My wife Kassi recently started her own blog of a more private nature, and she’s written a wonderful article about all of the many things going on in our lives last week, including our baptism, preparation for Pascha, and the appearance of the first clusters of firewheels in Dallas. Take a look.
I woke up from a vivid dream this morning. I’d just arrived home from a business trip to California, and Kassi was very excited to show me the changes that had been made to our neighborhood in my absence. Everyone had gotten a new house, it seems, and the neighborhood itself had been newly laid out, and its boundaries expanded. Our house had been moved to the backside of the neighborhood by the creek, and the wooded area around the creek had been developed, so that our house, instead of looking out onto a wooded ravine as it would currently, was now at a “T” intersection in the middle of the larger neighborhood.
Today I had a lot of reminders that there are people out there who love and care for me a great deal. My wife, parents, and children. My brothers, cousins, and family. Friends old and new. I am thankful for all of them. I am thankful for the things I have, inside and out. I am thankful for the places God has brought me to in the past year.
I met a man on the street named Emery Lambus who asked me for a couple of bucks to buy lunch. I think he mentioned something about sausages, oddly enough. We were outside the Cheesecake Factory. Emery is a homeless artist. He was in a wheelchair, surrounded by about four or five of his paintings. I bought this one from him. It’s a self portrait. I liked it because it looked so much like him. It’s hard to really capture the essence of someone’s face in a painting. But he did it. I can’t tell exactly what it’s painted on, but it looks like some sort of metal bucket lid whose sides have been flattened outwards to look like the petals of a large flower. He even signed it for me.
Like a lot of homeless people it seems he’s a pretty troubled guy. But he struggles every day to keep things together, doing what he can to support himself and get by. I don’t know about all of that. All I know is that he seemed like a decent guy who was happy to talk and show off his stuff. He was very proud that he’d recently been given the honor of addressing the graduates of the SoCal Art Institute. They presented him with a special award. He took himself seriously, and I appreciated that.
When this gig is finally over, I’ll have Emery’s friendly, smiling face as a keepsake from Pasadena.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the Catholic holy day that begins the penitential season of Lent. This year I will not be celebrating as a Catholic.
Last year on September 1st Kassi and I, after a long season of spiritual apathy and suffering, took our first steps into the Russian Orthodox Church. There were private reasons, of course. Personal reasons that are always at the core of any conversion; but also open reasons. We did not take the step lightly.
What should I say? What can I say? Perhaps a little about where I find myself these days. What I’m up to. Best keep it brief. I want to encourage myself to update these pages a little more frequently this year.