356. For the Love of a Glove

So I bought a pair of leather gloves at Cabela’s on the way up to NYC last month. They were on sale and fit me like, well, a glove. My loving wife, who also fits me like a glove, insisted on buying them. I’ve enjoyed wearing them while I drive, which is about all they are good for since they are unlined. However, since we’ve had such a mild fall/early winter so far, I’ve been getting a lot of miles out of this structured cowhide. Now, what is the most common fate for gloves?  Divorce due to neglect. Somehow I always lose one glove in a pair. Which is what I did during my walk abouts in town. I only walk between my parking space and my office, and then from my office to the coffee shop and back. So the odds of finding one of my lost gloves are pretty good, I think.

I noticed that I was missing one last week during the rainy days as I walked by the industrial green dumpster behind the big church. “I’ll be gall durned!!” How irresponsible of me. It was a new glove. Why is it you never lose an old threadbare glove or sock? It’s always the new one. Dang it to heck!  I reproached myself for a full thirty seconds and then moved on to something else. My blessings. At least I had a glove to lose. At least it’s been warm. At least I have hands and a jacket. Focusing on the overwhelming good in one’s life can suck the air right out of whining.

My Arizona daughter and granddaughter were coming soon. Yippee Cow Yodee Oh!! Ayyeah. And my NYC daughter was coming to stay for the same week. Shoooby dooby. Who cares about a glove when you’ve got someone to love?  I got my Sam Cooke, my Otis Redding and my Nat King Cole mojo going. It’s a condition of deep satisfaction in the blood that warms your entire body, not to a sweaty mess, no. Instead it brings you to a blissful homeostasis similar to the effects of bourbon.

I still thought about Michael Jackson and his solo glove. It was weird but a signature for him. I thought about the one armed man in The Fugitive. Maybe he’d want my surviving glove. I hate to waste things, though words and time I seem to have no problem vaporizing. Maybe I could start a new look, the single glove theory, by keeping my left hand hidden at all times and only wearing my surviving right glove. Mysterious, yes. Why do we never see his left hand? We all have our darkness and secrets, don’t we?

Does everything need a pair, afterall? “Every pot has its lid”, we tell folks who are tired of the miserable dating scene. “Every goose has its gander.” But do you really want to be compared to a goose or a pot? These are not reassuring truisms. “Every fool has his folly.” “Every dog has his day.” “To each his own.”

Well, finally the daughters came home, first NYC and later Arizona with my adorable granddaughter. As we hugged in our foyer the little princess announced, “Mommy has a baby in her tummy.” I could hardly believe what I was hearing. It was a total surprise, not even a consideration as far as I knew. “Yep, 12 weeks now.” I must have beamed at her because she told me later on that mine was the biggest reaction of any, which sort of reassured her. I only know that I had that same floating feeling I experienced when I walked her down the aisle at her cathedral wedding in Atlanta six or seven years ago. Then again,I had a head full of Robitussin starships fighting a galaxy of snot monsters.

Maybe that’s how a single glove looking for its mate can even fit in alongside a precious little girl looking for a sibling playmate… under some mind altering dextromethorphan fog.  Little Leah has been calling her baby dolls her sister lately, while I’ve been calling for my lost leather glove mate in the rain. There is something in common between the two if you think long enough.

Now for creative purposes I have altered the actual sequence of events. I found my glove beside the big church I walk by daily. It was soaked and bleeding a bit of reddish stain. But there it was. I grabbed the lost glove and squeezed as much rain out as I could. Alright!! The prodigal glove came home to its father on the steps of the church no less. I realize that I am now giving an article of clothing a free will and capacities that are reserved for humans. However, in the blog business you are not held bound by regular laws of physics or logic. You simply have to make people feel like you can tell an interesting story that is equal to or greater than store brand onion dip without any garlicky aftertaste.Image result for onion dip pictures

So, the pair of gloves is re-mated for now. In six months we will see what sort of child pops out of mommy’s tummy. Will it be a boy, as seems to be the smart bet? Or will we have yet another princess in the Burrito family? It does not matter a jot. He or she will be loved and valued without having to go missing. And that is truly a tragic state of affairs, when we have to lose something before we value it– a reputation, a job, a marriage, a friendship, a home. Someone said that the average man learns from his own pain, whereas the wise man learns from others’ pain. Count me in on loving the first time around, not because I’m wise but because I have learned the hard way.

 

 

 

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180. Jubba Jubba, Holy Moly!

I like how words sound; maybe I just like sounds. I guess sounds come first and then words result. My granddaughter Leah is 9 months old and just now acquiring her language skills. She can say “MaMaMaMa”, “DaDaDaDa” and other sounds that aren’t yet words. But she demonstrates receptive language way beyond what she can say. If you ask her where daddy is, she looks for the door. Say “Kermit” (the dog) and she crawls over to the dog dishes or toys. The same applies to “ByeBye” “Sleepytime” “More” and other communications. She demonstrates a clear understanding of each word’s meaning, which is kind of magical if you think about it. How do repeated sounds one day cross over and become meaningful units of information? One day, rolling random sounds flow by like meteors from space, and the next day they line up in racks and stacks with labels and measures full of structure and order. Miraculous, if you ask me.

You’ve probably read John 3:16, “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” God starts as word and then becomes enfleshed as a man/god, Jesus. In His short human life he gave us the language of love, mercy and grace, and redemption. It’s an awesome language if you speak it, but just having the receptive language ability is pretty cool too. In baby land the sounds become words and dwell among us as language. Chaotic noises occur randomly, but a developing brain begins to search for order. Little Leah’s brain associates a sound she generated with an external thing in her view. Her attentive mother reinforces this association once she realizes it’s happening. Grace smiles and claps and says, “Good job, Leah.” I suppose a nonverbal language has already been laid down between mother and daughter. What a great laboratory for learning anything! Surrounding a toddler with loving touch and smell and sound and taste reinforces all the newness she is discovering. Blending these senses into language consciousness through the channel of sound is a staggering concept.

I see a strong parallel between these two examples. God is like a parent who loves us and wants to communicate with us in deep meaning; so He gave us Himself, the meaning maker, in the form of Jesus. My daughter wants the same sort of deeper communication with her child, and so she happily labors to guide little Leah into meaningful language. The result is not always pretty with believers or kids, but now and then the outcomes are miraculous.

We Skype every now and again. Like her mother at the same age, Leah tries to climb into the computer screen to touch her grandparents and Aunt Jess.

Visual representations are beyond her concrete understanding. Unlike the immediate environmental word=noun or word=concept association, the computer image is 900 miles northeast of her. That understanding is going to take many years to grasp. Piaget claimed that concrete permanence is a developmental stage, i.e., when a toy is hidden under a blanket, the child knows the toy still exists. I guess this means that for now we stop existing when the image goes away. I’ll work on that, my Blogglers and let you know how it progresses. I want to be permanent in my granddaughter’s mind.

Many adolescents and adults want to see God steadily. In a sense they have not reached object permanence in their spiritual development, though God is not an object. When they are in His presence through reading His word or worship or fellowship with other believers, they see and grasp Him. However, like my granddaughter, once a veil comes over His presence or the screen goes to black, they stop perceiving and pause their belief. Sure, we’d all like to Skype with God or walk alongside Him regularly. But if that were the case, we would be operating on our senses and not on faith. And our senses are not good at remembering. In AA they say don’t act, HALT. When you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired, you should pause and reflect. Why? Because when we are operating only on our senses, we make fools of ourselves. Act rather on faith.

Many folks I know struggle with faith in the unseen God. Yet these same folks believe in and trust their bank, their retirement fund, Social Security statements, and more unseen institutions of mankind. Let’s face it: you have to trust or you’ll never get anything done in life. Not trusting leads to self sufficiency where you have to own and defend your own land, drill your own well, make your own electricity, food, shelter, clothes, etc. Some of these folks have bunkers ready for Armageddon survival. Out on the fringes it gets ridiculous. How much fear energy does it take to build an underground bunker? And then, what do they do as the years go by and the bunker just sits there, a gaping hole full of faithlessness?

“Jubba, jubba” means nothing more than four melodic syllables from a Grateful Dead song, “Mr. Charlie”. It’s the equivalent of Space debris hitting the desert portion of the planet of our brains. But if you add the structure of other contexts, you can arrive at Jubal, a flute playing figure from the Old Testament; or Jubal Early, a Confederate Army Civil War general. With a little Latinization you can arrive at jubilation, a lovely word that means full of joy or exultation. All of this ordering could make you downright jubilant.

Slam that up next to Holy Moly! and you get joyous exultation plus an expression of surprise. Sadly, there is no such thing as a moly, Bloggolies. It’s just a sound that rhymes with holy. But don’t stop there. We are Burrito Nation. We can supply our own contextual structure and arrive at meanings never imagined before. Moly. A liquefied cheese that contains 10% mold, a variant of bleu cheese. Said to resemble moleskin if allowed to congeal. Now that’s some holy moly. Or he could be a French Impressionist painter, Claude Holy Moley, pronounce Mo Lay. No matter the context, my pointillist paint dab friends, jubba jubba, holy moly, looking high, looking low…