Thursday, July 10, 2008


Whenever I go to the ocean and spend a few hours diving in the waves, as I did last week, I am reminded of how much they have taught me.   Occasionally you see somebody out in the surf who is clearly a newcomer to waves.   Again and again they stand in the way of them and get smacked down.  Now, if getting hit in the chest and head and back by powerful walls of frothy salt water is your thing, then go right on standing there and getting smacked.  There are certainly worse ways to spend a day.  

Personally, I prefer to face waves in a few other ways:  diving over, diving under, moving out beyond them or riding them in.  Of course, each way holds its own life lessons.  

Diving over is tricky and only works if you catch it just before the big break.  You have to know your wave and decide whether you have the traction on the sand shifting beneath you to make the leap.    This way involves risk and quick judgement and the willingness to get a huge faceful of froth.  But done right, it can result in a very pleasant floating, flopping ride to the other side.

Diving under is the easiest thing.  Just put your arms over your head and face the wave and plunge straight in the the heart of it.   But if you've never done it before, it looks scary.  It's only once you've tried it that you understand that the quietest place in the surf is directly underneath the biggest waves.  Ah yes, the old "there's no way out but through" philosophy. 

Getting out beyond the waves usually means putting yourself rather far out into the ocean, which only works if you like being in the ocean over your head and trust that you have the strength to swim back in, even if a rip tide is pulling you farther out.  To get beyond the waves you have to take a few in the face first, or try the diving under and over techniques often enough to get good at both.  Beyond the waves can be choppy or peaceful and you are never guaranteed a wave-free existence, but what a place to hang out and enjoy the vastness of the universe. The risk is in straying too far from shore, but the pay-off is excellent.   

Riding them in is the most fun of all but requires a willingness to eat some sand, scrape your knees on shells and occasionally feel as if you may be ripped apart.   It also requires great patience in finding just the right wave to ride and catching it at just the right moment as the wall of water tips forward, but before the actual crest.   But when you catch a great body surfing rise -- ah!   What a rush!   

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Week

In addition to celebrating the independence of our nation this week, two other events occurred in my life with liberating effect.

Monday, June 30 was the last day that the former director of the center where I am now the current director was officially on the payroll.   Of course, she is still calling to tell me what to do, but it really has very little impact on me these days.   (Really, she called this week to suggest several things I ought to be doing during my vacation.   No kidding.)

Wednesday, July 2, my ex and I went to court and are now officially divorced.   There was a brief moment of breathless sadness and then ... relief.    I am proud of how well the two of us handled this ending, sans lawyers or mediators or anyone else.   We went through the whole process together, from separation agreement to final stamp of legal approval, and now it is finished and we are still friends.   Thanks be to God!   

And now, I am off on a vacation with my young one.   See you when I get back.   

I dedicate this to my Lord and Savior, Jesus

The darling and irascible PJ has given me an award I clearly have not earned, but tearfully accept.  
Here are the rules:
1) Pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself. 
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte Y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here:  Arte Y Pico.  

And because I never really follow all the rules, I pick these three

Diane, for her theological depth and Midwestern good sense. 
Doxy, for her pulls-no-punches writing on topics others don't want to touch. 
Laura, because I ran into her yesterday and anyone who is a full-time pastor and mother of two charming young children, and can find time to blog and still look fabulous on a hot, sticky day at a parade deserves many awards.