Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Elusive Deer

We have an albino deer in the neighborhood. Yep, an albino. I'm not sure how other deer view an albino. A couple of years ago I met a man from West Africa who was albino, he was finishing his Ph.D. work here in the States. I imagine he enjoyed sleeping over here in peace; you see he shared that back home some of the folks who are animistic think the thing to do with an albino neighbor is to sacrifice him - that would keep you awake at night. 

I guess we've all been an albino at one time or another; meaning that we've been in situations where we stood out from those around us. Recently I was thinking about Thelma and Kevin, two classmates in the first and second grade. They both wore thick-rimmed black glasses and were the last to be picked for a dodge ball team. They were reserved, either because they were naturally that way or because the rest of us were too busy acting like a bunch of morons and ignoring them. We didn't ignore them on purpose; I don't recall ever hearing an unkind word spoken about either Kevin or Thelma; but nor did we demonstrate any relational courtesy. 
I like to think that Thelma became president of a bank and that Kevin was a high official in the C.I.A. protecting us all. They're both retired now have have homes in exotic places and lots of smart grandchildren who are chosen first for dodge ball games.

Then I've seen albinos who have said "no" to unethical proposals, or "no" to money so they could spend more time with family, or "no" to glitz and glitter so that they could invest themselves in Christ and in others. Albinos come in lots of shapes and sizes and colors...yes colors.

A few weeks ago the albino deer was in the pasture across from the front of our home and I tried to get some photos; it was too dark. Even with my most sensitive camera setting it was too dark. Yesterday evening Lina and Lily informed me that the albino was back; so even though the light was not good I took the camera and quietly approached the pasture. As you'll see, the Mom immediately was aware of my presence, but she discerned that I was no threat to her and her offspring and so mother and child continued to graze. 

Because of the fading light I used a number of settings to capture the best images I could:

Monday, May 30, 2011

He Don't Say Much

I once worked with a guy who spoke only a few words a day. Malcolm had a saying over his desk which read, "If you don't understand my silence, you won't understand my words." I've seen that saying a few times since I worked with Malcolm back around 1982, but it still doesn't make much sense. I mean, you could be in a coma for all I know if you never speak. Vickie says that I have conversations in my mind and that I  think  I've had them with her; well, maybe she's right; in fact I know she's right sometimes...at least I think she's right sometimes...maybe she's messing with me. But then she's a CPA and accountants and humor generally don't go together...better stop this paragraph before I get in serious trouble.

Malcolm and I actually talked quite a bit, mostly about sports, football in particular. He was an accountant in our division office (come to think of it I don't recall a sense of humor) and we got along quite well; but I know his taciturn behavior grated on his supervisor; she mentioned his little motto about words and silence to me once. Now some people are quiet because they are shy, and some are quiet because they don't want to say something stupid, and some are quiet because they want to appear thoughtful and wise; one of Solomon's proverbs says in effect, "When a fool holds his tongue he is considered a man of wisdom." But now that's a dilemma because who is to know whether the silent person is a person of wisdom or a fool trying to appear  as a person of wisdom?

Actually I don't think much about the subject because I tend to take people at face value, but I do want to share a couple of photos with you and I felt that I needed an intro for the pictures.
Here goes:

 Now I've been watching the live squirrel trying to have a conversation with the decorative squirrel for a few days, and it isn't that the decorative squirrel Don't Say Much, he actually Don't Say Anything. Even Malcolm talked, at least to me about football; but this squirrel won't even talk about nuts or bird seed. I don't think this relationship is going anywhere.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Loss of Patrick

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tragedy has come to the Zuck Homestead. Wednesday night our beloved Patrick died at work; a probable heart attack. The earth is without form and void and numbness covers the face of the deep.

I know that Patrick is in Christ; I know the truth of the resurrection; I know that Patrick is in Christ’s glorious Presence – but I also know his dear Alice and the twins are without his physical presence. I expect to see Patrick and Alice on one of their walks through the woods or to see them coming down the lane or to look up and see Patrick at the door of our home. I hear Nature Boy bark and I sense Patrick. I see the bull and cows and there is Patrick. When it is 5:15 AM I hear Patrick’s truck on the gravel lane returning from the night shift at the water treatment plant.

As Vickie and I worked in the vegetable garden today I thought, “Patrick won’t be by to see what we’ve done and comment on it.” Numbness covers the land, it blankets my mind and shrouds my heart and lies in bed with me at night.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bill & Cathy

Forty-one years ago Cathy had a stroke and was in a coma for sixty days. I wonder what those who knew Bill were saying; would he marry her if she recovered? Would he marry her if she recovered but had permanent damage? Would he take on an impaired wife with a young son when he had his future ahead of him?

The phone rang today; it was Bill. Cathy, his wife, went home to be with Jesus last night. No more wheelchair and no more impaired speech; she’s singing and dancing tonight in endless day. But was her speech really impaired if one had an ear to hear? And wasn’t her life and marriage one continuous dance with Bill and Jesus and those around her? And didn’t she sing with the Becket Praise Team Sunday after Sunday after Sunday? Didn’t she sing at Fourth of July parades and Berkshire County gatherings of churches and Pittsfield concerts? There she was, in her wheelchair, holding her microphone, singing with her husband and the rest of the team.

And what an ear for music and harmony she had. The stroke did not impair her hearing; she was the one who coached and critiqued the musical group in practice. But what else did Cathy hear? What music from the spheres vibrated through her soul and spirit?

How many troubled men and women saw Cathy and thought, “I don’t have it so bad after all. If she can do what she’s doing then I can do what I need to do. If she can experience the grace and love of God, if she can have a wonderful marriage, then I need to accept the love God has for me too and I need to grow up in my relationships with others”?

Bill is sending me the most recent CD of the Becket Praise Team; it was recorded live at the United Methodist Church in Dalton, MA. As Vickie and I listen to it we’ll visualize Cathy and Bill and the rest of the group; and when we hear angels via that CD we’ll know we’re hearing Cathy in the midst of them.