy thing to light.

So far 2007 has been pretty great. I got to welcome in the new year last night exactly how I wanted to (luxury) and now so far this year I've been to the beach, finished a good book, and indulged in a latte and a few chocolate dipped strawberries left over from last night. It's an unsustainable lifestyle to be sure, but well worthy of reveling in in the hours of vacation that remain.

It's impossible to escape the looking back this time of year. For myself I have to be careful not to wallow in it. But looking back over 2006, it was a good year. It wasn't 365 days of roses and rainbows, but it's in the past now and we choose the filter through which we view our own history. I choose to smile. Some of the good was fantastic and some of the bad truly sucked but I got to spend time with the people I love and I never went hungry. I have enjoyable and interesting work and somewhere to come home to at the end of the day. It may not technically be Xanadu, but I'd wager it's pretty darn close.