Tuesday, April 22, 2008


sometimes, when i wonder if god is real and if he is close and if he cares about me, i look at the bougainvillea outside my window (while thanking him that i no longer live in the midwest). breathe in, breathe out, and believe.

this month, as the b. creeps over the arbor that shades the back patio, bluejays have made a nest under the protective vine. the parents scuttle all over the yard and return to the nest with their beaks full of little treasures: newspaper pieces from the recycling bin, twigs that have fallen to the ground, fern leaves so big that they might topple these royal birds.

and all of a sudden, i am reminded that God has promised me that if he clothes these birds in such splendor - gives them such a stunningly beautiful place to live, under the vibrant flowers and in the peaceful shade - if he does this, i can trust him to do that and more for me. i don't mean to say that bougainvillea makes my belief easier all the time - if only that were the case. if only there were something i could see, or smell, or touch that would affirm God's closeness to me. and while there are some things that bring his closeness into crisper focus - my good friends, family, a good book, music, blossoming flowers, and the ocean most of all - i still falter, still doubt, still wonder and fear.

and still, i am thankful and humbled and so glad to be here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

no offense, but . . .

lots of people have been talking about the 'stuff white people like' blog lately. it is certainly interesting, funny, etc. ironic, too; or perhaps simply smart blogging, seeing as how the blog itself has turned into something of a white-person phenomenon.
however, as soon as you get sick of reading it (which i hope you do; it's more than a little asinine and self-involved) i would recommend heading over to this website.

incidentally, have you ever noticed how some people expect to excuse the rest of whatever they say that goes along with the phrase 'i'm just saying' or 'no offense?' (i've done this, too). 'no offense, but Hitler was pretty efficient, when you think about it,' as one website puts it. or, 'that outfit is really ugly. i'm just saying!.' (as girls well know, the latter statement can be conveyed very simply in a series of looks and facial expressions, and in about as much time as it would take someone to say it aloud).
people use these phrases to preface a statement that normally would be offensive - i mean, that's the
only time anyone ever says them! are people so afraid of causing offense that they feel the need to totally remove it as an option before they speak up? or is it just an accepted social nicety, meant for use before a person says anything remotely controversial?
i for one think that it is an unequivocally dumb thing to say.

i mean, no offense. i'm just saying . . .