Saturday, July 26, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
We jump in at the bottom and swim to the far right bottom corner over
100 metres to the rocks (not in picture). Mussolini had the monument at the top
commissioned in honor of fallen soldiers in WWI.
The stairs are designed to look like an eagle.
6 years have gone by and every time I go down to the Passetto and I spy those rocks I remember that and it brings back memories of jogging the 199 steps and the early days of exploring our city. I always wondered if I'd be able to make it out there to the rocks someday, if I'd be able to slay that dragon, to face the fear and do it.
The Germans have a saying, "Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." It is true. Maybe this is the sole reason I have been brought here, the lesson I am to learn and yet which I resist the most; resist because of the very response, the exacting effect which courses through my veins, the way in which it seizes my heart. Maybe I have been brought here to face and embrace the wolf. As they say, 'Crepi.'
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
-Frank Herbert, Dune
Today, there were five of us. Brian and I were joined by Josh, Marcus and Kyle (our newest intern). We had been out for about half an hour and I realized that I was about half way out to the rocks. I looked at the guys and said, 'Boys, I think this is the day!' and started out toward the reef. I made it with no problem and climbed up on top to signal the victory. They swam out to meet me and we had a blast diving off the rocks and acting like teenagers. As Marcus, Brian and I took our last jump in together, the rain and sleet (yes, sleet) came down and we swam back in to shore, laughing and enjoying the cool weather. The people on the shore watched us as if we were illegal immigrants arriving clandestine from the East.
It felt good. It wasn't that I was that afraid to try it again, it was mainly that I didn't want to do it alone. The good feeling was the not being alone. It was trusting them to help me if I needed it. It was that they knew my story, my fear, my dream and my vision. It was their cheering me on and celebrating the little victory together. It was the weaving of our stories together that made it so memorable. We walked triumphantly to our rain-drenched towels and shirts and the slain dragon sunk beneath the crashing waves.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Is it worth it? Does our community here in Ancona benefit? Do these students really benefit? Does our supporting church grow through this? Does the mission of the church (on the macro level) get advanced through this kind of 10-day experience? Would there be a better way for these students to use the money they raised and time they set apart? These are all questions I hear others raising and they are all ones that we are trying to answer as well.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I picked up my scooter today...grr... It is SO efficient having a scooter here - a gallon of gas ($10 US) will get me by for 10 days' worth of driving and you never have to pay for parking. The seat was torn and falling apart so I took it in a couple of weeks ago to see how much it cost - 50 euros...to be recovered by a guy who normally does seat covers for sailboats. That's quite a bit of money, but we had a little money set aside so I said go ahead. So, I picked it up last week - and was informed that it was time for the bi-annual revision which meant it needed new tires and a brake pad. Gulp. So, I pay my due and drive it home only to find two days later, the back tire completely flat. Where was I? Oh yeah, I picked up my scooter today...again.
On the way home I stopped by the bank to make a deposit and while sitting there I watched the lady who stocks the shelves (they sell all kinds of gift items) get frustrated by a little Ukranian boy who kept walking around and looking at the toys and books for sale. She made faces and even called the mom down for not having control of her son. As I left, I overheard her telling an older Italian man - "It's always the foreigners! Always the foreigners!" Deep breath - keep your calm, Jason.
Then, when I got home, Heather said she thought we had wasps building a nest in our bedroom. Huh? Well, she was right. Behind our dresser we found the beginnings of a wasp nest - Jacob and I destroyed it - crisis averted.
The rest of the evening Haven will be celebrating her Cabbage Patch Doll's birthday. JayLynn is two years old today. Marcus pronounces it, "Jay-lay-en" - Southwest Missouri-style. Chloe Rotert is bringing her doll over for the overnight party. I may make some cookies. Jacob and Harrison made me drag out the old hamster cages from storage and they are putting them together - they have saved up enough to buy a couple.
It is about 90 degrees in our house right now- trying not to use the A/C - but boy is it a temptation. What's going on in your world today?