nary a word...

Several weeks ago my son Christian and I were watching a Blue Man Group concert on TV. I'm not sure if he'd ever seen them before, and I'd never seen them do a full show before. We were both pretty captivated by what we were watching. In a weird bit of coincidence I saw on the news the very next morning that they were coming to Lexington in just a few weeks. Knowing it would excite the both of us, I made plans and got the tix.

In case you are not familiar with Blue Man Group, this is not your typical pop or rock or techno band. I don't know if they've ever had a song at the top of the charts. I know I don't hear them on the radio along with all the other big names. Their music is different in a lot of ways. The "front line" is made up of three "bald" guys in black jumpsuits. Their hands and face and neck and head are all a very deep and penetrating blue. (It's hard to picture I know.)

On the stage they are backed up by a band and singers. The blue men play instruments that are as hard to describe as their looks. Basically they've connected several dozen pipes (looks like pvc pipe) of varying lengths and widths that are sized to play different notes. They hit the pipes with huge mallets to create an almost techno sound. They have several other odd instruments that they play too. At a couple of points in the show the stage lights go down and they beat the tops of barrel drums that are filled with a fluorescent liquid. When they play them it splatters everywhere, including in the audience.

Even with all of that going on, I think the thing that fascinated me most about the whole spectacle was that these three blue men who looked almost identical were able to leave the thousands in the audience with a sense of individual personality without saying a single word - not one single word. Yet we knew which was the mischievous one, which was the responsible one and which was the instigator.

It's true. Sometimes actions do speak louder than words, and drums.


this one's for the birds.

I've been waking up to singing here lately, and the music has been absolutely gorgeous - just like the mornings. Spring has settled into central Kentucky. We lost most of our pretty time last year because of a late frost, but this year the buds turned bloom are looking fresh and colorful. So yeah, we're doing much better this year. The birds seem especially happy these days. They're tuned, perched and making beautiful music by the time I roll out of my own little nest. It's a good, good way to start a day.

I don't think I'm naive enough to believe that everyone is having my kind of morning. Of course, I don't want to mislead you either. I don't bounce out of bed with a cheerful glow every morning. As spiritual as I'd like to think I am, sometimes my earliest thoughts aren't always my best witness. I'm blessed though and I know it.

The other day I told a friend that I've been making myself wait til the very last possible moment to buy gas. It makes me angry to have to fill out a loan application every time I fill up. The longer the pump runs, the worse my credit-rating gets. It's too bad I let it get to me the way it does. On days when everything else is fine and dandy, I get that roller-coaster feeling in my belly when I know I'm gonna have to pony up and pay out. As the numbers turn to a blur I start running through my incidentals to figure out what can go. If I'm going to drive I'm going to have to give up something.

There's no good reason to feel sorry for myself. Three paragraphs ago I was thrilled with my morning serenade. Keeping me and my stuff in proper perspective reminds me that I'm doing well. Things are good for me - not perfect, but good. The birds don't stop singing when I start pumping.


what to do...

I have an uncle who, as far as I know, has never gone to work on his birthday. He always takes the day off. I have a friend who always pampers himself on his birthday. He'll get a massage and the works. The day is all his and he enjoys it. I say good for him.

I'm not really big into my birthday. But I was thinking last week about what I should do if I did decide to mark the day this year. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to take the day off. I'd just work at home if I did. Since the big day is on a Tuesday this year there's not a lot going on as far as plays or concerts. Maybe I'll just treat today like every other and see if anything happens naturally. I know I can count on calls from my parents and my kids. Several friends will send text messages and emails. Most of my co-workers don't even know it's my day, so I don't expect a lot from them. I know my cousin Janice will call and my sweet friend Loretta will send a card. You just know some things.

Greg, Justin and I share a birthday week, so our friends threw us a big party this past weekend. It was fun and probably sufficient as far as celebrating goes. But who knows? Birthdays are about surprises...


the week from heaven

This will be a special week for me. I'll get to spend some extra time with my son of 14 years. He's on spring break. Being divorced is akin to hell. That's an exaggeration, but more than anything else, I miss being able to walk down the hall anytime I want and looking in on my kids as they sleep. Sometimes I miss them so bad all I can do is lay in my bed and cry. When he is at my house for the night or for a few days I often crack Christian's bedroom door open and watch him sleep for a minute or two. Anything more than that would be creepy.

This week will be fun. We'll pass the baseball, maybe ride the bike. I'll watch him play video games. We'll listen to music. We may go see a movie or two or go to a baseball game. Sometimes we don't do anything special at all. But we feel good knowing the other is so close. I'm happiest when I know he is within earshot.

This will be a good week. Like a week from heaven.



I've heard enough memorials about giving and generous people to know that there are some people in the world these days who'd give you their last morsel of food if you asked for it. They are servants. They receive great joy in seeing that others are cared for and happy. I have a friend like that. His name is Greg.

Some friends are just extra special. Sometimes you make a connection with someone that isn't easily described with words. Greg is one of my confidants. He and I share our struggles and our concerns and our quirks and our frustrations with each other. I don't know what it was that made us first trust each other this way, but sometimes you just feel a bond that creates the freedom to confide in each other knowing that it is as important to keep as it is to share.

Maybe the closeness is partly because our birthdays are so close. Today is his. I want it to be memorable and happy and special for him.

Happy birthday Gregory!!


april f**l's day

Did anyone else get in trouble as a kid for calling someone a fool? We weren't allowed to use the word in our house. It was like a cuss word. If I remember right, I think we were told if we called someone a fool we would go to hell. So me and my brothers always felt the need to reserve such language for very special, angry occasions. We didn't know it then, but that's exactly the use of the word that Jesus condemned.

Being a church brat and hearing so many preachers use words that we good Christian kids weren't allowed to seemed a bit hypocritical to me. Of course, I had no idea what a hypocrite was back then. All I knew was that preachers must've had some sort of deal worked out with God to be able to say words like ass and hell and damn and fool - and in the pulpit no less. When I was really young I could be daydreaming about Scooby Doo in outer space and hear a word like that pop out of a preacher's mouth and he'd have me back in rapt attention until something else distracted me. Maybe that was his point. When I got a little older all of us pre-teens would sit in the back of the church and snicker and poke when the preacher would cuss. When I'd ask about it most adults would just say it's how you use the word that makes the difference. I was never allowed to use the words regardless of how I justified it.

Although I still don't call anyone a fool, I think I've gotten over saying the word. When it's used in the bible it's usually referring to someones stubborn stupidity. I know a few people who qualify, but I still won't say it. I don't want to go to hell.

All that being said. Happy April Fool's Day! (Forgive me Lord.)