Saturday, April 23, 2011

All things Irish with Generation Wes....Bono's Beach!

Hey Hey Wes: Just praying for you today and all the amazing young folks from 215 that populate my imagination from the past two decades. What a profound blessing.....Here is an email I sent back to Open Hand Indy during our visit to Dublin back in 03.

Today the wind was hallowing in Dublin, the rain blowing sideways and one could really feel the foul weather...

We scheduled our "foot race" for 3:00pm from the front door of Wes' house to Bono's gate (the front gate of Bono's home) in an exclusive area of south Dublin on a cliff overlooking the Irish sea...a mere 5 miles one way. Ann, Kath and Nat were to meet us via an auto at the finish with photo's and warm, dry clothes.

We were off, battling the lanes, traffic, and the elements...loving every minute, chatting away like a couple of school kids.

After the first flat 3 miles the final 2 were hilly, slippery and narrow...passing by famous people's homes...there is Van Morrison's, there is the Edge's home....and on toward our final destination, Bono's front drive gate.

45 minutes into it we sprinted the final 100 meters neck n neck, shoulder to shoulder, hoping the women could get a photo finish so we could record the way...the girls were late, we blew by the gate, soaked to the bone, sweating and steaming...and skidding to a halt on the wet pavement. We made the best of it, found a narrow public path down the steep side of Bono's property and to the beach. Wes ran straight into the Irish Sea, with me on his heels and we shocked our exhausted bodies back to life...tumbling on the surf, rocks and sand.

Maybe Bono saw two crazy American's from his cliff perch above the sea or maybe he saw two Celtic Druid's doing what they had done on many wild days....jumping into the frigid waters to stone their souls with a searing clean pain....Amen.

Stoned cold on the edge again,

PS I filled my water bottle that day with Bono's beach Irish Sea water and brought it back to Open Hand Indy where we blessed, christened, and baptized many over the years before it was finally empty. I guess I need to get back there and refill that bottle.....Amen.

"Dear soul-mate and worshiper of life!

Here is another archived email from the queen of Norway to Beowulf.......dated October 1, 2003.

Dear soul-mate and worshiper of life! First of all, I can't tell you how much I would love to have been in Indy celebrating you and Erica's LOVE for each other! Sitting here in Norway reflecting and looking back at our history together, I feel so privileged and alive! I realize how blessed I have been through our friendship which has given me so much fun, joy, laughter, love, anger, thoughts, faith and understanding. To see the beauty in life through your glasses has been exciting, passionate and a big portion with fun!

Remember my first day in Indy, Easter 1999, and you asked if I wanted to join you and Pete (your car) to an Easter party at Judy's. Since I came from YWAM you loved telling me the story about another YWAMer, Lionel ! He cooked food naked in the kitchen at 215! You really loved telling me that story, shame that I never got to see it.

You and Josh dressed in all black at the Patio when Todd was playing.

Your birthday party, when the whole 215 went to the Martini bar in downtown - me, you, Eric, Wes, Marc and Emerson - we all dressed up! That was my first night at the Jazz Kitchen as well, and many stories start there.

I love your passion for European pants, those tight ones, which people in Indy don't use! Keep on wearing your leather pants; I'm sure Erica doesn't mind at all.

Thanks for introducing me to the whole Latin community - Juan, Ruben and those "Mexican's". That was the start to the best international parties at 215!

Sunsets, discussions, gourmet dinners at the backyard, holy time at the grave yard, 215 parties, Juan, Ruben; thanks for sharing them with me!

African dance at 215 when you had a great scene dancing to Johnny Clegg. Your great aunt and nephews in Johannesburg; thanks for inviting me to this great family! Brewpub, swing dance at Babka's place! The black and red dress we bought at East and 38th street. The mini marathon with the banana. Our speed walks at 6am along Washington Street. Your poems. Shoe shopping, together. I am going to stop here, Nolan! Emmanuel is screaming and wants my attention, badly.

My soul is in Indy today blessing this beautiful couple. I am so happy that Erica is the ONE for you, Nolan! I knew it the first time I got to know her, she is a beautiful woman, with a strong sense of self, and an incredible passion and care for those around here! I am at peace.

I and Emmanuel are giving our blessing all the way from Bergen in Norway - and we really hope to see you here, maybe next time you go to Ireland? You are really welcome. Mi casa es tu casa - My home is your home.

All the best!

Cheers, Salute and Skal!

Faith, Hope and Love - Elisabeth and Emmanuel

"I'm smiling with the sun in my face. Could I be Irish?"

I was reading journal #44 this morning and found this simple email message from Rich Starkey. "I'm smiling with the sun in my face. Could I be Irish?" Here was my response:

Hey Rich....If you can answer yes to the following questions I'd say "hell yes" you are Irish!

1. Do you get stoned to the soul by the power of words and music?
2. Do you often drink beers as large as your head?
3. Can you slide across the floor on your knees when dancing?
4. Do you get loud under the influence?
5. Are you under the influence now?
6. Do you practice heroic hospitality?
7. Have you been married to the same woman for more than 20 years?
8. Do you have a son to carry the Starkey name to the next generation?
9. Do you cry easily?
10. Do you have a warped sense of humor -laughing when others wouldn't?
11. Can you swear and not take the Lord's name in vain?
12. Can you hold a paradox until you burst with tension?
13. Can you pick a fight and then be over it the next day?
14. Do you spoil your children?
15. Do you spoil your wife?
16. Are you kind and generous?
17. Do you have a fair complexion?
18. Do you go upstream instead of downstream?
19. Do you like to read, I mean really read?
20. Do you attend church, at least occasionally?
21. Do you drink the blood of the Lamb?
22. Could you kill another with your bare hands if necessary to protect the life of many?
23. Are you deeply connected to your best friends?
24. Is the world your play ground?
25. Have you read C.S. Lewis - alot?
26. Do you like U2?
27. Can you tolerate rain, lots of rain?
28. Can you tolerate pain, lots of pain?
29. Do you get depressed in the dark cold half of the year?
30. Will you spend more money than you actually have?
31. Can you close a deal on a handshake?
32. Have you ever been Chairman of a Board?

I'm pretty sure you are Irish Rich, and I even found the Starkey name on mugs in Dublin to prove it!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Open House for Joseph Kaliisa - Uganda country director for Building Tomorrow

Please join us this Tuesday, April 12th from 5:00 - 8:00pm at our home, (3173 N. Delaware Street) to meet and greet Joseph Kaliisa Bagambaki with Building Tomorrow in Uganda. We will provide food and drinks, and everyone can get to know more about their successful approach to building sustainable schools in Uganda.

Driven by a contagious ambition, Joseph has a passion to work for vulnerable women and children and to date has coordinated the opening of seven primary-level academies in Uganda with classroom space for over 2,100 students.

Please stop in between 5:00 and 8:00pm to meet and connect with Joseph!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tag, you're it.

Did you know that there is a wikipedia page for the game tag? It includes explanations for far more variations of the game than I ever considered as a kid. The large number of variants may be due to the inclination of children playing the game to constantly change the rules. I know I have observed Cole change the rules, mid-game, just because he wanted to skew the odds in his favor. We have all done it.

Tag is often referred to as 'tiggy' in Australia, which confused me for years because I was too embarrassed to stop the conversation and say "you mean tag, right?" But it is such a universal concept that you could probably refer to it by any name and people would know what you are talking about.
I was watching Cole play tag in his Judo class this morning and was marvelling at how much is packed into this very simple game. There are times I want to step in as a parent and straighten things out. To police the game and make sure it stays true. But that isn't what the game is about.

I think the game is about conflict and about roles and survival and the thrill of testing yourself against another. If you can't beat the situation with strength or agility, then you need to outsmart them by changing the rules and using logic or persuasion. I don't know if there is justice in a game of tag, but I see compassion and cunning.

The whole drama of the game captivates me. In studying the game, I have moved beyond my initial disappointment that things weren't progressing in an orderly fashion and now enjoy how it has let me see another facet of my child's mind.