Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Lightness of Being

We prayed for Kuwait today. At great length, we prayed for your elections, for your leaders, and that wisdom and wise choices will prevail.

(I am sure you will be glad to know that we didn’t interfere in any way by praying for any specific candidates!)

In the sermon, our priest talked about God and his glory, and the WEIGHT of his presence, and I was really listening, but that was a new concept to me.

Jesus talks a lot about the Kingdom of Heaven, and one of the things he said, sort of one of those mysteries, is that he says the Kingdom of Heaven is all around us “if you have the eyes to see.”

When you think of God, what do you think?

I don’t think of weightiness, although the weight of my own sins might weigh on me. When I think of God, and when I think of the Kingdom of Heaven being all around me, I close my eyes and envision sparkling lights surrounding us, lights we can’t see, and energy, boundless energy, enough energy to create paths and opportunities we don’t even know exist. I think all we have to do is to believe, and to breathe, and we breathe in the Kingdom of Heaven, that he feeds us just by our believing.

All of a sudden, the very irreligious idea of an old computer game – one of the very earliest – came to me. Do you remember PacMan?

Mostly PacMan existed to eat energy dots. He would eat all these energy things and gain energy and win or not, I don’t really know, I never really played it because AdventureMan and LawAndOrderMan hogged the computer all the time to play the early games.

So where do ideas like this come from? Maybe the creator of PacMan had a vision and got part of it right, maybe if we have the eyes to see, maybe we gain sparkling spiritual energy from the Kingdom of Heaven surrounding us? Maybe prayer is like one of the magical tools you find in these games that opens doors, that allows something to happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen.

Sorry, RevQ8 if I got a little off topic here, I honestly was listening as you gave your fine sermon! Sometimes, the mind will go where the mind will go (and I guess mine is going fast . . . :-/ )

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Interconnected, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Relationships, Spiritual | 4 Comments

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This is another one of those books I picked up on the last day of my last travels in the US. I had been through the Barnes and Noble nearby several times, picked this up and looked at is at least a dozen times, then put it down, just not that interested. On the last day, who knows why, I bought it and stuck it in my outer pocket of my suitcase. Maybe it was the only thing I could see that would fit, I don’t know. I had rejected it so many times before.

It hasn’t even been on my night stand, the books I really really intend to read. It has been on a shelf of books I will read someday when I don’t have anything else to do. Every now and then, it caught my eye. The Zanzibar Chest was on the same shelf. . . and that turned out to be a pretty good book. So recently, after I had read some books I had to read but were a little dry, and a couple books I wanted to read which were a little light, I grabbed Water for Elephants.

That was day before yesterday. I couldn’t put it down. I had a whole list of things to get done yesterday, but once I started Water for Elephants, I was lost, totally immersed in the tawdry world of circuses, bound in the magic of the illusion and performances, mesmerized by what goes on behind the scenes to make the spectacular possible.

The main character loses his parents in a totally unnecessary car accident just as he is about to take his final exams in Veterinary Science, at Cornell University. (You might think I am throwing in too much useless detail here, but it matters.) Stunned by the triple loss of both his parents, and the discovery that they had hocked everything to the bank to fund his education, he blanks on his exams and hits the road, ending up with a second rate circus.

What is so amazing about this author is that once you start reading, you are THERE.

The above mentioned Zanzibar Chest keeps you hooked by it’s painfullness, but for both AdventureMan and myself, we never liked the author, we found him a little full of himself. It doesn’t take away from the Zanzibar Chest being a worthy read, and unforgettable read.

Water for Elephants, on the other hand, has a hero you love to love. In a world of strict boundaries, a heirarchical social structure, he manages to cross all the boundaries. He truly loves the animals, and in one scene, that love just radiates, emanates, it illuminates the book from the inside, and makes you feel light and crazy with that same sort of love, love of the whole of creation. Jakob is loyal to his friends, and loyal even to his enemies, he is sacrificial in his loyalty, and, in the end, he is vastly and abundantly rewarded for his good character.

There is something for everyone, just like a circus. Like a circus, too, it has illusions, it distracts with one hand while the trick is performed with another, there is sensuality, there is sexuality, there are photos from old circuses. There are things which could offend just about every sensibility; there is kindness, there is cruelty, justice and injustice and cosmic justice. Sometimes you just have to suspend judgement and go with the read. This is one of those books.

I would say this is one of the finest reading experiences I have had for a long time. Brava, Sara Gruen. Worth every penny.

I’ve told AdventureMan as soon as he finishes The Zanzibar Chest, he has to start Water for Elephants. I can hardly wait. It’s that good.

You can find Water for Elephants in paperback at Amazon.com for $8.37 + shipping.

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Books, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Entertainment, Family Issues, Fiction, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Marketing, Mating Behavior, Music, Pets, Poetry/Literature, Uncategorized, Zanzibar | , | 15 Comments

It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

You know how good you feel after you’ve been sick? All of a sudden, you realize just how GOOD it feels just to be normal, not to ache, not to have a sore throat, not to be tired and woozy?

Getting up this morning was that kind of feeling.

WOW. It’s a beautiful NORMAL Kuwait kind of day. We had a humungous thunder storm last night, I know, because I heard it and got up to see it. It was off in the distance and I was too tired to wait for it to come my way, so I went back to bed. I can tell this morning that it rained here, though, too, because my windows are all splothchy.

It rained! It rained! Here are my splotchy windows:

Today, you can see the horizon. There is a haze in the sky, but it is a normal, high haze, cloud like, not the kind of dust haze that fills your nose and makes you cough. You can see the water, and it sparkles. Ahhhh, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful normal Kuwait day.

It’s 86° F / 30° at 0900 – yep, I’m up a little later this morning; that’s what happens when you get up in the middle of the night to watch a thunderstorm. ;-)

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 5 Comments

   

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