Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Breakfast in the Castro - Zing, Zig and Zag

Mibes: Well, good morning, to you. Good to see you again.

Me: I'm glad to see you too. Should we just get the hugging over with right now?

Mibes: What?

Me: So we can talk. I want to talk but I want a hug, too.

Mibes: We always do both, I don't know why this morning would be any different, but here you go. (Giving me another one of his trademark bear hugs.)

Me: mmmmm. Much better. Now I can talk.

Mibes: You've never had any trouble talking. But, please, go ahead.

Me: I'm glad you're willing to listen.

Mibes: I'm glad you're willing to join me for breakfast. I do miss you when you're not available. But I understand you've got lots going on.

Me: Well I was sitting down and writing out my morning prayer and I realized I hadn't told you something important.

Mibes: You were writing to God when we could have been having breakfast?

Me: No, it's not like that. I couldn't have met you that morning. But in a way I did meet you because I was writing about what I was thankful for and it was mostly about you and the way you see the world.

Mibes: Oh my, this does sound serious. Tell me more.

Me: I was thanking God for all the verbs in my life. The ability to accomplish, build, care, decide, encourage. Whole list of stuff.

Mibes: Alphabetical I see. You like to do that don't you?

Me: It does provide some structure. But here's the thing. The longer I made the list the more I thought about you. And how I needed to let you know how I'm grateful for you and all that you've done and are doing and will do.

Mibes: (ha ha) This is good. I think you're going to make my day with your list. But I already know you appreciate me. And I appreciate you. We've really got a remarkably reciprocal friendship.

Me: Yes, yes. I know. I love it. I love you. But this list. I'd never shared it with you before.

Mibes: Now you listen a moment. I know how you feel. I know you appreciate me because I appreciate you for similar reasons.

Me: But you haven't heard my list.

Mibes: But I know you. I have an idea of what's on it. You get kind of gushy in the mornings and so I'm guessing it's going to be a list of idealized actions, stuff that makes the world a better place.

Me: OK, maybe this is one of those rainbows we shouldn't try to deconstruct.

Mibes: I don't think of it a deconstruction. I think it's just good conversation. So let me guess. You left off with encourage.  So maybe you continued on with find, give, help, invigorate, join, keep and love. How'd I do?

Me: Lousy. I went with elevate, facilitate, gather, hope, investigate, keep and learn.  

Mibes: See. We agreed on keep, give and gather are close, you gather before you give and when you give you gather, help and hope go together, find and facilitate. I wasn't far off.

Me: Yes you were. You're just making fun of me now.

Mikes: On the contrary. You've done what I thought you'd do. Like I said earlier, you've chosen verbs that are all about ideals. You're hopelessly and wonderfully altruistic.

Me: But I'm not writing about me. I'm writing about you. And thanking you.

Mibes: It's great. I'm touched. I'm glad to hear your words. But here's the deal. I'm always glad to see you. Words or not. That's why I've tried to emphasize I'm good for breakfast anytime. Even if it's closer to midnight than sunrise.

Me: I thought I was going to impress you.

Mikes: You do. You are. Always have. Can't imagine a time you wouldn't.

Me:  ahhh. (shaking my head) So you want to hear the rest of my list?

Mibes: I don't need to. But I'd love to. Yes, go right ahead.

Me: How 'bout we make it game. I'll give you my three and you give me your three.

Mibes: Sure.

Me: You're bored now, aren't you?

Mibes: No, I'm not bored. I'm amused. And I am game for your game, so go right ahead.

Me: OK. move, note and organize

Mibes: make, notice and open

Me: plan, question, reconsider

Mibes: prosper, quote, read

Me: strengthen, trust, understand

Mibes: stand, satisfy, try

Me: understand, volunteer, work

Mibes: unify, view, wonder

Me: x-ray, yearn, zing

Mibes: xerox, yield, zig and zag

Me: Whew! You did it. I did it. We did it. Thanks for playing along. 

Mibes: Just remember that all of those wonder words that you think apply to me, I know they actually belong to you. You're just projecting.

Me: How do you know that you're not the one who's projecting?

Mibes: Maybe we both are.

Me: Probably. Thanks! And thanks for the hug.

Mibes: Here's another one to send you on your way. (Bear hug #2)

Me: And thanks for listening.

Mikes: You're easy on the ears and the eyes, you know. 

Me: As are you my friend. As are you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Breakfast in the Castro: Butterflies in Praise of Doubt

Mibes: Good morning, I'm so glad to see you again.

Me: Good morning. Wonderful to see you, too. How have you been?

Mibes: You know my standard answer, healthy and strong.

Me: But how are you really?

Mibes: Fairly healthy, fairly strong. I'm really only as good as you can imagine me to be since you're the one with his hands on they keys.

Me: But you're real to me. 

Mibes: As I should be. You're the writer here. You either give me life or silence. I'm glad you've come back. I'll take life over invisibility.

Me: You're a funny one. But I love you, so much more than I can say. I'm glad you're willing to meet me.

Mibes: I'm glad you're willing to write me.

Me: We there we go then, we've both got something to be glad about.

Mibes: It has been a while. The 7.2 billion people on the planet are now 7.3. But you've still got a place in my heart, always and forever. And I think you need to be reminded you're absolutely the only one of you. No one has ever lived your live. Had your life. None of the billions before you, not one of the billions who will follow.

Me: But that's true for the other 7.3. Just because we're all different doesn't mean we don't have huge things in common.

Mibes: I agree. We all will have a year marking our birth and then a dash and a year marking our death. XXXX - YYYY

Me: And we all do ask yyyy don't we?

Mibes: Oh the punster emerges. Nice one.

Me: Easy one. So do you have advice for me?

Mibes: I do, actually. I'm glad to hear that you're re-reading Carol Lynn's "Consider the Butterfly" that you turned to her last entry on gratitude and found that to be an affirmation of your prayers. Keep working on that one. On the gratitude. That's my one word of advice. Gratitude.

Me: Maybe that's why we're again having breakfast. I've realized again how grateful I am for you.

Mibes: Maybe. Or you're just hungry. Tired of breakfast in the car on the way to work. But, yes, gratitude does make a difference. A huge difference. You know it. You've lived it. And I think it can help also with your concerns about counterfeiting, uh, I mean name-calling.

Me: Zing. You're in touch with all that?

Mibes: Well I do tend to read what you read. 

Me: Then you know how much I liked the title "In Praise of Doubt" at the library yesterday. Enough to check it out. Even though I've never heard of Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld.

Mibes: Ol' Pete and Anton? Same here. Never heard of 'em. But a great title. And not a bad quote on page five.

Me: Love it. And here it is, "there's also the broader category of 'popular Protestantism'--that is groups that aren't commonly perceived as Protestant but whose religious and social characteristics have Protestant flavor. The most successful of these are the Mormons..."

Mibes: And you smile at the implication that Mormons might be counterfeiters of the genuine Protestant approach? And gratitude about that perspective. Gratitude for "In Praise of Doubt"? There's a twist.

Me: You said it, not me.

Mibes: But you wrote it. You checked out the book. Looked in the index for Mormons. You gotta own this one.

Me: Fair enough. Now where's my hug?

Mibes: Right here. Always here. Just like James Taylor sings it, "You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I'll come runnin' to see you again. Winter spring summer or fall, all you gotta do is call and I'll be there, yes I will. You've got a friend. Ain't it good to know you've got a friend?" 

Me: Gotta love Carole King. And I love you, Mibes. Love you. Who you are. Your kindness. You, as you are now. As you've been and are and will be. Your smile. Your tears. Your heart. Every remaining hair on your balding head.

Mibes: Not as much I love you. "When my soul was in the lost and found. You came along to claim it."

Me: That's it. I'm definitely going to spend some time with Tapestry tonight.

Mibes: Me too.