23 March 2006

Dwarves of Ignorance

So my friend Brownie and I went to the Freer on Saturday as part of our monthly "Day of FUN!!!" (Three exclamation points, mandatory.) We visited both the Freer and the Sackler museum gift shops (Rabbit Trail Story-- see below), to which I'm addicted-- any museum gift shop, not just those two... I'm not picky; tried (and failed-- well, not really "failed"... more like "gave up") to get into a kids/parents only class about Hokusai; and walked around most of the Asian exhibits. (Brownie has been to China, and I study karate--Okinawan Kenpo Kobujitsu Karate-- and have a brother who runs a Japanese owned/operated travel agency, so we're firmly steeped--OK, "firmly" might not be entirely accurate-- in Asian culture.) After a while, we started (and by "we" I mean "I") "interpreting" the art. (Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a terrible influence.) We found some things we really liked after that. We saw some great big, fat guys on these screens (that I really wanted to take home and hang up), some really irritated men who thought that, "next time we have guys' night out, we're not bringing our wives" while their wives were having a fine old time gossiping. We saw gods whose belly buttons were dragons (I'd really like to get a dragon-head navel ring) and who were standing on some very bored-/annoyed-looking demons. We saw pots with vestigial nubs where handles should have been (how can you grasp a gallon-sized jug by a little 1/2" nub?). But the best part of all was in the last place we looked (trying not to have a Jeff Foxworthy Moment here... see below). There was, and I wrote this down, so I know it's correct, "Shiva Nataraja (lord of the dance) posed upon the Dwarf of Ignorance..."

I'm sure some obscure prophecy by Swindon's own St. Zvlkx would have read, "where the lord of the dance poses on the dwarf of ignorance, great merriment will be found in satin and brownie," to which his scribe replied, "That doesn't even make sense. I'm not writing that down. Are you drunk again??? I'm taking you to Alcoholics Anonymous, just as soon as someone invents it." (That's for all the Fforde fans out there...)

Here's a fun game for all to play-- next time you get bored at work, try to identify as many "Dwarves of Ignorance" as you can. A word of caution, however, DO NOT IDENTIFY THEM AS SUCH TO THEIR FACES. If it works out, maybe you can stand on one when you become the lord of the dance. Hahaha!

While we were in the Freer gift shop, I picked up this martial arts book and was flipping through it. The book was "Dojo Wisdom: 100 Simple Ways to Become a Stronger, Calmer, More Courageous Person". I happened to come to rest on the page that gives you info about the author, and I saw the words "Lawrence, KS", so I looked at the name and, shock of all shocks, it was Jennifer Lawler. She co-wrote a book with a former kickboxing instructor of mine, Debz Buller, called "Kickboxing For Women", which was published right around the time when I was studying under Debz. I actually demonstrated kickboxing techniques at the Barnes & Noble at Town Center Plaza in Leawood, KS to sell the book! Isn't it funny how you can go 1300 miles and have the strangest little familiarities pop up??

***Jeff Foxworthy Moment***
"Why is it when you ask someone if they found something they lost, they always say, 'Yeah, it was in the LAST place I looked!' I sure HOPE so! 'Bill did you find your wallet?' 'Yeah, but I'm still lookin' for it-- just in case we're in an alternate reality or something...'"

FYI-- Brownie tells me she wrote about the dwarves of ignorance on her blog, so I'm off to read that, now.

Happy Dwarf-Hunting!
Much Love.

One more thing...

And for those of you who were wondering, that title was shamelessly stolen from Columbo...

I feel I owe an apology to my adoring public (you know who you are...) for failing to publish my thoughts of the last few weeks. Please accept my apology. I will endeavor to remedy this lack of access to me, to the best of my ability.
Much Love,

The Lost Mitten/Glove

At this point I feel obliged to mention a man I met nearly a month ago. The reason I feel obliged to mention him is that he has done a remarkable thing. Dirv has changed my life. "How has Dirv changed your life?" you might ask... Well, he asked me questions and expected honesty of me. He asked me HARD questions, and expected honesty of me that I haven't even given myself. The thing about that is, that when I was honest with him, I began seriously taking a look at things that I was too scared or lazy to deal with, or things that I was hoping would just go away or resolve themselves if I ignored them.

In the process of being honest with Dirv, I was reminded to be honest with myself, and in being honest with myself, I have learned a lot about accepting the Grace of God in dealing with myself. As a direct result of Dirv's gentle questions, the lines of communication between God and I that had gotten... a little rusty-- shall we say?-- have been re-opened, and I am more able to hear God's voice. Now, I have to say that things aren't done yet, but they're in the process. This process brings me to the subject of this particular blog entry-- the lost mitten/glove.

My junior year of college, my brother and sister-in-law gave me plane tickets for my birthday so that I could spend Thanksgiving with my mother's youngest sister and her husband in Nevada City, CA. While I was there, my Aunt Eva and I went shopping in Nevada City, in some of the little tourist shops. In one of these shops, I found something for which I had been searching for a couple of years-- mitten/gloves. They're gloves with no tips on the fingers, and mitten-tops that can either cover the ends of the fingers (so it looks like you're wearing regular mittens) or not (so you have use of individual fingers). I LOVE these things, especially now that I'm in DC and commute via public transit.

I'm a reader, as you probably already know if you're reading this, and one of my goals for this year is to read at least 52 books. My primary reading time is on my commute. These mitten/gloves are perfect because they keep my hands warm, but they leave my fingertips free, when necessary, for turning pages. Have you ever tried to turn pages in a book with cold fingers? with gloves on? with mittens on? These remarkable inventions make all of those pesky little problems disappear! It's magic!

This morning I left my apartment with 2 mitten/gloves. When I arrived at work, I had one. I was incredibly annoyed. I thought about my lost mitten/glove off and on throughout the day, thought of all the things I'd do to try to find it, fretted over it, groused about it to anyone who would listen, and even actively tried to find it by retracing my steps. I have not found my missing mitten/glove. (I intend to ask my bus driver in the morning, stop in the TSA building to see if anyone turned it in there, and if worse comes to worst, buy a new pair.)

Tonight while I was out on the sidewalk searching the area where I'd waited for my bus, I very distinctly heard Jesus whisper in my ear, "How important is your missing mitten/glove to you?" To which I responded, "Well, pretty important, since I'm out here looking for it, at night, on the street (dressed in black from the neck down, waiting to get hit by a car)..." and then amended to include, "but not as important as You are, or at least should be..." He immediately reminded me that "You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13-- yes, Lucas, just 2 verses past the one we were talking about on Tuesday)

So, my question is this: How important is what you're seeking? Is it important enough that you're seeking it with all your heart? Do you have the same guarantee that God is willing to provide-- the guarantee that you will find it?

Just thought I should ask. So, I owe a "thank you" to Dirv for helping to point me to the place where I can hear the voice of Jesus in my ear; I owe an apology to the God of the Universe for neglecting to ask Him to help in my mitten/glove search (something that's been remedied) and trusting Him to take care of it; and I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the One who was willing to seek me out and patiently await my response even when I was trying to not be found.

The moral of today's story: Next time you lose something, do two things. Let God handle the search and rescue (because He already knows exactly where it is and the best way for you to find it), and make sure that your search for God is what you're putting your heart into, not any other search.

Have a good night, all!
Much love,

P.S. In case you're wondering, even if I don't get my mitten/glove back, I'm certain that God will put it to better use than I could... maybe it's on the right hand of a homeless person whose left was amputated, or softening the nest of a squirrel... who knows? Either way, it's not my problem anymore. :)