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April 13, 2005
Did you finish the bread?

I thought for a moment. No, there were a couple of inches left. Enough for breakfast.


He couldn't find the bread. I went into the kitchen and looked around in the usual spots -- in the microwave, which we use as a breadbox. On top of the refrigerator, just in case. In the tea canister. No bread. But I knew there was bread in the house. A couple of inches, at least.

I turned toward the trash can. I looked there, Q said. Oh, dear.

He had pita for breakfast instead, and I started two loaves of whole-wheat molasses bread. Soon the house was full of their wonderful sweet brown smell, and soon they were out of the oven, lying on their sides on the wire cooling rack: babies and bread should be placed on their sides for a bit, just after they come out.

When they were cool, I opened the bag drawer to find a plastic bag for the loaf we would freeze. There was the missing bread, nestled in among the rolls of waxed paper and aluminum foil, waiting quietly to be found.

I found the bread, I called to Q in the next room.

Where was it?

In the bag drawer.

he said, kindly.

Are you misplacing things or forgetting things more now? the doctor wanted to know.

I looked at Q, sitting beside me, and thought about the bread in the bag drawer. I think so, I say. Yes.

I'm going to be in therapy to learn how to work around things like that. There are lots of ways to manage in the world if you can't remember things: you can write yourself notes, set alarms and look things up. You can ask people.

And you can also decrease the number of things you do. This will not sit well with me, I told the doctor. I don't like to do less. I like to do more.

Well, the therapy will help you get used to the idea, she said, and later on, when you've learned some new ways of doing things, you might be able to do more. You probably will.

I didn't copy the abstract pictures very well, and didn't remember the lists of things very well. I didn't do the adding the last two numbers in a long, fast chain of numbers together very well, either. I pronounced all the words right, though, and I don't remember if there were analogies on the test, but if there were, I bet I got them all right, too.

Ah, me.

We pass some profoundly disabled people on our way out of the hospital. ,i>Hi, I say, and then, silently, Is that me?

Well, of course it is: disability is the future for all of us, unless we get lucky and a Steinway falls on us while we're walking past Carnegie Hall. And then we don't get to say good-bye. And we never get to learn fully how resourceful we can be under the right circumstances. How many ways there are to be who we are. Many more than we know in advance.

So maybe the Carnegie Hall scenario isn't so lucky after all.


Some new books in the bookstore

Holy Companions: Spiritual Companions from the Celtic Saints, by Mary Earle and Sylvia Maddox. Time with eighteen Celtic saints to help you pray and quicken your faith.

Also new from Mary Earle, Beginning Again, Benedictine Wisdom for Living With Illness. A companion to Earle's well-received Broken Body, Healing Spirit.

Saving Salvation: The Amazing Evolution of Grace,
by Steven Smith.
Tired of a narrow understanding of what it is to be saved? Relief is just a book away.

And check out Jane Mossendew's two beautiful gardening meditation books: Gardening with God: Light in Darkness and Thorn, Fire and Lily. If you love God and love plants, you're in luck.

In my own Let Us Bless the Lord series of meditations for the Daily Office, we are now in Volume II, which goes from Easter to the last day of Pentecost in Year One, the current year. Use it as a companion to Morning or Evening Prayer, or just as a way to ponder a little scripture each day. Look for Volume III in plenty of time for Advent.
And be sure to visit the two new neighborhoods on our Farm, ,i>More or Less Church with Deacon Joanna Depue and The HodgePodge, with Debbie Loeb. Today Debbie tells us about grilled peanut butter and jelly -- don't knock it 'til you've tried it -- and the deacon shares a wonderful sermon by Fr. Andy Gerns of the Diocese of Bethlehem in commemoration of the recent 60th anniversay of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's martyrdom while a prisoner of the Nazis.
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