27 July, 2008

american laze

And so I am home, home, beautifully home.

Isn't it funny how easily one falls back into the rhythm of ordinary life? Magically evading jet lag, I have slipped back into the lazy harmony of the summer I left: a cup of tea for breakfast, sitting at the counter and watching the cars pass, lounging in our bedroom with my sisters, the fans whirring, the conversation fading in and out, punctuated by bursts of laughter, and all is still, soft blue, and sunlight. A happy heart.

Fell in love with a Stravinsky song today. I credit my parents for cultivating this love of classical music in me as a child, and Catherine for rekindling it last year. We used to always play it at home, mainly because Dad loved it and it always lulled Kelsey into a state of transfixion that led to the creation of her nickname, "The Potted Plant." Dad used to play a game with us when we listened, in which we would try to identify all of the instruments being played at that moment.

In the service this morning, I was reminded of this little truth: God spares His own (in re Malachi 3:17). It was so refreshing to be reminded of this by someone else, to pray corporately. How good it felt to pray with others and how long it has been since I have been able to do that! And yet it was almost good, this absence from it, because I was startled by it this morning--astonished by that onrush of collective emotion that strikes my heart to hear others praying; it was suddenly made new again, as if I was experiencing it for the first time.

Almost finished with The Years now. Will move onto The Metamorphosis next, maybe for just a day or two. And then I'll start Babbitt, which I've been saving all summer. Hope it's worth it.

In my circle of friends, saying anything positive about America is shameful. We pass our days passing judgment on the state of the American church, American politics, American foreign policy, American food life, American values, American education. However, I would like to step out of this circle temporarily and admit, freely and for once unashamedly, that living in Japan for a summer made me grateful for America in a way that I haven't been before. I love the creative, pioneering American spirit (which is not nurtured in Japan; on the contrary, it is suppressed very early on in a child's education). I love the American landscape and wide open spaces. I love American music and even American TV. And I love American pizza. Gosh, I love a good, greasy American pizza.

Excited to see everyone again in a few weeks. I have a feeling this is going to be, in the words of VH1, the Best Year Ever.

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