July 2011


A recurrent theme has been materializing in my life this summer: theft. While I’ve  been fortunate enough to not have experienced any significant material theft short of a break-in at my old house that resulted some very frustrated young person who likely quickly learned that my jar of coins collected in my world travels wouldn’t work in a American Coke machine, several years ago. And, still, the theme of theft has manifested itself in a variety of faces.

In the 2003 book, the Kite Runner, about a young boy’s escape from war-torn Afghanistan the main character’s father, Baba, attempts to explain to his son the abhorrent side of humanity he’d come to see in that setting:

“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft.
Every other sin is a variation of theft…When you kill a man, you steal a life,
when you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth.”

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Health Update: As I briefly mentioned last time, I’ve begun the latest chemo treatment we’re gonna throw at this belligerent glioblastoma.  Initially, the harsh side effects I was expecting/dreading/warned about never materialized.  In the subsequent weeks, this has  remained the case, although my energy levels are pretty low, and a short walk becomes a long walk quickly (although my cane rarely joins me on short trips anymore, surprising people who’ve had to almost carry me around in the recent past).  All told, I’m feeling great, and am feeling your prayers for strength.  I know the
bulk of those are for healing, too, but am not going to tell God how He’s going to let this story play out…but my next scan in mid-Aug. might give a better indication of the short term plot direction.  In the meantime, there’s way too much summer left to worry about things like that, and all I can do is be thankful for a functioning mind and body during a time when I was fully expecting to have neither.

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Health update: this past weekfound me once again starting up a new chemo treatment discussed at great length here.
With a name like “Cytoxin” I’m not particularly expecting to come away with no side effects, but had no idea what this first weekend would look like. So far, not much more than minor seizures (a good sign, as any reaction is better than no reaction). some fatigue, a little nausea, and a lot of boredom from being stuck on along bad bus route with no car; still, I’m seeing the idea of “daily bread” play out on a human scale this summer; just when I start really feeling lonely and isolated (bad places for me to go), some caring friend or family member checks on me and keeps me going for awhile.

When asked. “How are you doing these days? (said with that slight hesitation of knowing they probably won’t like the answer), I tell them that while the big picture outlook still looms pretty dark, at the moment I’m feeling great; someone recently noted that it is, in it’s own way, a miracle that I’m even up and around these days, after
being nearly immobilized just over a month ago. It’s hard for me to see that, since I’m the one still working within my daily limitations & frustrations, so I guess we all need those around us to lend perspective, huh?

I’ve shamelessly told people my assistance policy is that I never turn down food,  fun diversions, company, light housekeeping or hugs. One friend suggested I add cash to that list, but in a rare moment of lucidity, determined that to be a little tacky; but, if you want, you can add it to my list yourself; it would be rude to refuse a friend. Basically, God’s finding just enough ways to take care of me these days to keep me going; something always seems to remind me of that just when I start to get overwhelmed by each mounting uncertainty and frustration, each of which lie far beyond what I can actually do anything about today.  I hope you’re seeing much of the same in your  lives these days.

The  leftovers feature of Felipe Beach is one I invented for both the purpose of reviewing a previously discussed topic which has re-entered my radar once again; and for sheer laziness, so as to keep a regular post up here, but to not be generating a new one necessarily each time.

So without further adieu, I present to you:” Marriage Baby Land, or Requiem for Old Friends,” which has come up in multiple conversations frequently, both as I participated in the wedding of two close friends, and have had occasion to discuss the lingering singlehoods of myself and several other friends who all “supposed” to have been married off by now; despite really no need to change the trajectory of the lives God has given us.

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