Transfixus Sed Non Mortuus

Here I Stand, Pierced and Transfixed

Browsing Posts in Life

A Boy in the Rain

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Yesterday was a fine-soaking-rain-kind-of-day. The water seemed to lounge in the air for a long moment before it crashed to earth in disjointed splashes. I got done with work and followed Sean to the back porch. He was gazing at the rain and seemed to be taking it all in.

Then, he went to the door and looked up at me as if to say, “Let me out there! It looks interesting!” I debated it for a few moments. I thought about all the things that could happen. He could get cold, but I could wrap him up in a towel afterwards. He could get ill, but I don’t know if being out in the rain would have caused it or something else. A thousand thoughts and counter-thoughts seemed to rush through my brain, and at last, I gave in by taking off his socks and opening the screen door for him. I’m so glad I did.

He jumped outside and started dancing on the little landing that leads down to the ground. He splashed his little bare feet in the puddles and laughed deep belly laughs. He squealed as the rain bore down harder on his slowly soaking hair. I went out there too for a few seconds, but the shock of the cold air and water made me retreat back in for a little while.

Then, I overcame myself and went back out there with him. He carefully started descending the stairs (by turning around and going down facing the stairs just like we taught him!). He took a couple of steps down, and looked up at me questioningly. I gave him a nod, and followed him into our yard.

It was magical. The yard was transformed before my eyes! Here, a water droplet held the grass like a lover, but in a moment was gone. There, a stick looked like a gnarled hand reaching up from the ground. Little eddies and lakes were forming hither and yon. There was a world in the yard! Sean seemed to see it too, and we both were giggling and laughing as we explored this beautiful new world.

Then, a flash of light appeared in the horizon. Sean didn’t know what it was, but a loud crash of thunder split the sound of rushing water and falling rain. Sean turned around and ran to me. I kneeled down and he rushed into my arms and wrapped his arms around me so very tight! I said, “It’s okay, buddy. Let’s go inside.” He buried his head in my shoulder and together we walked slowly back to the house. I told him that everything is okay, but we do go inside when we hear thunder.

We got out of our wet clothes and got ready for dinner. During dinner, every time the thunder would sound, Sean would look at me and point out the window with a big smile on his face. I would say, “Yes, Sean. That’s thunder!” Then, we would proceed with eating.

My Bird Died

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This morning was a dark and cloud-filled morning. The wind was whistling against my apartment’s outer wall and I woke up at least once to some rain beating against the window. An ominous warning, to be sure. As I got up and got ready for the day, I uncovered my cockatiel’s cage and found her dead at the bottom. Bau Bau had been having some health issues prior, so it wasn’t a complete surprise, but I felt a lot of emotion when I realized what I was looking at.

As I rode my bike into work, I thought about all the history that we had shared. My friend Sophia gave her to me while I was attending university. At first, Bau Bau and I had a little rocky relationship while we learned to get along, but soon, she would jump right onto my hand and sit on my shoulder while I was home. She had this cute little way of turning her head one hundred and eighty degrees while looking at me out of one of her eyes. I loved to stroke her crest feathers and she always loved that too. She would nuzzle so gently up against my chin and make little soft noises while I went about my business at home.

Bau Bau used to have this habit of sneaking out of her cage. I’m still not sure how she did it, but one night, I woke up in the middle of the night to some “thing” crawling on my shoulder. I got scared and knocked that thing into the the air. Turns out, it was my lovely little bird that I had hit. For two or three weeks afterwards, she was scared of me and really seemed to act like she was mad. I remember I got her out of her cage at one point, and she flew straight to my sister’s shoulder and seemed to be saying, “ha” to me. I felt so horrible about it, but she eventually forgot or forgave me, and our relationship went back to normal. Eventually, she stopped breaking out of her cage too, which I’m very grateful for.

My roommate Adam had a cat named Layla. Layla was a little timid, but was still a cat. She would sit for a very long time watching Bau Bau play at our old apartment. Then, every once in a while, she would try to get Bau Bau. However, Bau Bau was always wary and would fly straight to me, or would turn and face Layla. Layla would either stop or run away in the face of the fierce snapping beak and giant flapping wings of Bau Bau. It was certainly an uneasy situation, but it never got out of hand.

I remember all the mornings when I lived on Dexter Ave where she would wake me up. The sunlight would stream through the east-facing window of my bedroom, and she would start to sing softly. Then, as the sun kept rising, she would get a little louder until I got up and wished her good morning. Some mornings, I would be mad at her for waking me up, but looking back on it now, those memories are showered in a golden hue.

Bau Bau taught me a lot about how to love. She required a lot of patience to train. She could be really ornery sometimes without any known reason at all. Sometimes, she would sit in her cage and scream at me if she wanted me to play with her some more. Other times, she would leave droppings on my favorite shirt. She taught me that loving one of God’s creatures can be hard, but at the same time, it can be very rewarding in those moments of joy when she would gently whistle in my ear or try to groom my hair. It’s kind of funny to me that a simple creature could teach me so much and also fill a piece of my heart in a way that no other creature has.

She was with me through a lot of life changes, including multiple moves, relationships, and job changes. She was always there wanting to play with me every day when I got home. It seems strange to think that she won’t be there when I get home tonight. I feel bad for the times I felt too busy to play with her more. I also feel like I am going to miss her for a very long time to come.

A Wedding Weekend

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My friends Emmanuel and Megan got married this weekend. It was one of those wedding ceremonies that was just absolutely beautiful. Rather, the couple looked beautiful. Yes, the church looked nice and the reception hall looked lovely, but they really shone. Emmanuel’s smile is very engaging, but to see him on the day of his wedding was a very new thing indeed. Contagious was his smile and his joy made me happy. he had the look of someone who had been on a long journey and had found his oasis when the sun had nearly burnt him to a crisp. Megan too had a sweet and joyful smile and her eyes truly sparkled with a freshness and zeal that I truly admired. I could see the face of God in their faces, and that gives me great hope and peace for the light that the two of them will bring to the world. I truly wish them all the best and my prayers are with them as they begin a new and gorgeous life together!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJIoDTcPGds

On Sunday, I had my yearly joyous fun of running the Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5k to benefit Save a Heart. My wife, my mother, my brother, my sister, my sister’s boyfriend, my niece, and two sister-in-laws also came out for the fun!

The day was MUCH warmer than the week before. I had done a run a little bit longer than a 5k exactly one week before, and I was disappointed with how out of shape I am. I tried pretty hard and ran 3.62 miles in a little over 30 minutes. There used to be a day where I’d run a 5k in 12 or 13 minutes less than that, so I was a little disheartened. Because of this, I set my goal for the 5k to be under 25 minutes.

We all lined up a little after 9:30am and waited for the race to begin. I felt excited to run this race, and I remembered all the times I’d ran that race in the past. Wonderful memories wafted through my mind like colorful fishes swimming through the sunlit corals. I was as ready as I could be and in a good mood. I had already made the peace with myself that I would not do as well as I did in years past, so I was relaxed and ready to really enjoy myself and have a good bit of diversion.

The race began like it always does. Feeling like a cow in a herd being led to the slaughter, I meshed into a large group of people going through “the narrow gate” of the timing pad. Then, I was off!

I passed a bunch of people and bobbed and weaved to the corner, and then after that I settled into a fairly nice pace. I passed a few people, checked my heart rate, and kept on running. Soon, I arrived at the 1st mile marker. I hit my stopwatch and saw a 7:30 sitting on my watch. That was actually a little ahead of where I thought I’d be based on the previous week’s run. I certainly was elated with that, but my high school cross country coach’s words echoed in my mind, “You can’t win it in the first mile.” I laughed at myself to think of that. My high school self would never have been impressed with a 7:30 first mile, but the me that lives today was quite happy with it!

The course has a long stretch that doubles back on itself, which is kind of fun because you can see people ahead of you on the way out and behind you on the way back. I saw my sister’s boyfriend quite early on, so I yelled and told him great job. He was near the top ten runners overall, so that was super exciting for me.

I turned around and saw my sister, to whom I also yelled encouragement. What fun!

I hit the second mile with a split of 7:36. As I passed the marker, I did a quick overview of my feelings and heart rate, and felt that I could up the pace a bit. So, that’s just what I did. I saw my mother not far thereafter and I cheered for her. This is the first time she came out for this race. It certainly was a fine thing to see her do it!

I rounded around a few streets and before long, I saw the 3 mile marker. I started pushing myself into the anaerobic range. I passed a group of people with a good bit of authority. I hit my stopwatch right at the 3 mile marker and saw a split of 7:01. “Yay,” I thought to myself. I was feeling pretty worn, but I knew I only had 0.1 miles to go. That’s nothing!

I charged up the last hill and turned the corner to see the finish line! I sped up a little more. Then, I heard some footsteps coming up quick behind me! I was NOT going to let whoever was behind me pass me without a fight! I gave all my energy and will to my legs to move faster. The person came up almost astride of me and then I pushed it even more and beat him to the finish line by just a few feet! That was super exciting for me! My old competiveness was back in full bore, even if I was quite slow!

My final time on the race was 22:48. I’m pretty sure that’s the slowest I’ve ever ran the Shamrocks race, but I tell you truly that I had a lovely time!

Movin’ Movin’ Man

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This past weekend, I was a movin’ movin’ man. My wife and I have been living in a little apartment since July. We very much enjoyed the place. The appliances were up to date, any maintenance was being taken care of within a day or so, and the staff were courteous and friendly. Much better than some places I’ve stayed in the past.

However, as the summer waned, we began to get some strange smells wafting through our apartment. In the month of December, when the temperature started to dip towards the freezing point, we found that the smell became nearly unbearable. It permeated our clothes and sometimes woke us up from our sleep in the dead of night. We determined that one of our neighbors was smoking some very nasty substances.

The apartment manager did seem interested in our concerns, but needed proof of which neighbor it was. When we figured out which neighbor it was, they denied it. So, we were left in the same boat of having the nastiest of smells totally destroying our use of the apartment. We avoided going there if we could. Sometimes, it got so thick, we had to leave and open our windows in the wintry nights.

At last, we met with the manager face-to-face last Tuesday and she offered to have us transfer apartments. She was very agreeable to that and even promised us a larger apartment for the same rate! Even though it was a huge hassle, we signed the paperwork last Wednesday for the new place.

My brother and da stopped by on Friday and really went to town on the big stuff, while my wife’s sister helped pack. My wife’s parents, aunt, and uncle came by on Saturday and got everything that we didn’t get to on Saturday. I’m entirely happy and grateful to our families who really stepped up to the plate on such short notice.

I’m especially grateful that it’s now done and that smell isn’t thickening our nights and days (except when you sometimes get a whiff of it on coats or clothes of course).

Flyboarding

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This weekend, I was able to do something I had never done before: flyboarding. Basically, they hook up a special impeller into a jet ski and attach that to a long hose. Then, there’s some special platform and boots that are set up to give you lift. You can adjust by leaning in a particular direction.

Here’s a video of me doing it:

It was a lot of fun!

http://perfectfriction.ie/

Broken Pedal

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My poor little bike pedal snapped off! I was ridding up a hill and all of a sudden, I heard a strange crunching noise and felt a weird vibration in my left leg. Then, my pedal came loose! I was very surprised!

It looks like I can rebuild it, so that’s a very good thing, but my goodness what a surprise that was!

I think that this winter has been one of the coldest on record for the area that I live in. yet, I can’t help but see the wondrous beauty of the snow! There’s so much in that light powdery substance which makes me feel alive. I was only able to snowboard once this year and haven’t taken the time to go sledding, but just seeing that luminescent beauty after day means something special to me!