Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It is written

Before a recent flight from Lubbock to San Antonio, I got pulled aside at Airport Security. The man checking my bag, after issuing instructions that I refrain from touching any of my belongings said to the person working beside him, “It’s probably the books.” 

“Yes," I said, gesturing toward the Erasmus quote on the side of the carry-on I had purchased at Barnes & Noble. "Read what the bag says.”

“Read what is written,” he said.

“Pardon me?”

“Read what is written. The bag doesn’t say anything. The words are written on it. So you read what is written.” Then he added, “My mother was an English teacher.”

I, Miss She-who-corrects-your-English, while subject to Airport Insecurity—the imperious, impersonal and oftentimes invasive of U.S. Constitutional rights, which prohibits unlawful search and seizure—learned a lesson. 

A man who treated me not as an anonymous traveler responded to what I had said; he heard and then he taught me something.

I should have hugged him, freaked him out, invaded his space. Instead I thanked him. I really did. I felt grateful, almost giddy in spite of the irony. 

What is written? And where? And who validates what is written that people should pay any attention?

So much information, too much white noise and so many voices vying for consideration.

In a matter of days, the calendar page will turn to 2010. It is written, 2010, or soon will be. How will the numbers scrunched together sound to the ear?

Will you say two-thousand and ten? Or two-thousand-ten? Or twenty-ten? Or two-zero, one-zero? Or does the ring of this New Year remind you of 90210? 

I kind of like the rhythm of two-Oh, one-Oh. How about you?

It is written in Luke 2:1 that in the days of Caesar Augustus a decree for a census set in motion the events surrounding the birth of a person whose life and death changed the way the world tracks time.

Quibble over exact dates or the time of year or change B.C. to B.C.E. [“Before the Common Era”] to dismiss or diminish the significance of that single birth, the sounds at Christmas remind us that Jesus Christ still brings Joy to the World. 

Christmas, before the year changes to 2010, adjures everyone: Read what is written.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tears On My Pillow

Last night's ABC News featured a follow-up story on Susan Boyle. The release this week of her debut album, "I Dreamed a Dream," went straight to the top of the pop charts––best-selling female singer debut ever.

Susan Boyle Shakes Up the Music World

Later, after returning from a meeting, I found this surprise on my pillow.

My husband had gone out in the cold, dark night with snow falling on glistening streets to make my birthday hold as much happiness as possible. I cried.

Thank you, sweet James.

Kudos that here the music-loving world has recognized in this video-driven age of celebrity illusion that talent comes in all sorts of packages.

A music industry spokesperson said, "She's not the most beautiful flower in the bouquet, but she's a special flower." Indeed.

She is, as my husband said, "the real deal," not a studio creation, but a testimony to the Creator's creativity.

Inside the CD cover, Susan wrote:
  "I would like to dedicate this Album to my beloved Mother, to whom I made a promise to 'be someone.'"

Her Mum lived to age 91.
Mid-life, Susan has become emblematic of dreaming dreams that may yet come true.

Our best dreams distill the hope of being someone, not to the anonymous masses, but as Victor Hugo wrote, to those who love us in spite of ourselves.