Thursday, July 3, 2014

World Cup Connections

It was just another normal day at work where I ride down the hill on the tram to spend 20 to 30 minutes waiting at the research pharmacy to pick up medication for a patient. This time, however, Germany was playing Portugal and the score was already ridiculous - 3-0 Germany. I checked the score, since I had nothing else to do, and was shocked to see that Germany had scored again. My surprised intake of breath caught the attention of the man also waiting and playing with his phone.

Now, normally I would have exchanged a polite smile and returned to my private bubble. I'm not that great with small talk and I work under the all encompassing HIPPA regulations; it's just easier to politely keep to yourself.

"Germany just scored again." I blurted out instead and his eyebrows rose in surprise.
"You're watching the World Cup?" I don't really look like a soccer/futbol fan I guess.

And then we started chatting like old friends with different accents, comparing notes on teams and commiserating on our countries', Mexico and the USA, poor chances for making it past the first round. I told him that we're watching all the games on Univision and working on our Spanish and he directed me to the Univision app so that I could watch the games on my phone (which is what he'd been doing).

It was a connection that wouldn't have been made except for the world-wide excitement about The Cup.

I've thought of him while cheering Mexico on in each of their games (even though a win over the Netherlands would have completely broken my bracket!) and wondered if he remembered me when the US played each of their heart attack inducing games.

I don't think the game can save the world. But, oh does it open doors for some human interaction. And the bridging of different worlds, that is a small step in the right direction.

Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup 2014

Can I tell you how much I LOVE the World Cup? Despite the ridiculous and awful FIFA corporation?

Three Reasons:

1. My brother and I have long conversations (in person and over email) about players, games, our bracket picks, and current outrages.  It's so awesome!  Plus, the 30 minute conversation with my sister about soccer and the fact that two old guys were TOTALLY eavesdropping on the entire thing is icing on the cake!

2. The Princess is totally into the games. To the point where, when going upstairs for quiet time, she reminds me to update her should any team score! (I had to update her twice during the France-Switzerland game. If you don't know what I'm talking about you missed a completely BIZARRE game.)

3. Immersion language lessons as we're watching all the games on Univision because they're streaming them for free. (I'm looking at you ESPN who requires a cable subscription. Shame on you!)

I know there are politics involved, I know there is corruption, I know there is stupidity...but for 90 minutes it's just about the joy of the game. And the certainty that you're ACTUALLY going to die from a heart attack by the end.

Watching the game first thing in the morning.

Monday, June 23, 2014


This girl loves her solitary moments.

I completely understand, even when I'm trying to provide "socialization" for her - because that's an important skill too.
Basically, we like to be solitary together.

Which is a lovely sentiment.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


There is magic outside.

You just have to get out in it.

Fort Vancouver, Washington.
June 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lenten Journey

I've been thinking about Lent.

Yes, it's June and I'm still in March. But that's the way of things, time marches on but the brain takes longer to work through things.

It's a journey

I've always liked the idea of Lent, the time of contemplation, deprivation, and the possibility of inspiration. It's the opportunity to lose a tiny bit of self during the everydayness of life.

But Lent is also possible because we know the end result. The miracle, the resurrection, the new life is in the back of your mind as you work through another day. Haven't we all comforted ourselves with the final 10-day countdown until it all can go back to normal? We make it through the mourning, the black day, the empty day, the questions and unknowns because we know that there is an end, right around the corner.

I thought I was going to have the perfect Lenten inspirational post, how after 40 days the path was clear, the way straight, the end in sight. But instead, the waiting continues. There's no clear destination, no straight answers, no questions wrapped up and tied with a perfectly wrapped bow.

Which, of course, is what the first "Lenten Journey" was like. The disciples had no idea what the end would be, there were no answers to their life upending questions. They didn't know it would be "just" 3 days before their waiting would end. They didn't know that the end of waiting was just the beginning of a new normal that they could have never anticipated and would scramble to acclimate to.

We're still waiting. Still wondering. Still living with hope and fear messily mixed together in a gradually congealing new normal we don't yet recognize. It is frustrating, it is scary, it is faith at work, no matter how small each step may be.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Fragility is scary. That risk of shattering into pieces so tiny they can never be fit back together. Shards that pierce your heart, your soul. Fragments that burrow in deep, cutting apart millimeter by excruciating millimeter.

Better to be tough and protected. Practical and sturdy. I'll trade my bone china for dishwasher safe, microwave safe, ovenproof crockery.

But it's a lie, this safety. It crumbles around you. Hearts shatter, souls explode. There is no protection from life. There is just the delicate balance of living with risk, with fear...with possibility.

The risk of being broken on the floor, bleeding out from soul deep wounds, is also the risk of discovering the true essence of yourself; the strength, wisdom, sheer grit and unanticipated beauty that comes from rebuilding, as unfair and unwanted as the reconstruction may be.

There is beauty in the rough edges, the cracks and seams, the missing gaps where pieces were lost and never found.

Because, there are gaps and lost parts - crevices that are never filled or covered over. But maybe it's the cracks where the gust of thankfulness rushes through.

Maybe it's the gap where the whirlwind of wonder forms.

Maybe it's the vibration in the fracture that makes us recognize and sing with the exquisite pleasure of each beautifully fragile moment of time that we're given.