Sunday, January 18, 2015


Sunday Reflection: On the snow

When I was a kid, my family would go skiing at Blue Mountain in Canada, not far from Detroit.  It wasn't a fancy place; the restaurant was called "Eat."  

That was where my dad taught me to ski.  Mostly, I followed him and watched.  He would step off the top of a slope eagerly, and then gain speed.  He was elegant and strong all at once, and transfixing to watch as he cut turns down the hill and I did my best to keep up.  His movements on the snow were like his brushstrokes when he paints-- placed with great certainty as part of a whole that was emerging with each movement.  

On the lift, he would ask me and my brother questions.  He would circle around a little before getting to it, of course; he paints and skis and thinks in dots and curves, not lines.  He would ask about school, maybe, but more often about the future.  What did we want to do?  I don't remember my answer, but it might have been that I wanted to write about how the world could be better, and have people read it and talk to each other (because that is what I dreamed of when I sat in my room at the blue desk he had built for me). 

Today's an interesting day.  One of my all-time favorite writers, Frank Bruni of the New York Times, called this week to talk, and quoted me in his excellent column about Mark Wahlberg in that paper today.  Closer to home, I have a piece in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune today, about the charges laid against the alleged organizers of the Mall of America protest last week (including my beloved colleague Nekima Levy-Pounds).

Probably there are a few people mad at me now, and others who read these things and talked to each other.   What I'm thinking about, though, is watching my dad ski, the beautiful line he would cut with me behind him awkwardly tracking those brushstrokes in the snow.

Mark, thank you for your thoughts. What I remember about skiing is falling down a lot and getting up again and again. Maybe that is the most important lesson you would have gleaned from our experience together on the slopes.
I think you got it. Dad
"he paints and skis and thinks in dots and curves, not lines"--love this.

Thanks for the links to the articles, too.
How blessed are you and all who share similar loving memories. I am sure your father, like our Father, continues to inspire with many an example seen, with wise word spoken and question lingering, and with love silently shared – all complimented by his love’s presence; who as mothers can, often introducing us to love, word, question and example before our fathers. . .

And yes, occasionally dreams do come true – your writing(s) continue to be read and the “talk(ing) to each other” continues to express itself in many forms – some “elegant and strong all at once, and transfixing. . .” other maddening to say the least. Would you have it any other way?

Next month will be three years since the sudden passing of your dear friend Katherine. I recall your sharing a most wonderful remembrance of her the Sunday after.

“I am thinking about writing something, or doing something, and it is her counsel I need. That is when I stumble into ‘that hole’ and remember her as she was – a woman who worked most hard for people who were not like her, who turned her mind and energy to justice, and who so often used her prodigious gifts in the ways that were best for God’s creation, this world.”

That morning, in my arrogance, and not knowing anything of her or her life, spirit and emotions surfaced and I expressed in word a life’s celebration – ending with, “God Bless You Katherine. We will not quit on you. . .”

Each morning her presence continues to whisper, ‘Christine, will I hear your voice today?’

In His day, were most of those offered by Jesus to ‘Come’ called through His voice or gently through Love’s expression and affirming example? Are we all not so called, “awkwardly tracking those (His) brushstrokes in the snow?”
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?