Dear Winn – 16 July 2016

Dear Winn:
I’m so glad that you and your beautiful family have been on vacation this week. And I didn’t see any live tweeting or Facebook photos until the one yesterday when y’all were on top of Cadillac Mountain. In other words, you spent your time with each other instead of the rest of us. Good on ya, my friend, good on ya. By the way, your boys are sprouting up like oaks of Mamre. My lord.
Meredith’s healing is all on schedule, just not the schedule she had lined out for her summer. The initial physical pain was hard to see her in, but what’s been harder lately has been seeing her pain at not being able to get outside and hike around like she loves to. Its strange, you know, how life often knifes us in the very core of our affections, like a hiker suffering a broken ankle. But along with a repaired tibia and fibula, she’s gotten a new set of eyes, and she’d be the first to admit that to you. When we’re out and about, and she’s venturing out a little more each week, she quickly notices the people who are on crutches, or have a foot stuck in a walking boot, or who are struggling in some way to get around due to a bum something. Exponential empathy increase, she’d say. And we’ve both seen what an amazing help the gift of a meal can be. We’ve had folks bring us everything from pizza to pulled pork to kale soup. Those gifts have touched our hearts in a deep way, and reminded us of a truth we know but often forget: Don’t overthink helping someone, its really not that hard.
The country’s still in the crapper, huh? And I keep seeing #lovewins. While I understand that hashtag, I really do, I believe it is insufficient for our times. I want us to be more specific – tell me what kind of love wins. I bet my boots that the “I love my Ford F-350” love is not the kind of love that’s going to carry us in these days. In fact, that kind of love may be one of the reasons we’re in the pickle we’re currently in. Seems to me that the “play second fiddle” love (thank you, Eugene Peterson) is what we so desperately need, that sacrificial love that sets aside our personal glory and dives into the wreck (thank you, Adrienne Rich) to try our best to help one another. I just want us to use precise language, because our children are watching and listening, and they, like us, are being formed by the words we use. But you can’t really hashtag that kind of love. You have to bleed it.
Sarah, Meredith, and I are headed up to Denver this morning for a Pepperdine meet and greet, a gathering of current students and entering freshman who all share the common good fortune of living in and around Denver, Colorado. I’m sure it’ll be interesting. There’ll be the usual sniffing and licking, sizing up of each other, the “Oh, and what do you do?” between parents. Meredith’s got her cast on and shuffling around on crutches, so we should get the sympathy vote in no time flat. I’ll tell someone I’m a writer and they’ll no doubt say, “Oh, and what have you written?” I may tell them I write letters to friends that I miss, friends who live too far the hell away (that’d be you, pal). The invitation indicates the hosts have a pool, and all are welcome to swim if we’d like. That made me grin. With the exception of face, neck, and arms, my bod’s as pearly white as the belly of a fish. I’d cause some sort of white eclipse if I jumped in that pool, blinding hosts, current students, and entering freshmen. Yes, all things are possible, but not all things are profitable.  Anne Lamott’d say, “Oh, go on and jump in, John.” Boy, sometimes that Anne Lamott cracks me up.
Go slow in your re-entry from vacation. Remember those space capsules coming back into the earth’s atmosphere, they have to take care or they’ll burn up. Don’t burn up.

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1 Comment

  1. literarywanderings on July 18, 2016 at 3:32 am

    “You can’t hashtag that kind of love.” Truth.

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