Episode 14: A chat with Ed Cyzewski

Episode 14: A chat with Ed Cyzewski

Shownotes for Episode 14: How-to pair wine and chocolate for a great party + a chat with author, Ed Cyzewski

BANANA CART?
(Your ears are not fooling you. In Columbus, Ohio at 9:30 pm a man rides a bike around and rings a bell as he sells frozen chocolate covered bananas. Too funny. And it sounds delicious, if not suspicious. That’s why I’m featuring chocolate in the wine segment today! Enjoy it. It’s bananas, after all.)


Want to try the practice of EXAMEN?

In this episode Ed and I chat about one of his favorite spiritual practices. It’s been very transforming for me too. It’s the practice of Examen (typically pronounced: EGGS-Aye-men).

This age old practice of reflection, mindfulness, and prayer to begin and end one’s day goes back ages in Christian History and is reflected in spirit throughout the bible. Like in David’s sentiments in the Psalms (like Psalm 119) and in Isaiah 26:9.

“My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you…”

So today I offer you my personal version of the Examen practice!

I call it “The Daily Sharpening Ritual”
–It’s the perfect way to supercharge and renew personal and spiritual awareness in your life.

It’s a simple but effective worksheet makes the practice easier to sustain. I hope you give it a try.
The practice takes just 3-5 minutes each morning and just before bed.
• You can see surprising changes in awareness in only 5 days.
(Simply print out 5 copies and follow-through for 5 days!)

Both EXAMEN-like worksheets below work like an Examen practice, but the 2nd one features prayer more fully in addition to reflection and mindfulness.

Check them out to see which one you like best. Print out both if you’d like:

SharpeningPRAYER• The SHARPENING Ritual 

• The SHARPENING Ritual
(PRAYER-centered VERSION)

(Enjoy these resources with my compliments…tipping what you can is optional.)


How we find spark:

We are in this together. As you listen and become part of what is happening here, it will be obvious that I spend a lot of time and a bit of money doing the show: website, paying for media hosting, producing it, editing, adding music, finding and speaking with guests, more editing, more research, and all the rest to bring you something of value in the Spark My Muse podcast.

Lots of heart, sweat and occasionally tears for your enjoyment and inspiration. You get to decide what that means and what it’s worth.

 

So, I invite you to just listen, read, and contribute what the episode is worth to you.

 

• If nothing, I apologize. Please, come back and listen again soon.

• If you think it’s worth one dollar, five dollars, twenty-five dollars, six hundred billion-gazillion dollars…you see where I’m going with this…, or offer something of equal value that is not monetary, simply contribute what it has been worth to you. HERE.

(or contact me here if it’s not monetary. Be creative!)
Thank you!
With Love,
~Lisa

 

WINE SEGMENT

 

MINUTE 2:30

Best tips for the tastiest pairing Party of chocolate and wine!

A how-to.

A chocolate and wine tasting party is so much fun.

• It’s ideal for groups of 3-12 people.

• Have each person bring some wine and provide samples of high quality chocolate and let the fun start!

It’s the acid:
One of the tasty things you can do is pair chocolate and wine. Both chocolate and wine have higher levels of acidity which makes them a naturally delicious match.

Well-paired wine and chocolate work together to make each one taste better. Delicious qualities come out in both the wine and the chocolate and even form a third taste. A careful selection is needed.

Here are some ideas of which wine to pair with which kinds of chocolate treats.

TIP 1

The most  important tip to remember is to keep the wine sweeter than the treat it’s pair with.

(If you don’t it can make the wine seem less tasty and flavorful or heighten its bitterness. yucky.)

TIP 2

Make sure you have high-quality chocolate. 

Many supermarketers have a premium chocolate section and you probably only need one bar of each kind or just a good quality box assortment. Baked good work as well and you can search online too.

TIP 3

Taste test the chocolate ahead of time: Pick out certain fruit flavors, determine the sweet and bitter components they have, check for nuttiness qualities and levels of acidity. If the chocolate has a creme center this will take on added complexity that might pair well with fruit-forward wines. 

TIP 4

A rule of thumb is that darker wines tend to pair better which darker chocolate and should be served first: More full-bodied, (heavier feeling in the mouth) dark and drier (not a sweet style) red wine pair well with the more bitter chocolates that have a higher cocoa %.

White wines tend to pair well with milk chocolate blends and chocolates that have sweeter and fruitier flavor notes.

TIP 5
Remember TIP #1 one …keep the wine SWEETER than the chocolate!

MAKING A MATCH
Pick your wines according to the flavors you’ve tasted in the chocolate,
 and ask your guests to bring a specific variety of wine.

Here are some specific ideas for the kinds of wine you may want to serve, but you can feel free to experiment and see if your palate prefers something different.

Bittersweet chocolate (70% to 100%): This chocolate type enters the bitter range with deep intensity. Good choices include Bordeaux wines (merlot, cab franc, cab save), Beaujolais, Shiraz, Port, Malbec.

Dark chocolate (50% to 70%): Pair this with more robust wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, off-dry chamborcin and Port. A Chianti can match well with chocolate around 65 percent cocoa content.

Milk chocolate: Try Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Muscat, and dessert wines. Champagne is also a natural match for milk chocolate. The crisp, dry flavour of the bubbly contrasts perfectly with the creaminess of a simple milk chocolate tablet. Be careful of the higher sugar levels in milk chocolate, as these may cancel out any fruitiness in dry red wines, leaving them tasting bitter.

White chocolate (which is really cocoa butter) : Match with Sherry, Muscato (a.k.a. Muscat) a fruity Chardonnay (un-oaked), These wines will pick up on the buttery, slightly oilier tones of the cocoa butter. Vidal Blanc, Niagra blends, catawba blends.

Champagne or sparkling wine goes well with all chocolate types. It is a variety that compliments many kinds of wines. Many fortified dessert wines work well across the chocolate spectrum as well because they tend to be sweeter.

PARTY TIP
To keep every one sharp and feeling well, Offer your guests some bread or light fare before you begin and keep the wine samples to just an ounce. 

HOW TO TASTE THE PAIR
1. Take take a small sip of wine and note the aromas and tastes. Some hosts offer guest a sheet to jot down their observations.

2. Then bite into the chocolate and note what it happening as you taste and eat it.

3. Then you sip the wine again and note the new flavor notes and changes that the chocolate brought to the wine. It’s amazing how much the taste of the wine will change according to what it is paired with.

4. Don’t rush through the pairing. 7-10 minutes per pairing is about right. Allow people to really luxuriate on the experience and talk about the flavors and taste combinations they are experiencing.

AMBIENCE TIP
This is not a consumption event, it’s a sensory group experience where enhanced awareness is key. Relax and take your time. Chocolate and wine are luxury items.

THE TAKEAWAY
It’s a great lesson for life too. The point isn’t to bulldoze through life and get it out of the way, but to really notice what is happening and take it all in deeply. Downshift to a better appreciation of encounters with others, with our surroundings, and ultimately with ourselves and to God who makes a home within us.

• Enjoy yourself and let me know of the pairings you came up with  (in the comments section) and how your pairing experimenting went, or what your plans are. I’d love to know. You can post pictures at the Spark My Muse Facebook page too.

Do you have questions? Leave them here, use the voice mail feature, or use the contact page and I’ll try to answer them in future episodes.

 


Sparking your Muse…
a chat with Ed Cyzewski

edc200_thumb

Visit Ed’s website.

 

 


Interview notes

11:00

Ed talks about his upcoming Christian Writer’s Survival Guide book

12:30

The practices of prayer and writing are connected in so many ways.

12:30

Contemplative prayer

Spiritual Direction

and how Ed is learning more about Holy Spirit and waiting on the Lord

14:30

From my experience…”Type A” or productive person’s view of prayer is active or proactive (maybe not involving much listening to God) (Lisa)

15:00

Apophatic prayer – God is found in the silence more than I thought (Lisa)

15:30

“The Creative process and prayer require us to enter with hands open”.

16:00

For both (writing and prayer), you can’t force the outcome…

16:15

Submit to the process.

Do the work.

17:00

“[A] general principle is to create space to allow inspiration and good writing to happen.”

Maybe (it can happen) in retreats or in different ways.

19:20

My favorite podcast Krista Tippet’s show On Being Onbeing.org (Lisa)

Pico Iyer-  (paraphrase) “So much information is coming in but we have less space to process it.” -Pico Iyer The Art of Stillness

20:15

Never a moment wasted because of technology…but at what cost?

21:00

(Ed) on not having times for his brain to slip into neutral..

21:30

Ed says walks helped clear his mind, and he had to detox and ween from media.

22:30

We have a loss of self and fear of quietness.

22:45

40 Day Ignatian retreat bringing a terrifying and alone sense after 2-weeks until she found God in the quiet.

24:00

Ed’s method for unplugging and creating space:

Relent technique-going offline after 5pm and weekends.

25:30

Leaving my phone in my car when I go for walk to eating out. (Lisa)
• I’ve experienced less anxiety (to my surprise).

27:00

(Ed’s sarcasm) College students in the 1990s would die all the time, every week, because they didn’t have cell phones. Funerals every week for the mobile phone-less.

27:30

In the 1980s my dad got collect calls from “pick me up”. (Lisa)

29:10

UK study showing that teens are more anxious because of tech and over-connectedness.

29:40

Maybe because the media (they are using) is socially consequential and not neutral: like watching tv or listening to radio. (Lisa)

32:00

From his upcoming book:

Allowing space to grow and learn. His spiritual practice of Examen.

The app he uses: Examine App

The practice helped him come up with writing topics.

33:30

The practice showed him the imbalance of his life.

 

35:10

Contemplative writer’s Facebook on group

37:00

Kirsten Oliphant

Andi Cumbo-Floyd

37:50

The group has lots of generosity there like a support group.

39:20

How Ed keeps a balance in mood and outlook when the stories he writes about are negative and make him angry.

How he uses a generous redemptive approach and giving his anger time to dispute so he can write with redemption in mind, inspired by Richard Rhor.

40:00

God wants to redeem everyone.

40:30

…Controversy and hit pieces build a quick blog audience…but the challenge is to be redemptive and to still confront in love when necessary…

41:00

“I’d rather be an Atheist than attend the Village Church” (his angry article)

42:40

Trying to encourage others to be redemptive and holding back if he can’t do it in a redemptive way. Waiting is important.

43:30

How we change. Example: Women in Ministry and how Ed’s mind changed.

44:20

“God is all about the long game.”

(It’s not helpful to create animosity)

44:50

(Lisa) “The power of heightening Empathy (to solve problems). Sharing stories helps.

The job of a person who is called to communicate for something bigger than themselves is to ask…

‘Am I able to show people something that they haven’t seen, but  then once they see they know it’s true. And they can’t unseen it’.”

“And to feel it too…what that (other) person is feeling.” -Ed

(If you’d like to have Ed back to discuss how writing can be “soul-killing” and what to do about it, please let us know and leave a comment! Was the show too long? Too short? Ed and I decided we are curious about this, so let us know.)

:)


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BREAKING NEWS:

Shane Claiborne is joining Spark My Muse as a guest this summer! WHOOP whoop !!!


Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

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Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson


First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.

 

And there’s a BONUS EDITION with lots of goodies!
Read a sample here!


Will you fan the spark?

Inspired by how musician Amanda Palmer put it, “Don’t make people pay [for art]. Let them,” I am altering how Spark My Muse stays alive…from bottom to top (literally).

How does it work?

It’s up to you. I need at least $75 per episode to keep it solvent.
Every little bit helps!
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and give as you can.

 

Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,

~Lisa

WINE SEGMENT:

Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!

Why? 

Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


 

Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!

Doug-Jackson

Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


 

Interview / chat notes:

 

MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

8:50
Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

9:00
Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

9:50
on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

10:30
on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

11:00
The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

12:30
on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

14:30
James Sire

15:70
Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

18:00
Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

19:00
on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

21:30
HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.

22:20

“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”

 

22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

23:30
on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

24:00
Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.

25:00

Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

26:00
Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

27:20
A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

28:20
How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”

29:30

“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

30:10
Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

31:00
Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

32:00
Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

33:30
My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)

34:00

“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

34:30
“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

39:00
St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

40:00
…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

41:00
…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

44:30
(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”

45:00

“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

46:00
[GOOD NEWS]
Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


 

If you enjoyed the show please give it a stellar review on iTunes here!

Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

Faith = a Basket of Eggs: In Tribute to David A. Dorsey

eggs

 

So, a dear man died one week ago. Dave, to his students (because he preferred this), and Dr David Dorsey, PhD officially. On Tuesday the chapel was packed for his funeral as hundreds resolutely braved sub zero wind chill to pay respects, support his family, share memories and express their sadness at the loss. For us who remain in this world and knew him the hole of his absence hurts. It actually feels painful.

 

dorsey

 

If I tried to tell you all the things that I loved about my former Old Testament Professor, or the countless benefits to me, or the simple and genuine ways he loved on me and others, I would be typing for days. Suffice it to say just about everyone on Tuesday was in tears and everyone felt the weight of the loss as we remembered his light in this world.

In the next few weeks I hope to share some of the insights I gleaned from this amazing scholar and human being.

For now, I’ll share with you something Dave taught us about faith. Granted, I won’t do it justice; and if you read this and heard differently from him, please add your own amend in the comments section.

So, here goes…
He said the faith of the patriarchs of Israel might not be the kind of faith we suppose it is. Hebrews 11 gives us a “Hall of Fame” of the faithful. We may think that these people trusted and relied on God. They did. But we get the pedigree of it all wrong. The practice of faith is much richer than we might suppose, especially at first glance reading the list of the faithful.

Instead, it’s something like this:

Faith is not about being hopeful about what lies beyond the bend in the future. It not really about a “blind” ascension to trust either. Those are good and important in their ways, but when we speak of the life of faith in terms of the Old Testament faithful, like Abraham leaving everything he knew for the wilderness for instance, we are really talking about a concept much like “putting all your eggs in one basket.”

That’s how Dave put it. The word picture stuck and it stuck good.

With the Life of Faith…
You are deeming God good, trustworthy, and loving and then you put it all on the line.

(So, it’s rarer than you think!)

You stop hedging your bets. You stop saving a little security for yourself. You stop holding something back that gives you a sense of control. You bet the whole thing. You leave nothing back. You. go. in. wholly.

Sometimes, I find eggs in my pockets, or around the house, or in places that I didn’t know they were, like a weird easter egg hunt. Not chicken eggs, of course, but the eggs of my worries. I may have thought I handed the basket over, and perhaps I really did, but life can make you lay a few eggs. Sometimes people throw them at you too.

 

 

Faith, Hope, Love. Those are what remain, yes?

Faith = a Basket of Eggs.

It’s a shocking level of vulnerability: the life of faith.

You can tell when you do it too. You get a mixture of feelings. Great relief that your job is over, your poor skills are not needed any longer, and someone more capable is now responsible and in charge. Whew! Then, you may get a twinge of terror at the power you gave up, but probably never really had anyway. You become all at once very hopeful and very dependent. It’s precarious.

There’s a rare beauty to it.

Sometimes we give up our baskets and sometimes they sort of get pried out of our hands.

Dave was gravely ill for over 3 decades. His was a life of faith. It had to be. And he handed over eggs.

It was a wrestle match, he would tell you. He didn’t always feel faithful. He made mistakes. His candor was humbling. But, through his honesty he became faithful all the more.

There’s something about growing to trust God for each breath, and believing that God revealed himself as a thoroughly good and gracious and generous Creator and Sustainer in the passages of the Old Testament that transformed this brilliant man into a true saint. Not sappy, but real. All at once very strong and stable and yet achingly weak.

Dave was not self-righteous but gracious. Not arrogant in any discernible manner, but loving and open to others. Concerned with others and their lives and largely uncomplaining. Free with his humor and goodwill.

Hear this: You don’t get the privilege to meet people like this very often. You don’t get to be a person like this often. It’s takes an amazing about of formation, re-formation, and transformation. It doesn’t happen by accident or by genetics.

A life of faith means that you hold nothing back. See the difference?

It’s not using power to feel better. It’s giving it over to be fully won over.

 

In a life of faith you love whole-heartedly. Not because it’s safe. It never is. But, because it is good. A life of faith means that you have a sharp, ongoing sense of your own weaknesses and dependence, and that goes overflowing into compassion for yourself and others.

A few days after Dave’s death I was praying in the car out loud as I do sometimes. (I take more comfort in doing this now. People talk on the phone hands-free all the time in their cars and look like they are talking to nobody. Now, I just look like I’m having an important conversation. In fact, I am, especially when I shut up.)

So, I was in the car and I was warring as I too often do with things in the distance. Shadows, possibilities, next steps. I was planning, wondering, and worrying–like I was holding a bunch of eggs and walking on a lake of ice.

And then I said, “No, this just won’t work. I see I’m holding too tightly. I think I have to go all in. I have to have faith. I have to put all my eggs in one basket. Your basket.”

And a song sung by Ella Fitzgerald came to mind. I’ve embedded the audio so you can hear it after you finish.

Then I simply burst into tears, because that’s what a godly and good legacy looks like. Literally, one leaves words to live by. Dave’s words of life and hope and faith were ringing true in my mind in everyday life, even after he’s gone. And I thought, “That’s an amazing man and I was given an amazing gift to know him.” I kept having to wipe away tears for awhile.

 

 

Spirit, you know, is “breath of life”. (The Hebrew and Greek words for breath carry this meaning.) God is Spirit. When you see goodness, when you see sacrificial love, when you see wrongs being made right, you see God. You see the Spirit of the unseen God. Those describers are just part of what and who is impossible to confine or describe fully.

God isn’t just Life Force, but God is that too. And I don’t think Dave lost his own spirit or the Spirit. I think God became greater. The Spirit got so great that it filled him, and his body of water and carbon gave out, finally. It birthed something new and better and unseen and lasting.

And this Spirit and the part of Dave that is Dave (his truest self–his soul) joined up in union with the Great Spirit, somewhere and everywhere, the One, True, Living God who defies reason, explanation, and the limits of us, and even of the universe.

But, Dave didn’t completely leave us. But, my does the sting smart, right now! From my experience I know it dulls in time; but the pain is, at first, ultimate.

Yet, the fragrance of his spirit remains. And it is sweet.

It’s around us when we remember him. The Spirit remains, and Dave’s flavor fused with that true Spirit carries on with us. We miss the more familiar everyday interaction with him so dearly, and always will, until the same happens to us and we are joined somehow together again.

To those who grieve him: his family and friends, I join you in your deep and powerful sorrow. I join you in your joy–that is bitter and sweet–that realizes the gift he was–having known him, been enriched by him, and been intimately connected to him. Your loss is not small.

May you feel the comfort, presence, shalom, and holy goodness of the Spirit of God.

Amen.

 

-Lisa

P.S.
Here is a brief local obituary posting of David A. Dorsey.

 

With these links you can enjoy two of his most well-known books:

 



(egg photo is a Creative Commons image.)

SHOCK & BAWL: A Tale of Jeep Rage

Boston I-93 Tunnel

Creative Commons License Rene Schwietzke via Compfight

Somedays you need to read uplifting or humorous posts to soothe yourself. I GET THAT. Friday seems two weeks away. You and I both know that sometimes we must find a way to laugh so we don’t freak out on someone, or weep uncontrollably into our Dunkin’ Donuts napkin.

This is probably not going to do that for you. But, you can read it, and shoot up a quick prayer thanking God that you aren’t my spouse. So, that’s a pick-me-up. You’re welcome.

True Story:

Once I made a horrible driving error. I’m pretty sure it was the one and only time, but I completely cut someone off on the Interstate.

So, I swing into the passing lane and make a guy in a jeep brake and swerve. Panicked, and intolerably stupid, I flee the scene…by intricately weaving through traffic, no less. Maybe if I’m out of sight I can be out of mind too, I think. No, it’s actually more of a pure flight-or-fight response. I was about 7 year old at the time, and my frontal lobe was under-developed. 

Indeed, it’s all a crescendoing avalanche of foolishness. Incited, second motorist blows his horn and starts to tail me in a move of solidarity against vehicular injustice. Things are getting totally nuts. No doubt he’s readying a tall finger for my witness. My NASCAR lane changing moves soon best him, or maybe he realizes a highway fatality is too high a price just to send a hackneyed message.

As I flee I see the victim in my mirror. He’s frothing and out of his mind with rage. He’s waving limbs around in wild fury, gassing it. He’s in hot pursuit. It’s a Jeep thing, maybe.

Now, I’m terrified. I taste the bile in my mouth.

My heart pounding, I realize this all could end very poorly. And soon.

That blaze of glory stuff is an awesome idea until you start thinking about the minutia of funeral arrangements, or wreckage in general. Yes. The poor man swerved to avoid a smash style killing of both of us. It could have been a horrid pileup too. We truly had eluded death by narrow margins. 14 guardian angels later file grievances. 3 others walk off the job immediately in complete frustration.

Jeep guy was quite good at swerving, actually, and keeps up the swerving through interstate congestion to reach me. Maybe for seconds. Maybe for kilometers. Things are getting weird. A few truckers start honking, to support me, I assume. (They probably notice my professional driving acumen. What 7 year old can draft and weave with such precision? I’m a prodigy. Surely they recognize that. It’s a rush to have their approval. They’re pros after all and they know motoring prowess when they see it.)

At this point I realize Mr Jeep guy is going to try to pull some kind of payback stunt. He’s all in.

Battle of the Stupid Driving Stunts is the theme of the afternoon, but who can blame him? At this point, he’s jacked up pretty good. I’m in a subcompact. How bad will this get? Does he have a gun? Or, will he keep it simple and just run me off the road with a triumphant fist pump? Will I be late for Girl Scouts?

How is this going to end?

I do some quick thinking. Finally. Thoughts not just reactions. I mentally pat myself on the back as my synapses fire two or maybe three times…in a row with no problems!

Actually, I stopped breathing for 8 minutes.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, it is. I am inventing a solution with  an unfettered brain buzz that comes just before you die or you nearly die. I’ve scene this in the movies: It’s always in slow motion.

I do the only thing I think will hit the reset button. (Yes. I know there’s no real reset button. Curse you, Staples! Or Vanilla Sky…)

I decide on the element of SURPRISE!

Of course, I had just surprised him quite a bit a moment earlier by nearly snuffing out his life. “Surprise, dude!”

Yet, this is precisely why he will never see a second surprise coming. Really, I had him right were I wanted him.

(If only the roaring terror in my brain had let me enjoy that precious moment. Alas, no. Not at all.)

I enact my own creative SEAL 6 black ops tactic I now call:

Operation Boo-hoo.

It’s go time!

I burst into tears.

I cry.

Sob, really.
Or, I pretend to.

Who has the time to form actual tears at such a high rate of speed and in heavy traffic–before they’re about to be murdered in an act of heedless revenge? Me neither.

Armed with a fistful of tissues I wipe my eyes and feign bawling. A lot. He approaches in haste (of course, because he’s ready to kill me).

From me: Zero eye contact. (Like he’s not even there. A genius move. Remember that for later in your own travels.)

Peripherally, I see him. He edges up to my blind spot. Hovering. Ready to pounce.

He’s poised. He peers. He notices me. He witnesses total hysteria. …and then…mercifully… eases off. (Perhaps I turned out to be a 3 gallon bucket of mess and he only has a 2 gallon bucket that day.)

Yes, I counted on his attitude changing once he thought something else was going on with me. Something mental. Something suicidal or wickedly moronic–barely thwarted by his quick reflexes.

Or, just something too crazy to understand.

Shock and bawl.

I was going for, “Wha….?” 
Is it Grief? remorse? madness? sorrow? a lost puppy? What. is. the. deal?
Whatever…let me just say it worked. Perfectly.

Later, I rewarded myself with a new box of Kleenex…with aloe.
I’m not sure why I wasn’t armed with aloe tissues in the first place. But, never again.
Because that would be crazy.

If that was you in the Jeep, thanks.

I wasn’t paying attention and I didn’t see you. We both avoided certain doom.

P.S. (I might have not been 7 years old at the time.)

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