Ben ran down the driveway toward the neighbor’s house. Time for school, gotta get the carpool buddies. He jolted to a halt halfway, eyes fixed on a forty foot palm tree, stopped his sister in her tracks, shushed me with a gesture, then froze.
An extravagant woodpecker was making his way up the trunk. I don’t know anything about birds, but by his impressive plummage I assumed he was mature. He was dressed like an African king, with a regal zebra pattern on his back and bright red headdress.
Several minutes passed, he pecked his way to the top of the tree, then in took off in a flurry. We pushed the play button on life again, gathered the human wildlife, and off to school in a noisy car… I live for these moments.

Mercy and National Mistress Day

Eliot Spitzer (NY Gov who resigned) saw the hooker on February 13th… The news report said that February 13th is known as the unofficial National Mistress Day.

Which made me think of the wretchedness of the situation – what is so sad about the Spitzer case is that, in the end, it seemed he had no friends. Is it a case of “how you judge others is how you will be judged”?

I guess if you never show mercy to people, understand their weaknesses or have compassion (which is not the same as making excuses or enabling), then chances are you will not receive mercy when you need it most.

Because, guaranteed, we all need mercy at some point.

re A Brain Unhinged, by EB White

“Up early this day, trying to decide whether or not to bequeath our brain to our alma mater, which is making a collection of such stuff. It struck us as odd that the decision will have to be made by the brain itself and that no other part of us—a foot or a gall bladder—can be in on the matter, although all are, in a way, concerned. Our head is small and we fear that our brain may suffer by comparison if arranged on a shelf with others. Spent part of the morning composing an inscription to go with our brain, but all we got was this:

Observe, quick friend, this quiet noodle,
This kit removed from its caboodle.
Here sits a brain at last unhinged,
On which too many thoughts impinged. “

by EB White

(Gotta love it!!)

Grand? Rapid?

I’m at the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Have seen neither grand nor rapid, but definitely Michigan – loving the accents. Oh, and most everybody is really white. That’s okay, it’s natural around here. The roster of speakers is nicely mixed, however.

The conference itself has been stimulating. I’ve been able to chat with some very interesting writers and editors. My brain is nicely stuffed. I trust that, as I sleep, the essence of me will absorb all this inspiration and distribute it appropriately to whatever crevices of my spirit soul and body need the nutrition…

It’s the dinner break. Next up is a lecture by Yann Martel (Life of Pi); later on Rob Bell (Pure Undiluted Slog).