We were up at 6am, in rural Turlock, California, ready to cheer on a field full of 10-year olds competing in their early morning State Cup Quarterfinal.
It was 34 degrees outside -- not so impressive if you're playing winter soccer in Chicago, or New York, or Kansas, but pretty freakin' cold if you happen to be 10-year old California girls and their parents.
The grass crunched beneath our feet. We blew frosty smoke rings from our mouths. We stomped our feet and talked about how it was damn cold but WOW it could be even colder, and at least the sun was out.
We cheered on our girls, hoping to will them to victory with our support and encouragement. And then, we felt heartsick and helpless as we watched them go down in defeat. We fretted to each other that they deserved this win, that the score didn't tell the real story.
We joked "At least we'll get our Sunday back," since by midway through the second half it was clear that we weren't returning for a …
Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand. It is wide open. The sword is taken away, but we do not know it. I am present without knowing it at all, in this unspeakable paradise, and I behold this secret, this wide open secret which is there for everyone, free.
– Thomas Merton
Thank you, Thomas Merton, for your words, and thank you to my friend Linda for sharing them on Facebook this morning to usher in 2017.
Perhaps this is what all angst and anxiety stem from: we are present in unspeakable paradise without knowing it, even while we search for it high and low, with desperation and urgency. We are searching for that paradise with every resolution, every firm decision to be better, do better, love better. Paradise is all around us: why don't we see it? Why aren't we aware of every moment we are living in it? Why don't we know it?
That existential crisis will be even more palpable in this, our beloved country, as we watch Donald J. T…
1. He teaches us soccer moves. • 2. He read Little Women to me. • 3. He takes us to Fenton’s for ice cream. • 4. He’s the milkshake parent. • 5. He creates beautiful gardens. • 6. He takes us to In-n-Out. • 7. He makes us warm fires in the winter. • 8. He finds stuff for us at Thrift Town. • 9. He tells mommy she is beautiful. • 10. He wrestles with us.
11. He gave us Bob Dylan. • 12. He brings me ribs from T-Rex. • 13. Two words: Top Dog. • 14. He draws pictures with us when we are doing art and on the menus at Fatapples. • 15. He read Shakespeare to me when I was really little. • 16. He says sorry. • 17. He tells us he loves us every day. • 18. He carried all of us kids in the backpack when we were little and let us all drool down his back. • 19. He loves to take naps with us. • 20. He reads Always Room for One More and One Morning in Maine to us.
21. He likes to make us laugh. • 22. He read The Phantom Tollbooth and The Hobbit to us in the evenings on mom and dad’s bed. • 23. He…