Times Like These

June 29, 2007|Posted in: Uncategorized

Wedding stuff is coming up like shoals on a stormy night. Watch out, gonna get splintered by surprise.

Twice today someone has quoted Frederick Buechner, a Presbyterian minister who rarely goes to church, according to my dear friend Dennis Green. (Beuchner? Beuchner? Say it in the voice of Ferris Beuler’s teacher…). Doubt is the ants-in-the-pants of faith, my friend-of-faith Jack Buckley told me (Beuchner said it) earlier today. And Dennis quoted Beuchner as saying, “Don’t just get through your life, as all of us are inclined to do, on automatic pilot, not much noticing anything.” Too right.

But I’m suddenly in a muddle about my Catholicism, which I thought I’d kicked, but which came rearing up like a tiny Crusader when we sat down to discuss the wedding service. No Mass. No Blood of Christ. Which form of the Our Father, I mean, the Lord’s Prayer? Debts or trespasses? Angels, devils or what? Holy crap.

I could go on. There are books inside my head waiting to be written. I am so abuzz and agog with stuff to do these days I can’t even think. This is the tip of the tip, the nipple of the iceberg. No time to write it and think and get dinner and breathe and sleep, too. Cat wants to be fed. Piles of shit on my desk. Deadlines looming like a thug on a dark street. I’m so far behind that I’m just gonna paste this into my blog and call it original thought, if not original sin.

So where do you go when you’re in a muddle about your faith, or lack thereof, and’ve got your hands full with family stuff and schedules for seven people, stuff to plan and sort and calculate, and then book ideas droppping like juicy mangoes from the skies? To the bottle? To the blog? To the Bible? To bed? To the hammock, to fight it out with the sun and wind and a good novel? To my favorite masseuse, Jessica Catano and her Peaceful Journeys?

Yes to all — but the reality is that I’m slave-chained to the computer till the Music Scene is done, with local theater ACLO’s PR whipping hard at its heels, a pile of essays to order and consider for our anthology-in-the-works, a frajillion wedding details that you’re too annoyed to read about, and hey, how about “taking care of me” and “quality time” and “going to the gym” and “time with the kids” and all that? Uh, yeah. Coming right up.

Complaining? No, more like breathing out this vast list o’ crap that needs doing yesterday, and it’s today, so it’s all late. My context for the rest of the pre-wedding time is to enjoy getting wed to the man of my dreams. Not to bitch about it. And for summer, to have fun and enjoy being with the kids. After all of this, 6-8 weeks down the line, our house and garden will be beautiful, and we can relax a bit because it will be done and over and kids will be moving into their next phases (from fourth grade up to senior year fun). And it will be time for football and cheerleading, and the A’s will make the postseason, and then we can settle into our lovely Indian Summer, and enjoy tiki time all the time, till autumn comes in properly.

Gotta admit, I’m looking forward to it. In the meantime, Must Enjoy Process.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

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