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Archive for September, 2010

this is why

Here is why I love working with people with Asperger’s. There is no lack of honesty folks, why don’t we all just try to see things from a different perspective once in a while.

This is an animation of a real interview between a boy with Asperger’s syndrome and his mother. It warmed my heart as I hope it does yours.

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kindness in offenses

Here is a hopeful little story that I also found in the New York Times today.

I find it so hopeful that it is going on the “Wall of Hope” here at my house.

Read it…

Also, this organization rocks!

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“Oh, God, doctor, I was hoping it was cancer.”

Those words so affected Dr. William Harrison that for years, he said, he could not repeat them. They made him break down in tears.

The woman who spoke them–black, poor and middle-aged– had come in 1967 to the Arkansas hospital where Dr. Harrison was a medical student in obstetrics. A doctor, after examining her swollen belly, had told her she was pregnant.

These words come from and obituary in today’s issue of the New York Times. Dr. William Harrison, abortion doctor and defender died on Saturday at the age of 75.

Yes, I know this is a touchy subject but this article really made me stop and think about the horribly human side of a topic that gets so many of us riled up. Indeed, William’s fellow abortion doctor and friend was assassinated in his own church in 2009 (not even one year ago). Like I said, this is a touchy subject.

Harrison’s words touch me because they remind me that there are women for whom cancer is a preferable fate to pregnancy. There is something wrong here. The women who frequented Harrison’s clinic were largely disadvantaged women who did not consider motherhood an option for their lives.

Dr. Harrison readily admitted that he destroyed life, but denied that he killed babies… The higher moral value to Dr. Harrison was salvaging the future of an often disadvantaged girl or woman.

While I am not here to argue about the particulars of the abortion debate, I do want to suggest this. Can it be that the unfortunate thing about the world we live in is that pregnancy is, for some people, the worst thing that could happen to them, even worse than a potentially terminal illness?

Maybe the problem is not that we have abortion, but that we even have need of them in the first place. Perhaps using this perspective as a starting place would bring us closer to seeing the end of a rather unfortunate reality.

You can read the full article here, and I would suggest that you do. I was moved to tears…

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the days of our lives

The cool thing about going to Episcopal church is that we follow the church calendar. Like the days of the year, the days of the liturgy repeat themselves; not every year, but every two years.

Today I arrived at church to the feast of St. Michael and all angels. This is one of my favorite services of the year and I am so glad I made the decision to get out of bed this morning.

The Old Testament reading for today was from Genesis and it recounts the story of Jacob’s dream at Bethel.

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

This story reminds me of both the promises I have for my life and the promises God has given for the world and all humanity. God will be faithful to keep the promises that have been given. In her sermon this morning, Mother Melissa encouraged us to remember that the Holy is close at hand. Indeed, we should expect to see the Holy at work around us.

This is a comforting reminder in my life right now. As we sang a hymn about Jacob’s ladder I was reminded that the holy is indeed near when the bells began ringing as we sang these words.

“Hallelujah to Jesus who died on the tree and has raised up a ladder of mercy for me!”

May the LORD bless you and keep you;

May the LORD make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;

May the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.

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normal

A great many people, sick of news from the margins, worn out by the sand shifting beneath their assumptions, like to imagine Nature as a sweet, simple voice: tulips in Spring, Vermont’s leaves falling in autumn. There are, of course, occasional mistakes–a leaf that doesn’t fall, a clubfoot; our mistake is in thinking that the wide range of humanity represents aberration when in fact it represents just what it is: range. Nature is not like two little notes on a child’s flute; Nature is more like Aretha Franklin: vast, magnificent, capricious–occasionally hilarious–and infinitely varied. The platypus is not a mistake. The sex-changing animals, coral reef fish and Chinook Salmon among them, are not mistakes. The cactus and the blue potato are not mistakes. These plants and animals may not be as reassuring a sight as tulips are, but that doesn’t make them deformities.

I haven’t cried while reading a book in a while, but there is something about this one.

Needless to say I would recommend it to anyone who would like a little introduction to transsexualism, crossdressing and hermaphroditism. I won’t pretend to have any profound thoughts or anything as I don’t claim to have any extensive knowledge on the subject. I just want to put this out there as a book I would recommend, whatever that is worth.

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happiness is a bullet

While sitting in church today I felt truly happy. I can’t explain exactly where this happiness came from, I can only say that for the first time in a long time I was content with my life.

There is something strange about this type of happiness and I think that Florence got something right when she wrote a song about happiness in the most violent of terms.

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

And i never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the head
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

I’m not sure if I can say that I have been running from happiness but there is just something about these lyrics that seems profound to me. I don’t have much more to say than that, mainly I wanted to type on my new keyboard…

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my books tell a story

Two things have been on my mind lately: journaling and books.

Journaling became stuck in my head on my recent trip to Italy. I tried to capture some of the events of my trip with worthy journal entries but I have never been a great writer of journals. On the long plane trip home I decided to take a different approach. I composed a short prose section summarizing my trip but then I just started writing random things that came to mind. I filled about five pages of my empty, three year old moleskine. On one of these pages I composed a list titled “goals as of june 28,2010.” On of my goals was to “journal in an ‘Adri’ way.” This summer has been a process of learning what that way is; I think I am getting close.

Books made their way into my brain when I decided to read 4000 pages this summer–a goal I have not yet met but am still working toward. I have made my way through many books so far and this has been a great summer of literary exploration.

Books have also been an annoyance to me in the past couple of weeks as I have realized that this is a heavy obsession to commit to. My love for books has caused me to accumulate so many throughout my life. I really don’t have room for all of them in my new house and I could not believe it when my mom told me that she found three more boxes of my books in the attic this past weekend. Why oh why do I have so many books and can’t I bear to part with them?

A conversation that I had with some friends on Thursday helped me to answer this question.

I can tell my story through my books. Even now, as I sit looking at my bookshelf I can see artifacts of Adri. Poor People helped me to see that poverty is not really a simple concept, A Series of Unfortunate Events provided entertainment from 6th grade through senior year, Blue Like Jazz taught me that God is love, The Irresistible Revolution showed me how to live that love. The Feminine Mystique was given to me by someone who was very special in my life and I identified with the girls in Reviving Ophelia like I have never identified with a book before.

I think I journal through my books. I can tell you exactly where each one came from and when I read it. I can outline the feelings that came with each one and tell you why each one is special to me.

This is why I will not be disposing of any of my books anytime soon, no matter how ridiculous their number. They are a part of me, at least for now.

I think I have found my “Adri-way” of journaling.

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