Monday, September 27, 2010

Smokers, Schedules and Grand Adventures

[Tales from the CART moment of the day]

While I was sitting on the botany sign today, waiting for the CART bus, a large lady in bright pink sat down beside me. She had just come out of the phone booth where she was yelling expletives at a friend of hers and was mumbling to herself. She pulled out a pack of cigarettes.

Turning to look at me, she asked, "Does smoke bother you?"

I was so surprised that someone was showing the courtesy to ask me that in the first place, I mumbled a lame half-yes half-no answer while gesturing incomprehensibly.

She then proceeded to tell me she'd switch places with me if the smoke blew my way. It did. We switched places.

The End.


Isn't it funny how our hearts long for adventure at the same time schedules bring us comfort? It's an interesting balance -- an intricate arrangement of desires in conflict with one another.

I'll use myself for example, as I am the person I'm most familiar with. I like schedules. I get things done when I have a schedule. They are also the things that kill me most easily, that I will submit myself in slavery to the moment I feel like life is slipping out of my hands. Ironically, I do that so I can gain control (though it never works).

However, everything in me also longs for adventure. Every since I was young, I've dreamt of seeing things grand and far away and strange. Curiosity still overwhelms me from time to time and gets me into trouble. Surprises comprise some of my fondest memories, and challenges light the fire in my heart that makes me think and write as passionately as I do. I want to see the world, in whatever context God has for Chris and me.

Lately, God is teaching me a lot about how to embrace both organization and spontaneity. He is instructing me in how to hold my schedule with an open hand, and take up the opportunity for various types of "adventures" when he sends them my way. Already, I see my joy blossoming in the midst of it, and life bursting with color in a new way before my eyes. It's a deep pleasure to get things done well without giving myself an ulcer in the process, and to know at the same time that I have the freedom to put reading and writing aside to take a walk with my husband, burn a napkin on the sidewalk (don't ask) or sketch out a picture of a Wheel of Time character for the sheer fun of it.

It's great, kids. Anyhow, I'm ending this abruptly because the adventure of REM sleep and the schedule of bedtime is calling my name, and when both adventure and the schedule call, I answer.

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