fabrics jan 2011 – letters to the editor

 FIRST LOVE: DANNY

(Part II of IV)

Previously: High school sweethearts, Georgene accepts Danny’s promise ring on Prom Night.

After graduation, Danny worked as a cook in a restaurant owned by his best friends’ dad. I took a trip to Europe with my high school choral group. Then I worked the front desk of a hotel and went to our local college on a scholarship.

The world was opening up for me… I was seeing opportunity ahead. My enthusiasm for a life broader than immediate marriage and starting a family bothered Danny. He had no aptitude for school. His hope was to stick with the cooking job until he could get a union job with one of the two big employers in town.

One day, he came to me very excited. He had joined the Air Force. He was so happy because, with his military pay and housing, we could be married right after boot camp. I was in shock. This was not my plan. I wasn’t ready to leave home, my job, my education or my church. Our parents and friends were all for it though.

I was only 17.

Georgene (Dec.’10) adds, “Where was the voice of reason? It was a different time.”

**

HIDE AND SEEK:

Life’s Game

I had just begun to read Keith Devlin’s book, The Language of Mathematics:

Making the Invisible Visible when I heard laughter outside my study window. I looked out and saw my neighbor playing a game of hide-and-seek with her granddaughter, a delightful little girl of about three years of age.

I had noticed the child earlier as she explored the perimeters of the yard. While touching, picking, tasting various objects, leaping from the concrete unto the grass, the child babbled in that unknown language that children first use to describe their world. She laughed at some quality of grass that I have long forgotten. I watched this flowing energy, this child who seemed captivated by every shadow, flash of light, flutter of a bird’s wing and the background hovering of Grandma. In my mind I repeated Devlin’s statement, “Mathematics makes the invisible visible.”

I wondered many things. Is the child engaging in mathematics as she picked up

a rock to peer beneath? Is the child engaging in mathematics when she played hide-and-seek with Grandma? Is the child building the foundation for her future understanding of the emerging world?

I thought about the games of peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek that so engage children. Making visible the invisible, exposing the hidden is a game not only for mathematicians but for all living creatures. Some play the game more intensely than others.

Although various creatures in nature, such as apes and dogs play the game, only humans appear to wonder about the hidden. We wrestle with the paradoxes and riddles (easier word, please) that emerge as one uncovers some of the secrets nature uses as rules for understanding the reality. When I see the unbridled joy of the exploring child, I remind myself to look for the child who still lives within my own heart and mind.

Wallace (Dec.’10 ) adds, “Maybe a further thought from the book or some other matter that has crossed your mind.”

** 

JOEY’S SONG

Conclusion

Previously: Blind-from-birth, Joey has a gift. He can see people’s personal light and color which tell him their physical and emotional state.

One day, I was getting Joey’s breakfast and we were alone in the kitchen. He turned his blank eye to me and said,

Can I ask you something about Grandpa, Mommy?”

Of course, Joey”

“Grandpa’s colors are getting really dim with a lot of purple and blue. How come it’s doing that?”

Well, Joey, it’s probably because Grandpa is getting old and he is doesn’t feel well.”

The next day, my dad passed out and fell in our living room. I called 911. Joey got all upset and cried, “Mommy! Grandpa’s light is almost gone!”

The paramedics arrived about then. As they started an IV and administered oxygen, Dad gradually regained consciousness. The ambulance took him to the hospital and he was admitted to ICU.

Finally we were allowed to visit, and Joey greeted Grandpa with his usual musical salute. We chatted a few moments and then Grandpa’s words ebbed into silence. Joey’s blind eyes grew wide and his upturned face beamed radiantly. “Mommy! Grandpa’s light is moving up in the air, and it’s so bright! Oh! Mommy! It’s moving towards a brilliant opening up there!”

Suddenly, Joey burst into the most beautiful and sonorous melody I had ever heard. “It’s God, Mommy! It’s God! He’s reaching down and pulling Grandpa up!”

Then Joey became quiet.

Knowing I had heard Joey sing God’s song, I stood in awe. Its beauty and vibrancy would comfort me the rest of my life.

Simon Stargazer III (Dec.’10) says, “I sent ‘Joey’s Song” to several friends and a few minutes later I received a fascinating response. It came from Jerry, a former patient of mine.

Beautiful and touching, Simon!

This must have come from your active and spiritual mind!

May I relate a true happening? When I was in Navy Boot Camp in 1944, one of the recruits told me something that was hard to believe but true. He said that in his mid-teens, some kind of physical condition rendered him blind. During this period of blindness, he was given the new gift of carving beautiful figures of both birds and of people.

By a miracle he could not explain, his eyesight gradually returned. As he regained his eyesight, he also seemed to lose his gift of carving.

Isn’t that strange? I suspect the ‘Joey’s Song’ was a gift from God, too. Suppose?

Jerry “

Simon poses a question, “Do you think in some way fiction and fact are related here? Or is it just an accidental ‘God thing’?”

**

MY SILENT RETREAT

(Part I of IV)

Recently, I attended my first silent retreat. I went with Sue, my friend, who made the arrangements. The place was called Roseaire, after the original owners of the old wood mansion Opus Dei, a group of Roman Catholics, had purchased for getaways.

A smiling slender dark-haired woman greeted us when we drove up. She helped us up the steps with our luggage. Once inside, she led us up the central stairway to the second floor to our room. The space Sue and I shared was bigger than the large bedroom I share with my husband at home. Later Sue and I decided they gave us the best accommodation because we were the two oldest of eighteen ladies that weekend.

Sue had been to Roseaire before and showed me around. The large house had an elevator, two dining rooms, a living room, a reading room with a little library and a balcony that looked over a large swimming pool. In the basement there was an oratory for lectures and a confessional booth.

Finished viewing the house, we continued my tour outside. Around the back we followed a path through an old neglected flower garden. We sat on a bench in front of a mosaic Virgin Mary and we had a quiet chat before dinner.

Lynan (Oct.’10) says, “Thus I began my daily adventure into the presence of God.”

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