This painting by Jack Baumgartner portrays Jacob Wrestling the Angel from the book of Genesis. It’s a central metaphor for this blog – wrestling with life, health, urban issues, and even with God.
Growing up in the salvation Army, I started learning how to play a brass instrument around the same time I learned to walk. And I fell in love with it. My entire history of playing euphonium up until my mid 20s was in a brass band.
So February continues to show its nastiness. We’ve had some not terribly significant snow but enough to be a pain in the derrière for me. And then this latest batch was followed by some -20 weather to make sure everything was frozen solid, just so February could finish being a pain by kicking me in the teeth.
I’m tired of being told that someone’s mother’s aunt’s cousin stopped eating pork and now she is running marathons and no longer needs a wheelchair, so therefore I should try that.
The guy who was my pastor for the longest period of time in my life has died. It was a few weeks ago now but it’s taken me this long I guess to process some things. There have been a few occasions lately that have really brought him heavily to mind; especially when we were listening to some guitar music the other night. He was such a great guitar player and very diverse in his musical interests.
Ups and downs, pluses and minuses, good things and not so easy things; that’s life in a nutshell. 2019 was full of great meals, awesome movies, Wonderful new music, really nice books, and good times with my family. It was also full of hard stuff; sickness, hospital visits, ambulance rides, deaths in the street community, exhaustion at work for Erinn, and the uncertainty of life around every corner.
I guess I’m feeling Christmas in the air much earlier this year. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve already had our first snowstorm, or the Christmas displays are up early this year, or we’ve got our Oxford family batch of Christmas wine made, or the Santa Claus parade was yesterday and as a family we hunkered down and watched our first Christmas movie together while eating the festive special, or we have our Christmas lights up outside (not on yet).
Whatever it is, I’m feeling kind of Christmasy.
Today I was reflecting on the visit I just had from my mom and two sisters. I will turn 50 at the end of November but, because snow could be flying by then, they flew here from Newfoundland to celebrate my birthday a little early.
You’d think that people living in poverty wouldn’t have much to be thankful for.
But you’d be wrong.
Oh so very wrong.
As I have been trying to eat less pretty faithfully now for about five weeks, I figured it was time to get some sort of baseline as to where I stand so to speak.
So I concocted a plan with my personal trainer at the gym I go to.
I’m listening to George Michael.
Go ahead and judge me if you must.
I’d do the same to you.