Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Reason to Ride the Bus

Dating! Guys, despite what the TV ads would have you believe about cars, the way to really impress a woman is a bus date. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. When your date who knows you love the bus shows up with a wallet full of singles and the bus schedule committed to memory, you feel seen, and approved.

2. A bus tour is the way many of us introduce ourselves to cities when we're traveling, so you feel like you're on vacation in your own city.

3. Your date will only have eyes for you: no need to pay attention to distractions like traffic signals and other drivers and street signs: somebody else is driving!

4. You can drink as much wine as you want at your picnic on the beach; somebody else is driving.

5. All your hands and arms are available for each other -- tastefully, of course -- and you don't have those distancing bucket seats they put in cars.

There are probably even more reasons for bus dates, but I don't have a lot of experience yet. What would you add?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When is "after"?

So, here's how it looks, now that I've planted: three gaura, which you can't see at all, in among the variegated grasses; one hydrangea you can barely see; three nepeta, including one on the very corner, a bright green sage, a star jasmine, and a cherry tomato to climb up the tower. It's going to take awhile to get to anything like an impressive "after" shot, which, initially, I found a little discouraging. But only when I looked at the photo. Because in my brain, I can already see how lovely it will be. I can even see the Cecile Brunner rose I haven't been able to find and plant at all yet.

I'm thinking, Life is full of "after."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Landscaping: The Before Shot

As you may recall, I actually moved into my new condo on April 30, but as a renter, because my building is in one of those now-all-too-typical receivership/short sale/bankruptcy situations.

However, I finally signed the papers last week. Now it's all mine.

Even though I was bold enough to tear out the stupid pansies in my window box and replace them with red geraniums, I didn't feel I ought to tackle the front landscaping until the place was mine. So I'm off this morning to the nursery to buy my rose and as diminutive a hydrangea as I can find, and some pink gaura and maybe nepeta (blue) to fill in some spaces.

Instead of spending all my time wandering gaga around my neighborhood enjoying everybody else's gardens.

But here's a question. My building is symmetrical. I only want to plant the bit of bed in front of my own place, partly because plants are expensive, partly because my as-yet-unmoved-in neighbor may have her own landscaping plan. That's okay, isn't it? We don't have to match, right?

A Link

If I were an ambitious blogger, looking to become the next hot site, I'd be trying to get other bloggers to link to me. Bloggers try to get me to link to them, but usually, it's somebody trying to sell something that has nothing to do with what I'm about. This morning I got a pitch that I went ahead and checked out -- usually I just delete -- and found this fresh-faced guy who loves ties and has a whole post of photos of Father's Day cakes with nougat ties. It brought a smile to my face.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Out of Somewhere

One Sunday ago, my friend Ann gave me, for my new home, a tiny mezuzah box of inlaid wood with a sliding doorway for the mezuzah scroll. The box is to be mounted on the doorpost. It includes two scrolls: one with a prayer on it, one blank for your own prayer. What prayer should I use? Something from the Book of Common Prayer, maybe the one with "guard the sleeping, shield the joyous, all for your love's sake"? Or St Patrick's Breastplate? Or what?

So it brought tears to my eyes this last Sunday to discover, like an answer to a prayer unprayed, that we were singing St Patrick's prayer in one of our hymns:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all who love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

And then, as if this were not enough, our choir sang as the communion motet the prayer I love and puzzle over and have written down I want at my funeral, from Sarum Primer, 1514:
God be in my head and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.
So I thought as I sat there at St Paul's, leaking tears, that you show up, and suddenly, out of nowhere, the God you believe in so tenuously appears to be semaphoring hilariously from some horizon of the universe.

Also, it was Trinity Sunday. I await with bated breath the publication of the sermon on St Paul's website, but here's what I remember chiefly about that great crazy mystery of the Trinity: that whatever else it may mean, the very idea of it proclaims a high status for relationship.

And honestly -- and I speak here as a single woman -- is there any treasure more earnestly to be sought than relationship? Isn't it a pearl worth the price of, say, a membership?

I have done some research into the mezuzah. The idea is traced back to Moses, who proclaims in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the Shema: Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength. These commandments [The Ten] which I give you this day are to be kept in your heart....write them on the doorposts of your houses....

In fact, what a mishmosh! To speak of Trinity Sunday and the Shema in the same ... blogpost, for heaven's sake! And a mezuzah is meant for commandments, not really for prayers.

But I say the mishmosh is all right with me, because any reasonable observer of religious text and history must admit that whatever we write down or believe is a pretty humble rendering of any godly reality, possibly like a cat trying to convey the ways of man.

Or have I fallen into the dreaded grip of a cafeteria-style religion, keeping anything that suits, discarding anything too challenging?

What do you think?

All material copyright © 2009 by Mary Davies