Tuesday, August 2, 2011


“The Mississippi Delta was shining like a national guitar.” – Paul Simon, Graceland
We taxi in the early morning into St. Peter’s to tour the Vatican. I’ve bought tickets online and we pass the massive queues through security.
“I am following the river down the highway through the cradle of the Civil War.” –Simon, Graceland
I have no advice for my daughters, just to bring a small mirror to look down into instead of craning your neck upward at the frescos. That, and we are entering a place of God.
“I’m going to Graceland.” -Simon
Splendor like this, it’s better to leave many things unsaid and just let people absorb their surroundings.
“Poor boys and pilgrims with families, we all going to Graceland.” –Simon
Up the stairs we tour the garden and chase one another around the massive golden ball. Stop for water and cheerios from Ziplocs. There is nothing like the Italian sunshine, stepping into these rays of light is like a baptism.
“My traveling companion is nine years old.” -Simon
My girls love to run, think they get that from their father. Probably because I’m the one chasing them all the time.
“But I’ve raised him up to believe we both will be received in Graceland.” -Simon
I spend a lot of time talking to my daughters about God. We read the Bible and pray. We talk about Jesus and His life, what it meant to people, what it means to people today.
“She comes back to tell me she’s gone. As if I didn’t know my own bed.” -Simon
But I’m also a literature teacher, and I don’t shy away from myth and folklore either. I feel both help me to impart morality. But only one will I use for spirituality.
“As if I never noticed the way she brushed her hair from her forehead.” -Simon, Graceland
Do you think spirituality has disappeared from the world? Do you think people are inspired by God anymore? That they believe one day they will see the face of God?
“And she said losing love is like a window in your heart.” –Simon, Graceland
Do you ever think that maybe, God reaches out to us all the time? That He is everywhere, seeking us, trying to find us, but we turn a blind eye?
“Everybody sees you blown apart, everybody sees the wind blow.” -Simon, Graceland
I do. And I don’t know if we will have to answer for our ignorance one day, but I hope beyond hope that I will be able to fall on my knees before God some day.
“There is a girl in New York City, calls herself the human trampoline.” -Simon, Graceland
That I will enter into His light. That He will touch my face and lift me from the ground. I hope for that more than anything in this world.
“And I may be obliged to defend every love every ending.” -Simon
For me, for my family, my daughters, my friends. I hope beyond all hope that everyone will experience this kind of love in the end.
“She means were bouncing into Graceland.” -Simon
Because we all need it so badly. Because we are all so dry and used up, so wasted and forlorn, so beat up and busted. Most of us don’t even bother to try anymore.
“Sometimes when I’m falling flying tumbling into turmoil I say, whoa so this is what she means.” -Simon, Graceland
I still want to try. I still want to believe. Maybe through my little daughters chasing me around, I’ll find what I’ve always sought, to fall on my knees before God, and to me see Him at last.

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