"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Thursday, December 22, 2005

one for the people

I know the readership of my blog cannot be characterized as vast, but I know it is of the highest quality and I don't want to lose y'all. Thanks for sticking through some of the dry spells.

I jogged about 30 minutes in the park this morning, out to the landmark known in our household as "The Bathroom Bridge" and back, not because it is hygenically unsound in any way but because there is actually a very clean and well lighted restroom there. I had packed my gym bag to head to the gym since it's been raining the last few days but decided I was leaving too late for a worthwhile gym experience, and the weather was cloudy but stable. I went outside wearing my fleece everything and decided it would be too warm so I stripped down to t-shirt and shorts. An older neighbor in the complex was out with her terrier in the parking lot. She was wearing a knit hat and scarf and winter coat. She looked at me with the greatest concern and said, "Where is your jacket?" as if I didn't have a jacket and she was going to go find me one on the spot. I said, "When I run, I get too hot" and she seemed to accept this response.

I'm glad I remembered that little interaction because later in the day I was stuck on the phone with a client who has no plausible defense to her eviction that I can find, trying to level with her and give her the realistic if not so cheerful options, and after awhile you'd think from listening to her that I was her soon to be ex-landlord, or worse. Sort of like trying to help a wasp fly out the window when it's determined that it wants to stay inside. Actually that's not a very good analogy since people generally do better inside than wasps, but hopefully you get the point.

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