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18 December 2008

getting from point a to point b (the quarry)




so family is family. they welcome you on cold winter days and feed you schnitzel. they pick you up around town because you can't figure out a better way from point a to point b without asking for help. they rub your back when no one else will stretch out their hand and even touch you. they are your source, your support, your strength.

but at some point, each individual within a family gets the opportunity to create their own family. babies are had and sister becomes mama becomes great grandma and crazy aunt. and now that's "her side of the family." as if she made a bad choice, as if she didn't try her best to chose to make the kind of family she wanted. its as though high cholesterol and rapid anxiety is a choice: it's more hereditary.

i listened to a man on the bus last night talk about the 300,000 genes that each cell in our body carries. he is an aging cancer cell researcher, and he put cell research like this: think of it as a quarry. we do lots and lots of work for little or no outcome, but what we find as a result of all that work is momentous. i said, that is a great analogy for aging cancer cell research but even for life.

we dig and dig and dig.
we stretch out out arms and point in a new direction, wondering, what could possibly be there.
then one day, we take our tools, the ones we love, and we go there.
we dig, again.
we work hard and rest our bodies, everyday. thankful for the discoveries today. hopeful for what tomorrow will bring.
but at some point we have to scale out of the quarry, perhaps only in our dreams. and in that scaling, that stretching of the mind, the heart, the spirit, we are lifted above it all. we see our terrain, we see the heights and the depths of our existence. we see the places we've come from and we can pinpoint some places we'd like to go; and then, we wake up. it is a new day.
shoes on feet (we're so blessed), coat on body, lunch in pail, out the door.

into the quarry we go.
hoping for discovery.
300,000 opportunities to do good.
really hot coffee from jacksons.
a familiar face.
the dreams we carry, lingering in our mind with each minute.
the call, the action, the task at hand.
our courage to try.
blessing.
the setback.
the overcoming.
our own way through.


"a way out of no way will be made for you." virginia crutcher

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