Reminder: tomorrow at 5 PM Pacific Time is the deadline for Carnival of Hope, which will go up on Friday. Send me your posts about seeming bad luck that turned out to be good luck -- or, more generally, about moments of hope or gratitude in your life.
Now to get to some recent moments of gratitude in mine:
To understand the following story, you have to know that I attach extreme, and quite possibly excessive, importance to anniversaries. Gary always jokes that I'm the historian of our relationship, and of other things too; this is one reason I was so acutely aware of the Spring Curse I described in my Easter Saturday homily.
Two years ago on April 6, I learned about some less-than-completely-honest behavior on the part of two people I loved. They said that I shouldn't take this behavior personally, but I did anyway, and I was devastated.
Last year on Good Friday, my friendship with one of these people went irrevocably smash, after heated and hurtful words on both sides. The break was probably inevitable, but one of the things that made it so painful was learning that this person -- to whom I'd felt very close -- had never really liked me, and actively welcomed the chance to end the friendship.
In the meantime, I'd been feeling increasingly guilty about my lack of communication with a dear friend from high school. She'd called me a few days after the April 6 incident, when I was still fairly incoherent, to say that she and her daughter wanted to visit Reno that summer. I managed, as I recall, to stammer out that it wasn't a good time for me to talk, but I hadn't been in touch with her since, and I felt rotten about it; and, of course, the longer I went without calling her, the more rotten I felt, and the more resistance I felt to calling, and around and around we went.
This year, Good Friday fell on April 6. I told myself not to be superstitious about the date; I told myself I was being ridiculous. But that morning, I woke up with a knot in my stomach anyway.
So imagine my delight when these two things happened:
1. I got long, newsy e-mail from my high-school friend, pointing out gently that she hadn't heard from me in a while; and
2. I received the following e-mail from Kate McDermott, whose wedding I'd mentioned in the Maundy Thursday homily I'd posted the day before:
Hello Susan-The miracle of renewal indeed! Kate couldn't know how much those words meant to me. Yes, life is amazing, isn't it? Not to imagine the minor miracles made possible by the Internet. God bless Google!
Your blog popped up on my Google Alerts just now. I am deeply honored that you have written a homily that includes mention of my compost wedding to Jon. It was a very meaningful day for us. The miracle of renewal is still something that I ponder each day. Life is so amazing!
When I wrote back to Kate to thank her, she sent me this wedding picture; I have her permission to post it, along with the e-mail.
Is this the world's greatest wedding photo, or what? Happy people who love each other making things grow: if that's not a model of the Kingdom of God, I don't know what is.
The rest of Good Friday went very well, too; oh, and during our Maundy Thursday service, I'd been paid the compliment of being invited to join the church choir (!!!) by a friend in our congregation. Since I can neither sing nor read music, I politely declined, but I was touched that she asked. (She tells me that she can't read music, either, but she can certainly sing.)
On an even lighter note, Gary responded to the "Jesus in spandex" motif in my Great Vigil homily by gleefully recalling a Jesus-as-Superhero cartoon he'd read in National Lampoon. He located it for me, and thoughtfully scanned it so I could share it with my blog readers. (If you're offended by irreverent undergraduate humor, stop here. If you aren't offended by irreverent undergraduate humor, click to enlarge.)
And today, I received my contributor's copy of Pandora, a German SF magazine that included a translation of my story "The Fate of Mice." It's always a thrill to see one's work in a foreign language, even if it's a language one can't read. Here's their illustration for the story:
Pretty nifty, say what?
So at the moment, I'm in a good mood. May it continue!