Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Buechner and Talking Heads

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. 
In the boredom and pain of it, 
no less than in the excitement and gladness: 
touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, 
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, 
and life itself is grace.


~        ~       ~

Chicken Marsala, Roasted Chicken, Chicken Vusuvio, Chicken Cordon Bleu

For many years I sold and served chicken for a living. I did this job at various hotels in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the surrounding suburbs. 

Chicken salesperson is just 'street' for catering salesperson, by the way. 

Working with brides and grooms to choose the menu for the celebration that would follow their wedding ceremony was work I enjoyed. I cannot even begin to guess at how many chicken menus I expertly chose back in the glory days of chicken sales. 

Years later after I married Troy and after Isaac and Hope came into our lives I stopped selling chicken and started serving it on Friday and Saturday nights instead. That change allowed me to be home with the kids during the week.

Serve from the left. Remove from the right. Working banquets was easy money.

When Noah was growing large in my womb it became a little less easy. Squeezing between tightly seated crowds to put the chicken down in front of them became more complicated by week twenty-eight of the pregnancy. Worse than trying to suck in a uterus to fit between tables was kicking the drunk people out at 1am; reasoning with the intoxicated is not nearly as much fun as you might like to believe. 

But I digress - because this is about  ?? chicken  ?? 

~       ~       ~

The Talking Heads had a song in the 80s with many lyrics that go through my head more often than I care to admit to you. Many of those lines are on repeat, but one especially, it goes like this: 

"And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?" 
(Same as it ever was - same as it  ever was - time isn't holding us time isn't after us)

As it turns out the process of figuring out what I am passionate about has taken some time...Decades of time. The path here has been all together zig-zaggy and unpredictable in every way. The path has been filled with grace. (And life itself is grace.) 

The one constant has been change. The other constant? I cannot seem to get away from chicken. 

While in the USA this fall I will study text books and work under accomplished midwives,  and I will be working with chicken yet again. This time, I will stick a curved needle into that blasted piece of chicken while I practice figuring out how to suture a vagina properly. (And then I WILL ask myself, how did I get here?

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine all this weirdness. It is the kind of awesome insanity that regular people cannot come up with. It screams of God-size-awesome-insanity, doesn't it?

The mysterious and winding path that led us to Haiti and eventually to Heartline and later into midwifery has been a journey of slow and steady. The speed at which I arrived here was exactly what I needed. Any faster and I would have wigged out in total fear. Any slower and I would have flipped out in impatient restlessness.

When I ask myself, "How did I get here?", I am compelled to review the ways that God has been faithful and merciful and SO.very.reliable. 

Isn't it easy to get frustrated when we don't really get where we are headed? 
On the path we rarely see the destination. On the path the destination changes again and again. On the path fear and doubt creep in and try to take root. 

You may ask yourself, where does that highway lead to? 
You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong? 

(Talking Heads)

Frederick Buechner said that brilliant thing at the top of this post. He also said, "The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."  

Sensible or not, the incongruent, beautiful and difficult place called Haiti has become a large part of our deep gladness ...  

skyping with the ladies from the USA on a prenatal Thursday

... And when I ask myself - How did I get here? - I can recall His provision and faithfulness  - and draw on the deep wisdom of Buechner and the Talking Heads.  

What about you? Do you ever ask yourself "How did I get here?"