Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lucky me

I won a drawing today. I attended a luncheon with a group of people I’d never luncheoned with before and I won a book in a random drawing.

It happens to me all the time. A few months ago I won a painting in a drawing at work. Last fall I won concert tickets by being the ninth caller to a radio show. I won $1,000 once by calling a different station when they played the song of the day. Which just happened to be “Windy,” the song my third grade class sang for a school program.

I thought it was so cool. All the other classes were singing “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music but our class was singing a song by The Association. Our teacher bought the 78 and we played it over and over again on our little classroom record player until we had all the words transcribed. We didn’t have the option of finding the lyrics on the Internet.

Yeah, my third grade teacher was cool. I wish I remembered her name. Aiken Elementary School, Ontario, Oregon, 1967. She had a blonde beehive and wore pink lipstick and miniskirts. She’s the teacher I credit with igniting my love for writing. Actually, it started with poetry. My teacher thought one of the poems I wrote was good, and I was a changed person.

I can remember sitting in my bedroom closet with a flashlight—probably looking for a place to be alone—and writing a dictionary of rhyming words. When somebody as cool as my third grade teacher says you’re good at something it’s pretty inspiring.

My sister Jenny tells a story that once when she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I said, “I don’t know, but I want to write poetry in my spare time.”

So anyway, I won a book today. It happens to me all the time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Soley Because Thou Art My God

We sang a new song in choir tonight. Actually, it's an old song, but new to our group. The words are based on a 17th century poem, “My Eternal King.” As I sang the words I had a feeling I'd heard them before, but I was moved by them afresh.

My Eternal King

Poem (anonymous)
from 17th Century Latin
Translated by Rev. Edward Caswall

My God, I love Thee;
not because I hope for heav’n thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
Must die eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails, the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.

Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heav’n,
Or of escaping hell;

Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Not seeking a reward;
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O ever-loving Lord!

E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing;
Solely because Thou art my God,
And my Eternal King.