I guess I slept on my neck funny because, starting yesterday, I’ve had a terrible kink and my range of motion is pretty limited. Makes backing my car off the driveway a lot more…well not fun, but, more of a thing. Of some kind. It’s also got me thinking about my pain tolerance level. I’ve always considered it to be pretty low, but how can I know that? Unless I inhabit somebody else’s body, how do I know if the pain I’m experiencing is any lighter or heavier than anyone else’s? Is a “high tolerance for pain” just the unwillingness to complain about it openly?

I took the morning off of work today and I’m sitting in a local restaurant, having just had a lovely breakfast. I just looked up to see an older guy that I know entirely from the local acting scene; we had bit parts together in a local production of Anne of Green Gables, and I’ve seen him around at various other events. But the first thing I saw him in was playing a preacher in a film made by a friend of mine called “Contract Player” and what’s funny is that I can’t shake that image of him. Every time I see him I think “oh, he’s a pastor” and then I remember no, that was just a character.

The other funny thing is that until moments ago I’d also forgotten that I’m listed on the IMDB, for two roles in my friend Mike’s movies. Last one was six years ago. Guess my star isn’t really rising in Hollywood. Shoulda got an agent and struck while the iron was hot!!!!1

Time to wind down on the coffee here. I think my heart’s starting to palpitate.

Inspired by Mike McHargue’s book Finding God in the Waves I’ve begun trying “Lectio Divina”, a kind of bible study that (in brief) involves reading a short passage slowly and multiple times, with reflection and contemplation afterward. There’s a bunch of similar guides online, or just get Mike’s book, which is excellent. I decided to start in Psalms, and it’s yielded some interesting results so far. I do tend to blast through passages when I’m doing a “bible in a year” kind of reading, and this method forces me to slow down and really think about words and phrases that jump out at me. Maybe it wouldn’t work for everyone, but the other day, my reading and contemplation actually inspired me to make something based on a verse, which is entirely unprecedented for me. I’m going to share it with you now:

Based on Psalm 8:5

This is for you, if you feel like you need one! It’s a crown. For a little extra context, the Psalm says:

what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?[c]
Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
    and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:4-5 (NLT)

I like that a lot. I don’t feel very glorious or honorable a lot of the time, but I can take a moment (and I have been) to quietly stop and visualize the crown on my head. It’s comforting to think that tiny little me, one among 7-billion-and-change, on a pale blue dot in the vastness of space — that I’m somebody that God cares about and crowns with glory and honor.

So if you need one too, like I said, it’s yours. Take a moment to feel it resting up there, on your head. Now, go do the thing! You got this!

Thing I Saw: A game called The Outer Wilds just released yesterday for the Xbox One, and I got it via Gamepass. So my next stop after finishing this entry is to go home, put on some good headphones, and dive in.

Thing I Learned: “Dinosaur” gets thrown around as a catch-all term for ancient lizard-things that also flew and swam, but strictly speaking, dinosaurs are just the land one. Bruce is a mososaur, and not actually a dinosaur. Huh.

I’m Grateful For: The recent rains, and sudden but wonderful greening of our city.

This is the only Tea Party song I like

Not Wanted Here

I haven’t updated this blog in a while. Maybe it’s because people were actually checking it regularly and I wanted to throw them off. I think they’re gone and I can resume being honest.

Volunteering at a funeral this morning. I’m part of the “Powerpoint” team in my church, which handles the computer displays in the sanctuary and elsewhere. I’ve been volunteering in this capacity for more than ten years, and for the last few years I’ve ascended to a kind of coordinator, just by virtue of being there the longest. I do a lot of the funerals because they’re often held during the day and my work is very flexible about my coming and going; so it tends to work best for me. My experience at the computer also means I’m not as rattled by people showing up with a variety of formats and requests at the last minute.

The first funerals I volunteered at felt very strange. I rarely know the deceased, or even many of the attendees, so I felt like a stranger intruding on a family’s private grief. I don’t know if it’s different for the other volunteers at first, but I suspect it’s not. Many of these events, especially in the wake of my mom’s passing in 2017, sort of “colour” the rest of my day and leave me feeling drained. Sometimes I try not to be ‘present’ and remain disengaged from the event as much as possible, doing puzzles on my phone or literally stepping out of the booth when I know there’s a lot of time before I’m needed next.

I don’t think that’s entirely healthy, so lately I’ve been trying to remain engaged, to make sure that I notice and be present for feelings that the event brings up, and remind myself that it is really okay and understandable to be sad (and even to take some of that sadness with me throughout the day). But also, I try to do something ‘nice’ for myself when I have a chance; often it’s going out of my way to stop at Whitecap for an Americano, my favourite coffee to buy in the city.

As to the “stranger” piece I mentioned earlier — I’ve come to realize that although I don’t know the people involved, my purpose is to make the day a little easier for those going through this loss. I also know, having been on the ‘other side’ of things recently, that probably nobody is thinking of us volunteers as “intruders” and if anything they are grateful for having people around to take care of the myriad little things involved in hosting a funeral (and often reception).

Let me tell you, there are way more questions and logistical things involved in a funeral than you might expect. Especially when the deceased left virtually no instructions, as was my mother’s case. She simply refused to talk about any of it. You might sit down to have a piece of cheese and a bun after the funeral, and they seem like the same piece of cheese and bun at every event, but somebody had to decide on that piece of cheese and that bun and then source and deliver everything.

Anyway. It’ll be okay. I won’t say “good”, but okay.

Thing I Saw: Some small trees blooming beautifully along my running route this morning, and the smell was lovely as well. But I don’t have a “thing I smelled” note.

Thing I Learned: Well, before setting out to write this I was just starting to learn about American campaign security, for some reason. I haven’t finished reading the article but the breezy and informal tone made it interesting and I want to get back to it later.

I’m Grateful For: Waking up this morning. Not that this was in a specific danger of not happening, but you never know.