Monday, November 15, 2010

Today I'm thankful for clean clothes, beautiful parks, nice friends, my car.

Today I am also thankful for Richard and Claudia Bushman.  I didn't know them very well, and they probably would not know me from, um, Eve, but with minimal contact they have each inspired me in very important ways.

Claudia once gave a class at enrichment meeting about writing personal histories.  She encouraged us to just write about anything and everything.  She promised that even the things that seemed mundane would have meaning to us and our children later.  She said to start writing about today in the keeping of our personal history and that things from the past would come as we wrote about today.  When I left the meeting I was so inspired that I started writing daily, immediately.  For months I wrote.  Then my computer died and my journal was lost forever.  It was a very disappointing loss.  But because of that loss I started blogging consistently about a year after Stacy died.  I was tired of loss.  My blog is one of my treasures.

In my adult years I have been in and out of Relief Society.  One lucky day when all my children were in primary and I didn't have a calling that kept me away from my Relief Society class, the lesson was about listening to the Spirit.  I don't remember who the teacher was or any of the quotes from general authorities, but I do remember the gist of Claudia's contribution to the class discussion.  Basically she said (with confidence) that the only way to know if we are responding to a prompting to the Spirit is to just do it.  If an idea pops into your head and it feels good or makes some kind of sense, just do it.  She testified that by following those promptings we would attune our ears and our hearts to the Spirit.  I confess that I've had times when I thought I was following the Spirit, and I was just confused.  But I've also had things pop into my head that I acted on that were from the Spirit, and when I did them they "brought forth good fruits."

Our last year in New York I had the privilege of being Claudia's VT.  I got to know her a little better, and she always made me think.  I'm quiet certain that I didn't teach that wise woman a single thing that she didn't already know.

Claudia's husband, Richard, while the Warlock and I were living in NYC finished up a book that is very important to me.  The book wouldn't be quite so important if I weren't married to a researcher, thinker, and lawyer.  I would never have known a tenth of the stuff in this book because I believed every word my seminary teachers told me, unquestioningly.  But the Warlock, while still a man of faith, questions, searches, wonders.  Richard Bushman presents all the bizarre (the things I was not aware of and would have never believed if Bushman hadn't documented them so well) and all the beautiful elements of Joseph's life through the lenses of faith and scholarship.  Because of Bushman's thorough history, I can look at the weird stuff, process it through my own "faith lense" and carry on, completely unperturbed.
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Notes for today:

Boo requested chocolate in her lips for FHE treat today.  "I want chocwut chips in my wips."  Everything she says delights me, but I was especially impressed with that phrase that seemed so poetic and sophisticated for a child her age.

Bardo is acting sick.  He has a little cough, no runny nose, no fever, but his tell-tale signs are that he a) gets really really mean, b) puts himself down for a nap and c)goes to bed on time even though he already had a nap.  He still played hard outside, carried around his frog all afternoon after his nap, and ate a good dinner plus an entire pineapple (no joke).  I hope pineapple has healing properties for whatever is ailing him.

The Warlock started reading Holes to the kids tonight.

Pippi is better at emptying the dishwasher then I am.  She's enjoying playing The Medallion Calls and Hedwig's theme on the piano.  She doesn't love sightreading music, but tells me that she wants to be a composer.  I'm convinced that I will be pleasantly surprised with the adult Pippi.

Boo and I danced to Sara Bereille music while making Lentil Soup tonight.  Boo will copy any dance move.

The kids liked the Lentil Soup without the cayenne pepper tonight, especially the broth.

Pippi played really well with a neighbor boy today.  Apparently they both have gotten over the day (nearly 2 years ago) when he hit her and then she promptly kicked him with her new pink cowboy boots in the ...


tenacious d said...

I have to agree with you about the Bushmans. I regret that there are several people from the ManI ward that I just didn't keep up with, and Claudia is one of them. She is one of my role models.

The Warlock said...

I think the Bushmans are now in California, at least if memory serves.

Amber said...

I really like your "thankfuls" every day. You are a very easy to read blogger--so enjoyable. I also thought your story about Pippi and the neighbor boy getting over their mishap a few years ago is hilarious.

The Warlock said...

Also, you will recall that the kick-in-the-junk was on Christmas Day when Boo was born. You were in the hospital and I had mixed feelings on how to deal with it, the general principle being that boys need a kick in the junk from girla every now and again.

Amberly said...

i love the reminder to just follow whatever prompting you get. too often I question them or let them slide. I need to be better at acting without question.

tenacious d said...

Warlock--Claudia is a lecturer at Clairemont College, which I think is in the LA area, but they're only out here part of the year (I think). A friend of mine here is the chair of the English department at SDSU and recently did a "Mormon Women Writer's Tour" with which Claudia was somewhat affiliated. So my information is second-hand.

Jess said...

I was Claudia's visiting teacher right when we moved to NY, and as a newly married 22 year old, I was totally intimidated. I feel the same way as you--I didn't teach her a darn thing, but she let me come every month and taught me a lot!