1. Things I learned by going to Adult Ed on Sunday morning. Who was the first person in the Bible to name God? Not Adam, not Abraham. It was Hagar, the slave who was made pregnant by Abraham and then treated harshly by Sarah. She ran away and encountered God who told her to go back and submit to her mistress, but who also promised that her offspring would become a great nation.
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."Genesis 16:13Had I ever heard that before? I suspect it has come up in one biblical feminist context or another, but it was heard anew last Sunday, and with pleased surprise. It's way simpler than all the floundering around I do on my own. It's a resting point. Where is God? Looking at me.
2. My day began with reading The Ethical Case for Having a Baby With Down Syndrome in the NY Times. I liked the simplicity of its conclusion:
If you value acceptance, empathy and unconditional love, you, too, should welcome a child with Down syndrome into your life.Then I scanned the comment section and came away horrified. One person after another stated, more or less, that they should not be expected to cope with what life throws at them--that there was no value in this. This isn't exactly what they said. Their disapproval was couched in statements about it being "unethical to bring a child into the world who wouldn't have a happy life." Smug able-ist bastards--so certain they can define a happy, worthwhile life in terms of intellect and physical appearance. Of course, I'm a deluded (and aging) (and angry) parent.
3. Another heavy topic: I ran into a blog post from someone who runs a network of parents of children who have died, at any age. It was a long, long thing, explaining how a parent never gets over the loss of a child. I don't disagree, but it was not helpful to read. Besides, it's not the loss of a child you never get over. It's the loss of this child, this person, this young man, my Kris.
4. Here's my answer to #3--or at least an ideal answer I hope to live into. I have loved "Lucinda Matlock" from Spoon River Anthology since long before I had any claim to living a long life, but now I hear her upbraiding me:
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,5. Kris would agree with the sentiment of #4, and probably like the plain-spoken poem, too.
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you —
It takes life to love Life.
6. My goal was seven random thoughts, and in a list of seven, somewhere around #5 or #6 should be something amazing. But what I'm remembering right now is how the sewer backed up in the basement this morning--the sewer drain that was rodded out in November and again in January. The only amazing thing here is the size of the check that I will write to the plumber tomorrow morning for cleaning out the drain and sending a camera in there to see what's going on. I am trying not to be anxious or angry about this. Can't choose home ownership and expect nothing but contentment and happiness.
7. "You are the God who sees me." Who smells the stinky basement, breathes with me doing yoga, tastes my tears, softens the air around me, and hears the singing coming from my daughter with Down syndrome's bedroom.