Tuesday, April 15, 2008

remembering Kovita

"Put your elbows on the table
I'll listen long as I am able
There's nowhere I'd rather be "
-Over the Rhine

My friend Kovita is on my mind today. I would like to sit with her and have her grasp my face between her hands. She would kiss my cheeks. Of course, we would have to have cha. Oh goodness, only midday, and I've already had so much Indian tea. She'd smile broadly and shake her head. The absurdity of talking without the clay-cupped cha in hand. Off I would run down the sidewalk to the tea stand, dupatta swishing wildly. Don't bump into the man, watch out for the auto-rickshaw, and good grief, why are there always taxis when you don't need them and none when you do? Hand over five rupees, grab the cup, hold the rim and pray the steaming liquid doesn't slosh out on the way back.

This is the price of a plane ticket away. A price I don't have, not to mention the timing is all wrong. Contentment is the course I'm enrolled in here, and praise is the lesson of the week. Praise, I am finding, is to be my offering regardless of circumstance or understanding. But that is another blog post altogether.

Do you remember when I wrote about Kovita months ago? Kovita lives in Kolkata--she is the friend whom my team and I met on the streets. She's off the streets now and is in a place where she is getting help, but the money to support her stay is running out.

The economics of God's Kingdom continue to challenge me. Forcing me to lay down the way I've been conditioned to think about money. No. It is not mine. No. It will not make me happy. No. I do not need to have a lot of it. And it's not just when I do have a lot of it that I am free to give a lot of it. How am I giving of what I have now? That is the only question relevant today.

There is this thing called Love. It busts into my world, and it knocks down every trophy and prize. It bulldozes walls and smashes the privacy fence. It asks for the key to my lockbox and my bank account. It asks for my heart.

"I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear "

Monday, April 7, 2008

I scream, you scream

There are days when an ice-cream cone is entirely appropriate.

Last summer, when I worked at an old fashioned soda shop in Colorado, ice-cream seemed to be appropriate nearly every day. I mean, yes, I care about my hips, but WHO can resist Mud Pie? It was my cherished baby of a flavor, and I was so proud of it; I couldn't help but bring it up whenever a customer was having a challenge committing to a flavor. (In my book, that's the point when you seize the day and go for the triple scoop.)

"Sir, you look like you're having a little trouble deciding. May I recommend my personal favorite to you? Mud Pie is a coffee based ice-cream with chunks of chocolate and Oreo pieces. But if you like a little stronger coffee taste and dark chocolate bits, you might go for Espresso Chip."

I had a lot of emotional investment in the coffee ice-cream flavors. I felt a little vulnerable recommending one, because what if the customer followed my lead and then decided he didn't like it, or worse, what if he ignored my suggestion and chose Black Walnut? Honestly folks. Black Walnut???

Dear ice-cream shop of 36 flavors, I miss you. Black Walnut, I do not miss you so much. Nor you, Peanut Butter Cup. You are tasty but impossible to scoop. PBC, have mercy on the forearm.

Today was an ice-cream day. One, the seasonal rain and fog lifted today, leaving a bright blue sky and a temperature tip-toeing into the 60s. Two, Aaron is sick with nasty sinus stuff. We drove out to Wal-mart to pick up his medicine and a box of Kleenex, and well, after spending the big bucks on prescription drugs, it was clear we needed some ice-cream. Dairy Queen isn't my beloved Colorado shop, but the soft serve vanilla cone does hold a place in my heart.