Friday, August 31, 2007
This week we had some work done on the truck, new idle arm, new transmission pan since it was leaking pretty bad, bought new road tires to replace the worn all terrain ones that came with it. We also changed out three of the filters. Two were completely full and nasty.
We've also ordered a two-hour DVD called Liquid Gold II from Golden Fuels Systems. It comes highly recommended as a key learning tool in all things veggie oil.
We've been told by our mechanic and a guy with an rv shop that the camper is a little old school. Well, that's not exactly what they said. "You should take that thing to the dump and toss it over the side," was more what the rv dude said. He was a little extreme in most everything he said ("This would cost $6,000 to fix the side," "Take it to Mexico, someone there might touch it."), so I didn't really trust his opinion fully. They were both concerned about it safely staying hooked on. The veggie oil has leaked all over the sides and has softened the wood, making the bolts securing it more likely to come loose. And the camper is from 1979. So we are also consulting with some handyfolk to secure this a bit more before painting and artsy-fying the whole thing. More on that when we get back.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
We encountered an accident about 45 miles outside of Phoenix and got stuck for several hours in stop and wait and inch forward traffic. Around 7 pm there was no relief in site, so we pulled of into the next town. Just off the highway was a pizza joint and a RV site. Done and done. We spent our first night in the truck camper and woke up to an amazing sunrise over mountains.
Tomorrow we will pick up where we left off with preparations. Today we are Sabbathing.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
We bought our truck. Complete with camper and veggie oil conversion. The only trouble is its leaking oil. And the part to fix it had to be shipped in. And then it was the wrong part. So, although we planned to return late Wednesday night, we will most likely not be back until late tonight (Saturday). And I'm not even counting on that.
We spent most of our time in Prescott (where we bought the truck) waiting. When it became clear that we would not be returning to Tucson, we drove over to Flagstaff and have been here a couple of days. Also with little to do but hang out with our friend Tamie. (which was much more fun than waiting)
At first, I found this inability to "do" anything incredibly frustrating. All I could do was worry about what we had to do: We need to finish cleaning out our house. We need to get driver’s licenses with our new names. We need to pick up our incorporation papers and open a bank account. And write a hundred thank yous. And finish all the work to get our health insurance. And about a million other things that are all primarily located half a days drive from where we are currently stuck.
We ranout of clean clothes, and I worried about what it means for us financially to spend time where we we have neither food to eat or a place to stay (and thus must spend wads of cash to acquire).
But there’s something to be said for not being able to work.
When it was impossible to do anything, I found myself becoming more and more alive.
And let me tell you friends, life is pretty sweet in this very moment. There is so much laughter, and love and light in the universe.
An ability to be present to what is happening now and worry only (if at all) about what needs to happen next is the learning I hope most to take from this journey.Since this is surely the first of many events I did not plan for. And since we will spend much of our time meeting new people. And just being.
I hope that I can do it. More than that, I hope I can keep it. I don’t know why I fill so much of my life worrying about what will come next.
But today, I'm not going to worry about why I worry.
But today, I'm not going to worry about why I worry.
I'm just going to be.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thanks to our self-described minion Michi who carefully wrapped the antique dishes and squirreled away theology books and pictures on the piano.
While sorting through the paper dunes in my office I found a Henri Nouwen quote. It seems wildly appropriate to inwardly digest:
To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life.
So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, to, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God's love and not according to our fear.
The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.
— Henri Nouwen
And yet, wonderful out of our control happenings are swirling. We were invited to a creative, progressive UCC church in Scottsdale to speak about our trip. My niece, Anna, and her cool Significant Other, Jake, are working to organize a fundraising party for us in Breckenridge, Colorado.
We long to be moving, beginning. And yet we are here. Forced to be present to the moment—to the watercolor sunset last night as we drove away in our rental car from yet another test drive of a vehicle. Alive right now—laughing ourselves silly over who knows what as the morning sun tickled us awake this morning. Caught in between the old and the future—still living in the rectory, but now it is mostly empty.
Oh, sure, there is plenty to fear, should I choose to dwell on it. But this morning I'm going to imagine instead that we are being held close and tight, that we aren't caught. That we are right where we need to be. Everything just right. I will stop flailing about. And be still. Let God define things. And let myself be molded by love. I will trust that new things will happen to us. New things far beyond our own imaginations.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We were truly blessed by our church community on Saturday. So many people not only turned out to witness our blessing, but also brought food for the reception, helped with the set up and clean up, showered us with generous gifts-- more than we could have ever imagined.
We love the people of that community and we felt very loved by them. The sort of generosity and fellowship that a gathered community like church can offer is such a rarity in today's individualistic society. But every one of our family and friends who were under the age of 40 found the whole "culture" of the event bizarre. Many people were friendly to them, and they could "feel the love," but they still felt excluded. Like the whole thing was in a language they couldn't speak.
It was so odd to end my church work in this way. It was a wonderful, intimate event. In case I haven't mentioned it before, we felt very loved by the community, and we are so grateful. And yet, even as I could feel that we had been important to this community, that they had been affected by our ministry, I also felt that same tug I so often feel, to take the wonderfulness that this place has been to me and translate it into something more accessible to all.
I could wax prophetic about power and hierarchy and institutional ambivalence (if you read my sermons, you'll notice that I often do), but frankly, I'm done wondering why the church is so alienating to people from my generation.
So I guess I better keep packing, because its time to get this party started.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Busted up underneath. Injectors leaking everywhere. Burned wires. We're ready to let go of the symbolic factor.
Now we're thinking a pick up and a camper on the back. Not very stylish or pretty, except for pretty lezby. But then, so are we.