Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birthday Musings

Stumbling out of bed before the sun was up, a solitary thought whispered in my mind, "I am forty." That got my attention and I began to ponder why that word, "forty", could sound so weighty.

First of all, I realized how many words there are with a similar sound; words that hold a less-than-stellar intention if someone used those and words and my name in the same sentence. Words like: foreboding, forlorn, forgetful, and for-Pete's-sake. Also, there are a lot of large items with the same three or four first letters in their spelling. Things like: forklift, former-heavy-weight-champion, and Fort Knox. I think "forty" is getting a bad rap by guilt of association with other words that begin with "for".

The word "forty" also lends itself to sounding some what like a Mafia nickname. "Yous don't do what I says and my friends Shorty, Lefty and Forty here will make ya disappear, ya get da picture?"

Now, take a very similar word, "forte", and by virtue of putting an accent on it and making it sound French it becomes completely different in feel. Sounds enviously cool and aloof. "I am forte," seems alluring, like an exotic nationality. Who wouldn't want to be "forte"? "Forty" just rhymes all too well with, "Lordy, Lordy," don't you think?

So, really I don't mind turning 40. Glad to finally get it over with, in some ways. I have actually been forty for a few months, sort of, because all spring, for some reason, I have had the habit of telling people that ask my age, "I'm nearly 40." So, I sort of gypped myself from the last bit of thirty-something that I could lay claim to. But being forty, over all, is something I am totally at peace with (see my other blog "Indulge Me").

Thanks to my deep thoughts in the wee hours of morning, I have discovered the negative connotation of being forty is really a matter of semantics and pronunciations. For now I am going to go ahead and be cool and exotic and be "forte" while I shop at "Target" (the French version, you know, pronounced "Tar-shay").

Besides, forty is really the new thirty. Everyone knows that!

1 comment:

Jenn VH said...

Very funny!! My husband will be "forte" next April. I have a few years to go, but I sometimes catch myself already going there too, saying "I can't believe I'm almost 40!" (I'm 36 for pete's sake!--there's that "for" again!). Anyways, I stumbled onto your blog from another blog and had to take a look. Have a great day being the "New 30!"
~Jenn VH

At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.