Monday, June 05, 2006

keeping up

Back in March, I added a third page to this blog called “don’t eat alone: the possibilities.” The idea grew out of my writing about the connection between cocoa harvesting and child slavery. When I first wrote about it, I generated a good bit of conversation. By the end of March, I wondered how to keep it from falling out of view. I thought I could keep issues closer to the front by giving them their own page and highlighting stuff I came across. It was a good idea and I couldn’t pull it off. I pulled the site down and will speak to the issues here as they come up.

I don’t want to forget what’s important, or be a slave to the immediate, and I have to come to terms with my limitations. As much as I would love to champion most every cause I come across, I can’t do it. There are too many important things for me to keep track of them all. That’s a hard truth for me to face.

I was in the car briefly this afternoon and heard the folks on NPR mention that this week is National Headache Awareness Week and June is National Accordion Awareness Month. When I got home, I searched for more accordion information and found those events are only two in a long list. In case you were wondering, June is:

Accordion Awareness Month, National (here’s to Flaco Jimenez)
Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month
Aphasia Awareness Month, National
Cancer from the Sun Month
Candy Month, National
Child Vision Awareness Month
Children's Awareness Month
Dairy Alternatives Month
Effective Communications Month
Entrepreneurs "Do It Yourself" Marketing Month
Fight the Filthy Fly Month (as opposed to the clean fly)
Fireworks Safety Month (so you can go nuts in July)
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
GLBT Book Month, National
Iced Tea Month, National
Dairy Month (what about the dairy alternative?)
Perennial Gardening Month
Turkey Lovers' Month (or how to sell turkeys in June)
Men's Month, Intl (we need a special month?)
Pharmacists Declare War on Alcoholism (they’re bringing in the National Guard)
Potty Training Awareness Month
Professional Wellness Month
Rebuild Your Life Month (I only get a month!)
Rivers Month, National
Rose Month, National
Safety Month, National
Scleroderma Awareness Month
Soul Food Month, National (now we’re talking)
Sports America Kids Month
Steakhouse Month, National
Student Safety Month
Vision Research Month
Zoo & Aquarium Month (go pet a penguin)
If that’s not enough, this week is:
National Headache Awareness Week
International Volunteers Week
National Step Parents Week
National Fishing Week (go fish, your headache will feel better)
And today is:
Day Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking
National Hunger Awareness Day
National Gingerbread Day (tomorrow is applesauce day)
World Environment Day
Richard Scarry Day (I have no idea . . .)
Teacher's Day (always the first Monday in June)
National Attitude Day (what kind of attitude?)
It’s just too much. I don’t know what else to say.

May and June are family travel months for me. I went with Ginger to Greece and Turkey to kick off her sabbatical, then to Memphis last weekend to celebrate Scott’s graduation, and this Thursday I fly to Birmingham to cook the food for a party to celebrate my in-laws’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. I’m not home between trips long enough to establish any rhythm, so I’ve turned into a hermit, going to work and coming home. I wrote only once last week. I spent a great day in the garden today building my boxes for square foot gardening. I feel as though I’m in a separate orbit from my friends, which makes it hard to find much energy for anything other than getting through my day. I don’t like feeling so disconnected.

Without much else to say except I’m aware I’m out of sync, I was determined to write today. Taking time to find a way to make words matter is a crucial touchstone for me. I need the voices that remind me there is more to life than me – even when my time fills up with my stuff – to speak louder; I also need them to remind me that, even though I can’t speak to every need, I am called to pay attention.

Peace,
Milton

7 comments:

Satchel Pooch said...

Richard Scarry is a children's author. My kids were very fond of his books but I always found them a bit weird.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Scarry

Lisa said...

Glad to hear your voice. Peace on this particular part of the cycle.

Lisa

gander said...

May I take the opportunity here right now to propose a national Red Sox Find A Starting Pitcher Month? It would be as relevant as Turkey Lover's Month, I'm sure.

Buzz me when you get in, Milton. I haven't forgottem the Cote de Ivoire.

fishrock said...

Writing for me is becoming part of my "practice". It challenges me to pay attention and to reflect. Reading your words is a thin place for me so thanks for all of your efforts.

Tom

jledmiston said...

Praying you back into "sync" and trying to figure out how we can best recognize potty training awareness.

Anonymous said...

miss you Milton (and Ginger) Enjoyed travelling with you via blog. Richard Scarry is a childrens author of books (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE)
George and I are travelling to Utah next week to see the sights!
Ruth KELLY

Jennifer said...

Milton,

Glad you're back in the groove--this post has given me unexpected sermon inspiration! Thanks!