About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Corban: A Day of Small Kindnesses

A word with significance for those of us who love the scriptures, from Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary, via dictionary.com

Corban a Hebrew word adopted into the Greek of the New Testament and left untranslated. It occurs only once (Mark 7:11). It means a gift or offering consecrated to God. Anything over which this word was once pronounced was irrevocably dedicated to the temple. Land, however, so dedicated might be redeemed before the year of jubilee (Lev. 27:16-24). Our Lord condemns the Pharisees for their false doctrine, inasmuch as by their traditions they had destroyed the commandment which requires children to honour their father and mother, teaching them to find excuse from helping their parents by the device of pronouncing “Corban” over their goods, thus reserving them to their own selfish use.

I began this post back in November, when Blessing was in transit from Korea for the second time. A lot of the doll people organize their dolls into families or tribes, and I was casting about for a surname for mine. Given the amount of sacrifice and consecration that went into Fourthborn’s gift to me, Corban seemed a likely contender. It’s Hebrew, but it sounds vaguely Gaelic, and at the time I had a Gaelic given name for her.

So the first two paragraphs, and the first word of the title of this post, have been sitting in draft format for three months, waiting patiently for their close-up, Mr. DeMille.

Yesterday was a day of small gifts and small kindnesses, the sort that are easy to miss if one is distracted. But somehow the simple act of focusing on my breathing, not in the yoga way but in the sense of oh please just get me through the next five minutes, slowed me down enough to see what was around me.

My friend Yo gave me two of those large puffy peppermints, to calm my coughing as we rode in on the train. She is diabetic; they were from her emergency stash. I made them last for most of the hour.

When I got to my desk, there was a very large, very ripe banana waiting for me. One of the paralegals has kids who like their bananas barely past the green stage. When they start getting freckles, and fragrance, she used to throw them out. Now she gives them to me, or to another of the paralegals.

One of our attorneys had brought too much homemade carrot and raisin salad (a specialty of my mother’s); three of us shared the leftovers.

I remembered to call the pharmacy to renew my prescription for the Nystatin for my feet. It had lapsed; they faxed the request to my doctor’s office, and a fresh bottle was waiting when I got home to Fort Worth last night (i.e., the system worked). No, wait, it gets better! The prescription which cost me $10, year before last, and $7-something last year, cost me $2.14 last night. That’s $5 that can go into my gas tank next week.

When I got home, I was physically wiped out. I think I set a new land speed record for the four-block walk between the office and Union Station, and not in a good way. Quoting Elder Packer in his article in the February 2010 Ensign, “...much like the common cold drains more strength out of humanity than any other disease...” I actually dozed a little on the train, knitting in my hands.

Dinner was a ham sandwich, eaten slowly while digging through my inbox. My friend Robi had sent me a link to this article by Orson Scott Card (y’all know how much I like him). Get your box of Puffs and go read his essay. I’ll wait. Because you need the context. And then click on the link in his article to a photo essay that will be all the more touching, because you have the back-story.

Traditionally, we singles have two monthly dances that we can count on. First Friday in the Lewisville Stake, third Saturday hosted jointly by Richardson Stake and Dallas East Stake. Traditionally, I have enjoyed both dances, in recent months not so much. [Which I think is more a reflection on where I am than on anything lacking in the dances themselves. Others will disagree; I will not argue with them.]

Tonight’s dance has been replaced with a non-dancing activity, where the admission is three or more cans of food to go to the North Texas Food Bank. I think that is admirable in principle. The singles program is not just for those of us who love to dance to a wide variety of music; as presently constituted it does not meet the needs of all its constituents. I probably would not have gone to the dance tonight, given my energy level or lack thereof.

So some of my friends have organized an additional, unofficial dance, which will take place a week from tomorrow night. And I am looking forward to that, because it will be potluck in terms of both food and music. And it is being organized by people who are roughly my age, which means that I will like the music. I will take my famous PMS brownies, so there will be none of this healthy-food-only nonsense. [I like healthy food. I am eating more of it all the time, and I am mostly enjoying it (except for the inadvertent-cauliflower episodes), and I want there to be plenty of it for my friends who are diabetic. I just don’t want that to be my only option.]

Oh, one last good thing. About five minutes before I needed to go into a brief staff meeting, first one half of my sinuses cleared, and then the other. I could breathe! There is still a little something sitting on my chest, but I think we have averted bronchitis.

I just remembered that I nuked a bag of veggies an hour ago. I bet they’re done now. Sadly, I’m not hungry any more; I have been coughing steadily for the past 15 minutes and am wiped out again. So into the fridge they go, and I’ll take them for breakfast or for lunch.

I have been typing -- and thinking -- for the past hour and a half. The alarm goes off in an hour. I’m going to try to catch another hour of sleep.


Robi said...

Thank heavens for small kindesses and I'm sure that you'll soon be the recepient of senseless acts of beauty, as well. You're surrounded by love, my dear. Don't ever forget that.

Lynn said...

I know I am. And I rarely forget it.

Tan said...

I am way behind on blogs, but I looked at your pictures and headings and I'm here to say hi :)

Jenni said...

So since I am home today and catching up, I was able(computer viewing wise) and had time to follow the links. Thank you for sharing this. It was beautiful and touched my heart.