Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Teaser Tuesdays asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
So I drive into town for my first date in two years in a red 1941 Chevrolet four-on-the-floor with a John Deere motor grader hooked behind me. The engine sputters and churns and I wonder if the truck will make it. Chunks of mud spray behind me off the tires. The engine stalls on the main road, sending my dress and bag flying onto the dirty floor. I have to restart twice. [page 115]
Frederick Buechner writes
Loving God means rejoicing in him. it means trusting him when you can think of a hundred reasons not to trust anything. It means praying to him even when you don't feel like it. It means watching for him in the beauty and sadness and gladness and mystery of your own life and of life around you. Loving each other doesn't mean loving each other in some sentimental, unrealistic, greeting-card kind of way but the way families love each other even though they may fight tooth and nail and get fed to the teeth with each other and drive each other crazy yet all the time know deep down in their hearts that they belong to each other and need each other and can't imagine what life would be without each other--even the ones they often wish had never been born.
Several years ago I corresponded with a delightful lady who lived in one of the eastern states (memory ain't what it used to be and I can't recall just where she lived). We initially began corresponding regarding my French ancestor Pierre Jouett. [A descendant John "Jack" Jouett is called the Paul Revere of Virginia. He was also the attorney who represented his cousin Lewis Robards in the divorce suit from Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson (who married President Andrew Jackson) . Another descendant James Edward Jouett was the person David Farragut spoke to when he said "Damn the torpedoes. Jouett, full speed!" Just throwing in some family trivia . . .]
Throughout the ensuing months and years, she and I shared our genealogy research, as well as our thoughts about family, passions, interests, history, writing, etc. In one of my e-mails, I mentioned that I admired the writer and theologian Frederick Buechner and how his writings truly spoke to my heart.
Her reply was
"Oh, Freddy! He was so handsome and fun. We lived across the street from his grandparents and I was thrilled when he would come to stay; our families were great friends."
FREDDY! I was ecstatic to be corresponding with somewho could refer to Frederick Buechner as "Freddy."
I've since lost contact with this interesting and delightful woman but most certainly remember the Buechner reminisces.
I think I had almost every book Buechner wrote and lost all but a few in the 1998 flood (ah - the historic flood; it has become a reference point for my life, I think).
From Faith and Fiction:
The ways God appears in our lives are elusive and ambiguous always. There is always room for doubt in order, perhaps, that there will always be room to breathe. There is so much in life that hides God and denies the very possibility of God that there are times when it is hard not to deny God altogether. Yet it is possible to have faith nonetheless. Faith is that Nonetheless.
Writing strikes me as intravenous. As you sit there only a few inches from the printed page, the words you read go directly into the bloodstream and go into it at full strength. More than the painting you see or the music you hear, the words you read become in the very act of reading them part of who you are. . . . If there is poison in the words, you are poisoned; if there is nourishment, you are nourished; if there is beauty, you are made a little more beautiful.
There is ecstasy in paying attention. You can get into a kind of Wordsworthian openness to the world, where you see in everything the essence of holiness, a sign that God is implicit in all of creation. Or maybe you are not predisposed to see the world sacramentally, to see everything as an outward and visible sign of inward, invisible grace. This does not mean that you are worthless Philistine scum. Anyone who wants to can be surprised by the beauty or pain of the natural world, of the human mind and heart, and can try to capture just that--the details, the nuance, what is. If you start to look around, you will start to see. When what we see catches us off guard, and when we write it as realistically and open as possible, it offers hope. You look around and say, Wow, there's that same mockingbird; there's that woman in the red hat again. The woman in the red hat is about hope because she's in it up to her neck, too, yet every day she puts on that crazy red hat and walks to town. One of these images might show up dimly in the lower right quadrant of the imaginary Polaroid you took; you didn't even know at first that it was part of the landscape, and here it turns out to evoke something so deep in you that you can't put your finger on it. Here is one sentence by Gary Snyder:
Ripples on the surface of the water--
were silver salmon passing under--different
from the ripples caused by breezes