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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Dance as a House – A Metaphor for Life

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Silhouette of DancersEver watched a really good dancer and thought to yourself “I could never do that.”? Or have you ever looked at an exquisite piece of architecture (or a piece of furniture from IKEA) and thought “I could never build that.”?

When I was in the fourth grade my family of five moved in with my grandma, into a two-bedroom house. Naturally, there wasn’t much room for all six of us so plans were made for us to add more rooms onto the house. Due to money constraints the project took nearly two full years to complete. It was a very slow and painful process to say the least. First, our backyard was transformed from a small green orchid to a brownish trash heap. Then one side of our house became like a slice of Swiss cheese. For a long time several walls of our home were made of large thick sheets of clear plastic. We lived in a windy desert, which means extreme temperatures and lots of dirt. Imagine trying to sleep in a 90 or 50 degree room! Also imagine the frustration of perpetual dusting and vacuuming. Not fun. The bright side was that I got to see many of the oft-forgotten elements of a house being put into place. I saw the plumbing, the wiring, the air ducts, and the placement of things like heaters and bathtubs. Our house was not so much a home as much as it was a construction site. It wasn’t until the painting and flooring were complete that it finally began to look and feel like home again. Before that, I and others in my family had numerous moments of “F%$# all this! I’m so done with this stupid house! I don’t even want the extra rooms anymore!”

For the past few weeks I have been taking dance classes. Before moving from California to Texas I had virtually no interest in structured dancing. My second week in town, though, some new friends invited me to go country dancing. I had no clue how to country dance but had nothing better to do so I accepted. I danced exactly one dance and was horrible. That night I mostly just stood and watched as guy after guy walked up to a seemingly random lady, asked her to dance, danced to one song, said thanks, and then repeated the process with a different lady. As I stood on the edge of the dance floor (on the outside looking in, so to speak), I thought to myself “I have to learn how to do that”. Read more…

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Categories: Snapshots of Me Tags: , , ,

Steven

April 27, 2006 Leave a comment

This story takes place over ten years ago and so some of the details have gotten hazy with age. Perhaps after reading this, my brother can offer some additional insight.

During my freshman year of high school I attended a private Christian school. That same year, my younger brother Daniel was in seventh grade and attended a private Lutheran school. My parents were still together and I regularly attended a youth group called “Highlife” that was closely affiliated with my school.

For those that are completely unaware or only partially familiar, the youth group that I attended involved singing upbeat songs (similar to those sang in Church, but not hymns), playing some sort of group game, small group activity and discussion, and a message (like a sermon). It was a place to have fun with fellow Christian teens and learn something extra about God that I had not already learned from school, church, parents, or elsewhere. Although the “God stuff” was great, most of us simply saw it as an excuse to hang out with friends on a Wednesday night.

My mom shifted jobs a lot, but, at the time of this story, had been renting an office space inside of a local carpet store where she could run her interior design business. The owner of the carpet store was divorced, his ex-wife lived in Los Angeles somewhere, and they had joint custody of a teenage boy named Steven. The owner was so busy with his work that he seldom had time to be with his son.

Apparently, there were some parental issues at Steven’s mom’s place too because Steven had gotten himself involved in gangs. I had seen movies like “Colors” and “Boys in the Hood”, but I knew enough at the time to know that I knew nothing. To this day, I still don’t really understand what it means to be in a gang. I am not sure exactly how it came about, but somehow every parent involved decided that it would be a good idea for Steven to live with us for a week or so and share a room with my brother and me! I have already told you about the differences between Steven and my brother and I. It was like the pilgrims coming to America and meeting the “Indians”. We were from completely different worlds and neither understood the other. Read more…

Categories: Snapshots of Me Tags: , ,

We Live

May 30, 2005 Leave a comment

I went to my father’s house in Lancaster for Memorial Day yesterday. Lancaster is about 45 minutes northeast of Magic Mountain in Valencia. It was mostly family members there, my kids and I, my two brothers, my older brother’s wife, and my dad. There was supposed to be another person there, a friend of my Dad, Jack. Jack had to work yesterday in Valencia. (Yes, on a Holiday.) My dad kept calling Jack to see when he’d be there. Jack eventually finished his work and got on the road. Jack decided to take a well-known back road called Bouquet Canyon Road that pretty much leads all the way from the Valencia area to Lancaster. It’s an alternative to the 14 Freeway for those with strong stomachs. It is a very windy mountain road and it is fairly common to see Porsches or motorcycles taking the road just for the fun of handling the curves.

Yesterday while on that road, Jack saw a motorcycle on the road. Neither Jack nor I know the reason why the driver of the motorcycle was on the road yesterday. Perhaps he was on his way to a late starting Memorial Day barbeque. Perhaps like Jack, he was on his way home from work. Or, like many others, perhaps he was simply on a joyride through the hills. The driver and his motorcycle passed Jack on his left. Jack watched as the driver sped up the road to conquer his next curve. The curve was right up ahead where Jack could see. Jack watched as the bike started the curve, then he watched as the driver flew off his bike and landed several feet away before his body rolled to a stop. Apparently, there had been a car making a U-turn just around the turn. The motorcycle had crashed directly into the middle of the car. Jack stopped his vehicle to check on the situation…. he arrived at my dad’s house about an hour or so later. I’d like to tell you that this story has a happy ending. I wish I could say that I was just making this up or that it was something I saw on a television show performed by stunt men, but I can’t. The driver of the motorcycle did not survive. Jack found him eyes wide-open, lips blue, and without a pulse. I am not sure what good can come from telling this story. Perhaps I am writing it for my own good as another reminder of my own mortality. I will not live forever. I do not know when I will die or under what circumstances. Chances are that you don’t either. I will end this blog with lyrics from a song by one of my favorite bands, Superchic[k].

 

Artist: Superchic[k]
Album: Beauty From Pain
Song: We Live

There’s a cross on the side of the road
Where a mother lost a son
How could she know that the morning he left
Would be their last time
She’d trade with him for a little more time
So she could say she loved him one more time
And hold him tight

But with life we never know
When we’re coming up to the end of the road
So what do we do then
With tragedy around the bend?

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love
We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love

There is a man who waits for the tests
To see if the cancer has spread yet
And now he asks, “So why did I wait to live till it was time to die?”
If I could have the time back how I’d live
Life is such a gift
So how does the story end?
Well this is your story and it all depends
So don’t let it become true
Get out and do what we are meant to do

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love
We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love

Waking up to another dark morning
People are mourning
The weather in life outside is storming
But what would it take for the clouds to break
For us to realize each day is a gift somehow, someway
So get our heads up out of the darkness
And spark this new mindset and start to live life cuz it ain’t gone yet
And tragedy is a reminder to take off the blinders
And wake up and live the life we’re supposed to take up
Moving forward with all our heads up cuz life is worth living

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love
We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love

Categories: Snapshots of Me Tags: , ,