Picking up Paw Pause: June 2003

On our 3rd morning in Portland, after a particularly rocky night, I was staggering around our hotel room muttering lines from Macbeth and wondering when the 'pause' part of menopause was going to kick in.
Of the 'men' part I'd had a plenty, two days of seeing and doing, which more than surpassed my ability to intake glorious sights. I'm the sort that can happily sit beside one waterfall all afternoon and don't have any need to hike up six different trails to check out every waterfall on a winding gorge road. Not to even mention dams and fishes. Although I did like the fish and a story about a 20 foot long whiskered sturgeon might have emerged if I had a couple hours there (with coffee and croissants) instead of five minutes (with sons and husband).
Day two was more within my style, starting out at Saturday Market which was chock full of artisans and interesting personalities, like the music group with a gut bucket, guitar, violin and washboard rimmed with tin cans. Then came the long awaited trip to Powels, the legendary two story used bookstore that covers a full city block. Our party, which had grown to six, paused at the entrance to synchronize watches. "How long do we want to be here?'' I asked.
"Twelve minutes," said son number 2.
I looked at him through slitted eyes and would have suspected changelings at the hospital had not several of my high school friends announced a few years ago that "this one is just like you used to be."
I'd like to point out that I never stayed up all night playing shoot 'em up video games.
"45 minutes," said the other woman of our group gamely.
In the finally agreed upon half hour, I scooted up to the blue room and cadged an EB White for Charlie, zipped over to the red room, where I had to admit Powels was one used bookstore that had more cool Christian stuff than we do. At least I suspect they do. I never got past the B's; got stuck in Buechner looking at his LONGING FOR HOME. It was new; I decided to wait and order it at home. ($21)
Suddenly it was 5 minutes short of the appointed half hour. I tried to find my way back, got momentarily lost in the gold room, wondered if it would help us to have colored rooms (more presidential than front room, back room and deck) and made it back to the entrance where son number 3 waited with a FAR SIDE book in hand.
Longing for home was what was doing the next morning in the hotel room. I want my own bed and my own dog, I thought in-between Macbethean lines, though what the dog had to do with it is anybody's guess. The dog has only been sleeping in our bed room since March when she had surgery. A few day's sympathy somehow had become the new way-things-have-always-been from which there was no retreat.
She usually was very quiet in the corner by my bed, though she did need to go out one night. I steadfastly refused to let her back in--determinedly unwilling to add midnight porter to my various roles. I woke up, let her out, went back to sleep and then found her snoring away in her corner at 5 am. She had opened the front door and we were merrily pumping early morning heat into the entire fog draped neighborhood.
Finally home at last, I now sit in my chair and spill words on the pad I lugged pristine through all of Portland. I feel the warmth of presence emanating from the black fur curled up happily at my feet. It's like an external Jesus prayer, pulsing with love.

Dogmatics. Catechism. Check out the animal display in our multicolored back room. The paws that refreshes.

Meditating with the name of Jesus is the solution offered by Dr. Paul DeBlassie in INNER CALM--A Christian Answer to Modern Stress. An RC Psychologist, DeBlassie gives forth a variety of interesting case studies in healing and suggests two meditation times daily. I liked the way he writes of listening to the Holy Spirit speaking the name of Jesus within. A slight, but significant difference from internally saying the name over and over. OOP $5.

In TRAVELING MERCIES Anne Lamott writes of sensing Jesus' presence following her around like a kitten. She knew once she let him in, it was all over. Like giving an alley cat a saucer of milk: the next thing you know it's sleeping on your pillow everynight. Finally she said, "F*** it. Come in." A conversion experience that you won't find in most Christian Bookstores. New pb $13.

At the writers conference I heard a story of a book with the D word in it. (Sort of like dams and fishes.) A Christian bookstore customer bought the book, gave it to her 16 year old who discovered THE WORD (gasp) and showed the mom. She complained and the book was removed from the entire chain of Family Bookstores. Stories like this remind me why I'm doing The Word Shop. I don't know why Christian bookstores carry the Bible. All that violence, illicit sex, bad language....

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for a translation of the Bible where Phillipians 3:8 uses the Sh** word instead of dung (KJV) rubbish (NIV) or dog dung (MSG). I guess there are D words and there are D words.

Don't forget the Big Sur Camping and Crawdad Society this weekend. I will probably be reading The-Book-That-Cannot-Be-Mentioned.

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. -Ovid, poet (43BCE - CE 17)

Alliee +