Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

6/11/08

Details of Life: Magnificent Mundanity

Life has been busy with details.

Details are not details to God. What we see as cacophony, He sees as symphony.

Developed a site for my running coach. My key responsibility was writing and organizing information. Some of it, Jim wrote, but I edited, like his two stories (one, two), but it took some time to put together. Some good stuff there looking at the emotional drama of achieving a dream.

Ran a couple of road races. The first was not well-run. No idea why I ran so slow, but I did. The second, just last Saturday, the Cosley Farm Run for the Animals 5K went much better. My goal, like last year, is to run under 20:00, and I have to drop 2:42.6 to get there. The challenge is big since I have not done this since early college. I am hopeful as every element that could be in my favor exists: good training, healthy back and knees, better diet, and a solid group of runners to sweat it out with.

Somewhat related: Salutes go to Bob and Kristi Rice. My old jogging buddy, Kristi, ran her first 5K.

At Millenium Park, near the BeanAlso on Saturday was a trip to the Chicago Blues Fest to see my brother, his wife and my niece. Rain kicked us out of Grant Park, and back to their hotel. We babysat a sleeping baby while they dined at NoMi, followed by drinks at the Signature Room.

My creative writing has quieted briefly as I worked on chasing some contract work. There's a quirky short story in the works, and a major poetry project. If I have my druthers, I will start submitting a collection of poetry -- maybe two, one serious, one silly -- to publishers and agents this fall.

House hunting has not yet begun, but it is now on the radar. A few things are coming together to make this possible, but a few more need to happen before it becomes a serious endeavor.

A six mile hike with Aliz in the woods near the Little Red School House. You can see a picture of me approaching a slough.

I started as the lead for a new blog promoting Christianity and the arts, sponsored by Karitos Festival 2008 "providing Biblically-based artistic and technical growth experiences to Christian artists".

Learned college buddy Michele Franks will be moving to Chicagoland. We used to talk about God huddled over a table in a coffeeshop (Coffee World Coffeehouse & Deli), trying to look intellectual, as this was the in-vogue place to look Mod and sophisticated. It will be a treat renewing this friendship, exploring new coffeeshops at which to muse.

Had tea with Chicago Captioning's Steven Knoerr at TeaGschwendner. He's a tea man, but I am all coffee. A new experience.

Dined a few times at the Epicurean Hungarian Restaurant. Stop on in (4431 W Roosevelt Rd., Hillside, IL 60162, 708-449-1000). We love it there. Gypsy musicians, incredible food, a gentle and friendly host. All good. When you do, say hi to owners and hosts Tamás and Alina.

Also, Aliz and I dined at the home of gracious friend Natalie Lombard, in the company of Paul Lloyd and his wife Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, and another couple, reading things we had written. Natalie honored me by reading two humorous pieces I had done, and I read some poetry. We had lamb and potatoes, and drank a locally made wine.

We also dined at Mark and Jody Cantey's home (a deliciously grilled steak), lingering on their porch overlooking a park, talking about the goodness of God.

A late lunch, not quite dinner, with eclecticist Larry Slater at Fu Yuan (118 W Liberty Dr, Wheaton, IL 60187, (630) 668-8770) a few days ago, and just yesterday, breakfast with Harbinger Home Restoration president, Craig Penzato, and coffee with former professor and current friend Oliver Witte just before he took the slow train to southern Illinois.

Life is not all dinner. Dessert too. Last week, this meant joining Scott Davis and his creatively dextrous son Mark at Graham's Chocolate to celebrate Mark's last day as a high school junior.

Reconnected with my old friend Susan Gilbert-Miller, with whom I worked years ago, as she transitions from New York to California, with the Midwest in between.

Meanwhile, David Weichelt and soon bride Julie finalize plans for their June 29 wedding. Ditto for the amazingly busy medical student Glenn Jablon, also getting married soon, to the lovely Courtney on July 12. Looking forward to celebrating the new life these two old men are about to enjoy.

Grabbed a Coke with good friend David Dane. We both lamented how these times, they are a-changin'. The good news is that no matter what we think these times look like, Christ is in charge. It ain't over til He says it's over.

To post again a favorite poem (originally posted February 3, 2008):

Pied Beauty
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things—
.....For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
..........For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
.....Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
..........And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
.....Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
..........With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
...............Praise him.
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