Never before have we had the abundance of technology available to our culture as we do today.
My sister was recently married. It was a beautiful wedding filled with wonderful friends, incredible food, dancing until midnight and getting swept away in the magic of fairy tales becoming real.
The subject of money is among the greatest sources of conflict and tension in a marriage or committed relationship — especially during difficult economic times. Money is a domain powerfully connected to passionate beliefs and values, intense emotion, and meaningful implications regarding financial choices.
In recent weeks, our record-breaking heat put us to the test. For those without the respite of air conditioning, we felt the effects of unprecedented heat. Our bodies begged for relief in the daylight. At night, we tossed and turned until sleep finally came. After several days of swimming in discomfort, the novelty of a warmer climate had worn out its welcome and we were ready to return to a former standard of ease.
Our precious generation of seniors has been on my mind lately. Not long ago, my beloved grandmother passed away. In her final months of life, I was fortunate to be by her side each day creating sacred moments together. Since those days, I’ve found myself considering more intently the lives and experiences of our seniors.
I’ve recently joined a book club. Gathering with both old and new friends, we are brought together by our love of the literary. As I turned the pages of our latest read, I smiled at the adventurous and unknown path this book took to travel into my hands — for my eyes were not the first to gaze upon its pages.
It’s tempting to dismiss the violence occurring in our community. It’s far easier to imagine such pain living in another neighborhood. In recent days, the topic of domestic violence reemerged as celebrity Chris Brown was charged with the assault of pop star and girlfriend Rihanna. As headlines ran, we remembered O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown and we are again reminded abuse and violence in intimate relationships dwell in every corner of the world without prejudice — in Hollywood and at home in Bothell.
In our culture, we are consistently surrounded by images of what it means to be beautiful, desired, accepted. Images conveyed through our media and displayed within our community speak to the value of appearance most notably depicted by the physical body. Regardless of whether we personally value the ideal or should ascribe to its belief, the message of our culture is clear — to be regarded as beautiful, one must be thin.
We are living in unprecedented times where financial crisis is felt all around us. There are very few families who are not feeling the pain of economic change or the fear of pending devastation. Perhaps the only calm we know for certain is found in knowing we are journeying together in uncertainty — and the knowledge that this season shall pass and lead us into another era.
Recently I indulged in a fabulous play about a love affair with chocolate. A friend and I returned to Bothell High’s campus, our former stomping ground, to see “Chocolate Confessions” at the Northshore Performing Arts Center. In this charming and whimsical one-woman show, Joan Freed sings the plight of characterized women seeking to satisfy their insatiable desire for chocolate.
I first told my mother to shut up when I was newly entering the teenage years. I had invited dozens of classmates to our home to rehearse a school performance. As the rehearsal was underway, goofing off got in the way of serious practice and I felt frustrated. Trying to remain cool while regaining the crowd’s attention, my mother saw my need for her support and so she intervened with great warmth and guidance.
Recently, I returned home from a journey to South Africa and I have been absolutely gloriously ruined, deeply inspired and profoundly challenged. The purpose of the trip was to spend time in one of the most impoverished townships of Cape Town where resources are scarce and the threat of AIDS is rampant. Our days were spent in partnership with local organizations offering free medical testing and services to township citizens, as well as providing an afternoon camp for local children.
Within the last hour, I have been a busy woman. I’ve washed a load of clothes and began drying a load of towels. In just a few minutes, my laundry for the week will be complete. I’ve defrosted a fillet in the microwave to broil to perfection for tonight’s dinner. While I was preparing dinner and doing household chores, I also sent a few e-mails and exchanged text messages with a friend living on the other side of the country.
From the weather we have experienced lately, one might not know it— but summer is on the way. The arrival of summer in our community is an occasion to be celebrated— for we are all renewed by a refreshed way of living during this season.
In the last few days, I’ve found myself haunted by an image. It appears to be unforgettable — as it should. Recently, I was shown a picture of a child in Africa. Taken in 1993, the image displays a starving child collapsed on the ground. Those familiar with the area indicate she is struggling toward the direction of a nearby food center. Next to her body, a vulture hovers awaiting her death.