At first I thought the book was going to really be cheesy. Then I started reading. Gordon Mckenzie was for years one of the prime creative forces behind Hallmark. His stories are hilarious, but they also drive you to introspection. The premise is that creativity isn’t some special talent or gift, reserved for just “the creatives,” but that it is something we’re all born with – but that gets stolen from us by life.
The hairball is a layering of “the ghosts of past creative successes,” which seduce us into trying to repeatedly replicate them – which of course never happens like we want or expect. Orbiting is, at least in the corporate world, identifying the main goal of an organization and finding ways to reach it, but without getting caught up in “the way it’s always been done before.” Operating on the periphery, yet remaining true to an ultimate vision or goal.
I think that’s what we need to do in reaching the poor. So far, all the grand strategies of the IMF and World Bank haven’t had much of an impact. World aid so far is a giant hairball! Let’s orbit and see how we might impact even a small piece! The Batwa pygmies are still on the verge of extinction, but we can play a part in keeping that from happening! See you on the fringe!
OK, so Adam came and ran with me this afternoon. He’s a rabbit. I have this 4.06 mile run – not a 4 mile run – it’s a 4.06 mile run. Anyway, we (Matt and Sherry and I) normally run it in 38 – 40 minutes. Today Adam and I ran it in 36 minutes. So you think only 2 minutes less isn’t a big deal? You try it! Took me about an hour before I could breathe reasonably normally again (got asthma . . . no wonder).
Had a great conversation with Mac today. Mac is my barber. He’s all tatted up, with tattoo mags filling his shop. Really a nice guy, but upset about the “illegals” coming in to “take our stuff.” I asked him if he ever looked at life through the eyes of a poor person. He hadn’t. Asked him if he’s ever visited someone who has a dirt floor, no windows – only blankets covering the openings, no door – only a blanket. He hadn’t. I suggested he was upset because he was white and male – and saw life through that filter. When I left after my 30 minutes and $14 he shook my hand and said he enjoyed the conversation. I can’t figure out why. Everything I said was contrary to what he said he believed – or at least what pissed him off. Maybe next time we’ll get more time to chat.
The dinner party was cool. The living room was really hot (this morning I found the radiant heat in the living room turned up to full blast. it was about 90 when I got up) Conversations. Lots of them . . . about Siberia, about downward mobility. About whether Creation was a literal or figurative 6 days. About LAPD. About Trader Joe’s latest great cheap wine (Santa Ema). About what it means to live out the gospel as families with kids running all over, turning on the heater without the adults knowing it and wondering why it was so hot in the room LOL!
Should be fun. 9 adults and 7 kids in a 2-bedroom apartment (or condo. whatever). We’re hosting the Nesbitts, Swansons, Princes and a new friend named Dennis (won’t know his last name until after dinner). Getting ready is fun, despite the fact I ripped off a toenail trying to move a table from the kitchen to the dining room. Whats amazing is we actually have enough room to do this deal.
Living out the Gospel isn’t convenient, but it is right. Sometimes what’s right isn’t easy. Or convenient.
Its 5:30 am and Matt is coming shortly to join me in my regular 4.06 mile run. Not 4 miles. 4.06 miles. On Monday of this week, Sherry bought me a couple pairs of new pants for my birthday. She called me at the office and I confirmed, 38 x 32. Problem is that when I got home and tried them on . . . yeah, too tight. No way am I giving in and exchanging them for 40′s instead of 38′s. I’m not going to waist my life any more!
All right, so its been almost a year since I last posted here. . . and a lot has happened in that year! I took a 2 1/2 year hiatus from full-time work after 25+ years in the flooring industry to go back to school (Cal Poly Pomona), from which I just graduated with a BS in Animal Science! Ultimately Sherry and I are still headed for Africa, where we’ll be involved in microdevelopment for marginalized people. I know Animal Science is a long ways away from flooring, but it is an interest I’ve had for decades and finally decided to pursue. It fits because the microdevelopment projects will be focused on using meat animals – like goats – as the basis for creating an economic infrastructure for people living in grinding poverty with little hope and usually no advocates.
Sherry is working as an RN in the ER at Long Beach Memorial Hospital. I’m working with a company that does cross-media communications (includes custom printing and marketing solutions). She’s one year away from finishing a Masters in Nursing and I’m ready to start a new Masters in Intercultural Studies and International Development. My program is a joint effort between Fuller Theological Seminary (the Intercultural Studies component) and Hope International University (the International Development component.) Its a 3 year program, but much of it can be completed online if we end up going to Africa sooner. We’re now living in Long Beach, since our house in Huntington Beach is still leased to a wonderful couple, who have been there since we left for Pomona in September, 2005. Email me if you want or need our new address!
Until we head off to Africa, I’m really stoked about our involvement with a group in our church called “The Gathering.” I’ll write more about The Gathering later . . .