the 12th Day of Lent

For Lent, I’m re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia in the following order:

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • The Magician’s Nephew
  • The Last Battle

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you’ve read all of the Chronicles of Narnia. So if you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading now. Seriously. Major spoiler for book 7 ahead.



Still with me?

OK, so we all know that Susan doesn’t come back for The Last Battle. Growing up in the a Baptist church that taught you could lose your salvation (and then going to a non-denom that taught the same), I always wondered if I was like Susan. If I was enjoying the benefits of faith without actually having faith. I worried that because I was not able to follow the law perfectly that I would never earn the faith.

Thankfully in college, I studied reformed theology and learned to rest in the confidence that Christ Jesus has completed His work and will sustain those whom He will. He is the securer of faith, not me. Faith is free gift purchased at His great expense and given to me. His sacrifice atoned for my sins, and as a result I am not bound by the law but set free to follow it, imperfectly, in thanksgiving to the one who did keep it perfectly.

When I read the passage where the Pevensie children first hear the name of Aslan, I noticed their reactions:

“Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” – Chapter 7. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Edmund, Peter and Lucy experience deep, internal reactions. But not Susan. Her reaction is superficial and fleeting. Indeed, the name of Aslan floats by her. I cannot but read this as a foreshadowing of her non-return in the Last Battle. A hint by the author that though Susan will enjoy all the advantages of Narnia, indeed she will rule over it with her siblings, she is not a Narnian. She will be appointed by Aslan as God appointed Saul, but she, also like Saul, will not be a partaker of the eternal kingdom.

Any thoughts?

Lent 2009

As a youngster, I used to read the Chronicles of Narnia every summer. Sometimes more than once a summer. When I got older, other books crowded out those summer reading days and then work left less time for reading.

I grew up in a Baptist church that observed only the core events of the traditional church calendar (Christmas and Easter). I never learned about Lent until college.

I love the whole idea of Lent, the ties to tradition, the discipline of denial, the beauty of sacrifice.

Still with me? Wondering perhaps what Narnia and Lent have to do with each other? Well, sometime during college, I think after a season of giving up chocolate, I came up with the idea of reading the Chronicles during Lent. Instead of sacrificing, I would refocus. Well, and perhaps sacrifice reading less meaningful novels.

I didn’t do it last year, and I rather missed it. So this year, I am reading them and will be blogging the experience as well. So look for at least weekly posts at least until Easter.

Current Netflix: Doctor Who S4 D5

Seahorse, Over the Rhine

Guidelines:
1. Put your iTunes or Windows Media Player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your next answer.
3. You must write that song name down no matter how outrageous it sounds!
4. Tag friends who might enjoy doing the game as well as the person you got the note from.

IF SOMEONE SAYS, “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Who’s on First?, Abbot and Costello

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
The poetic genius of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (from Volume 84 of the Mars Hill Audio Journal)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Sad Face, the Choir

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Suspicions about Natural Theology (bonus track from Volume 52 of the Mars Hill Audio Journal)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Black Birds, the Throes

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Night Life in Twin Peaks, Angelo Badalamenti from the Twin Peaks soundtrack

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?
Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Jamie Jamagochian

WHAT IS 2+2?
I Have One Hand, One Heart, Barbra Streisand with Johnny Mathis (from West Side Story–her Back to Broadway album)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Dona Ana, Michael Kamen (from the Don Juan DeMarco soundtrack)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
I’ll Never Tell, Nicholas Brendan and Emma Caulfield (from the Buffy musical “Once More With Feeling”)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Good Intentions, Lyle Lovett

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Filigree, Vigilantes of Love

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Through the Trapdoor (Chapter 16 of The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling aka Harry Potter Book 1)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Maestoso ed Adagio, first movement of the Seven Last Words of Christ, composer Franz Joseph Haydn

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Uninvited, Alanis Morisette

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
To Avoid Being Mistaken for Such a Sellout, Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Closing Time, Semisonic

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
I Don’t Wanna Talk About It, Indigo Girls (from the Philadelphia soundtrack)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
the Nations of the World brought to you by Yakko Warner, Animaniacs

WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Not While I’m Around, Barbra Streisand (from Sweeney Todd)

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
One Big Love, Emmylou Harris

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Good for You, Matt Johnston

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Our Codependent Love, Bob Bennett

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Tunnel, Third Day

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
Chapter 7 of Emma by Jane Austen [I think this qualifies as an undeniable yes, I will get married]

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Uranus, the Magician from the Planets Suite by Gustav Holst

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Brian Kay of Trinity Presbyterian Church from Oct 21, 2007

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
How Many Kings, Downhere

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Yaweh, U2

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Seahorse, Over the Rhine

So November Really Sucked

I know I owe you all part two of a day in the life of a well traveled sock, but I think I should explain my long blog silence to those of you who don’t see me on a regular basis and get most of your news about me from this blog.

Nov 1 was a very bad, no good day. Well, mostly no good. It was our last day of vacation and we had to check out of our resort by 9. So we packed and loaded up the cars. We drove over to Disney World, and while Dad was following the parking attendants’ gestures to a parking space, I experienced what I call sparkle vision: also known as the first sign of an impending migraine. Once we were parked, I took a Maxalt to impede the headache and a Compazine to prevent the vomiting that was likely to come next as the headache tried to progress.

I told the family I would just lie down in first aid and so sent Mom, Heather, and Micah on ahead. I tried to send Dad, but he wanted to stay with me. Eventually I was able to convince him to go on. No need for him to miss out (Bear Country had just opened after a month of refurbishment and we wanted to see it before we left as it was Micah’s favorite attraction when we were kids). There was nothing Dad could do anyways, but turns out there is no First Aid at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) so I had to hop the ferry and ride over to the Magic Kingdom to go to first aid (which is between Casey’s Hotdogs and the Crystal Palace).

I didn’t get very far. I made it to the guest services instead. They had to call paramedics (standard procedure) even though I knew I had done all they could do to help. I’m sure the unstoppable tears are what did it. In less than 4 minutes, I was surrounded by Disney staff and paramedics. They were all very kind and thoroughly considerate if a bit overwhelming. After I told the paramedics 3 times that I didn’t need to go to the ER, they allowed a cast member to take me to the first aid station where I was taken to a quiet, semi-dark, semi-private room and allowed to sleep for a few hours. The nurse, Debi from NY, was an angel. She brought me ice and cold compresses and didn’t make a fuss which was exactly what I needed.

Our flight to CA departed at 6:45pm so the family came to collect me around 2:30ish (though I don’t remember exactly–the Maxalt makes things a bit fuzzy) so we could do final shopping and get out of the park before the parade at 3. The first aid folks let us keep the wheelchair for the trip out of the park, which was really very kind of them as I was still a bit wobbly. We shopped too long and ended up seeing most of the parade. Seems they reversed it. I remember it starting at the base of main street and ending in Adventureland, but this parade started I don’t know where and ended at the beginning of Main Street.

We left the park, returned the rental cars, and made our flight with ease. If only the flight itself had been all ease. My headache never really progressed, but it seems the compazine only delayed the vomit, didn’t prevent it. I spent the majority of the flight in the bathroom. Had to change clothes (I thank God I had a spare set of clothes with me–usually I don’t bother to carry clothes for return flights). It was miserable. Thankfully Mom offered to let me ride shotgun for the drive from LAX to home. My claustrophobia was on overload after spending most of the flight in the tiny bathroom so riding up front with the big window was a huge relief. So yeah, Nov 1 was a very bad no good day.

Bright spot of the month: Nov 4th. Since then, I’ve had 3 or 4 dreams about working for President-elect Obama. Not that I’ve ever been that political or ambitious enough for Washington, but when I walked out of the polling station, I realized that for the first time in my voting career I hadn’t voted for the lesser-of-two-evils. I had voted for a candidate I actually respected, and as a result I felt a sense of civic pride. And obviously my brain likes to remind me of that feeling via dreams.

Maybe because that feeling was replaced with deep sorrow on Nov 6th when my sister Heather went into early labor. She has written about it on her blog, so I feel ok to write a little bit about it here. Cordelia Smith was still born on November 6th. She was so beautiful, but too early. There was nothing the doctor could do. And Heather was in danger as well, though at the time we didn’t realize how much danger she was in. The ob/gyn was worried about losing both mother and child. Heather is now fully recovered physically. Emotionally, I think we are all apt to be sad, appropriately sad, for some time now.

Now I’ll skip ahead to Nov 18th and my first visit to the oral surgeon. My wisdom teeth had become a problem so my dentist wanted them taken out, and not knowing if dental insurance would be offered by my employer for 2009 I figured it was best to get it done now. Another xray by the oral surgeon found that not only were my wisdom teeth impacted and the lower ones putting extreme pressure on my teeth, but that a 1.25 cm cyst from a wisdom had invaded my nerve canal on the lower left side. We scheduled surgery to remove all 4 teeth and the cyst on Wednesday, November 26th.

The surgery was scheduled at 8:00 am for 45 minutes to an hour. It ended up taking just under 2 hours, and I was semi-awake for the last 10 minutes. Thankfully the memory of the pain experienced in those 10 minutes has faded (thank you drugs). But still, my Thanksgiving day was spent puffy and swollen and on Darvocet.

I stayed on Heather’s sofa for 5 days. She was an angel. Not overly fussy and yet never inattentive. The perfect balance of care and respect. My sister rocks.

Still, after 5 days I felt like she deserved some privacy. So she took me home and let me snuggle with Bingley during the days. Since I still had to sleep in a semi-upright position (an impossible feat in my loft), I slept for a few more nights at Mom and Dad’s in a recliner.

As of this moment, I still have some deep pain in my left jaw, but it is less than yesterday which was less than the day before…and all of my stitches have dissolved. I haven’t needed a darvocet for a day now and can make it through on ibuprofen alone. Other good news, the cyst was benign and the removal did not cause any permanent nerve damage.

Most importantly, I can almost chew without pain! Over two weeks of protein smoothies, yogurt, pudding, and mashed potatoes was starting to drive me nuttier than usual. Crunchy and super chewy things are still on the wait list, but that’s ok for now.

So that was my November. How was yours?