Despite my gallant efforts

A noble start

 

 

A beautiful fall day. Sunshine. Amazing colors of leaves. Crisp air.

I decide to bike—instead of drive—the 2.1 miles to the synagogue where I’ll be teaching a course in a few weeks. We need to finalize some details.

The meeting ends and I realize that the Montavilla Sewing Center—where my machine has been repaired and is waiting to be picked up—is 0.7 extra miles away.

I pick up the machine and put it into the bike’s side basket. A bungee cord securing it in.

I wear a helmet, orange reflector vest, and gloves. Safety first.

However, the pothole I roll through on the way home—I didn’t think it was a big one—causes the machine to fly out of my basket, onto the street. Bang.

Nothing appears broken, but when I get home and plug the machine in, it has the exact problem that $119 was supposed to fix—it only does a straight stitch!

Argh!

Back

 

 

I drive back to the Montavilla Sewing Center muttering to myself. Crestfallen. I hand the machine to the same loopy-glasses-wearing woman from whom I picked it up no more than 30 minutes earlier.

She replaces the light bulb.

All stitches work again.

Apparently, the light bulb—which went out on impact—is needed to make all the stitches work.

I try not to wonder if that was the original problem and convince myself that the bulb had worked when I originally brought the machine in.

Life is easy when it works out the way we want.

The trick is learning to deal with it when it doesn’t.

If… then…

 

Emmett and I are in the garage—making a piece of art for him to give to Jane as a gift.

The vision he was of what he wants to make and the reality of what he is making him diverge too much for him to bear.

He bangs the table.

He screams, “I’m trying my hardest, and it’s still not coming out right!”

I’ve had that thought too.

We all have.

We think: If I put in effort, then things should work out.

We think: I am a good person, I shouldn’t suffer.

But it doesn’t work like that.

I was doing the right thing by picking up the sewing machine.

Emmett was trying his hardest.

And yet.

Reality is reality. 

I don’t need to tell you this in this crazy world and time in which we live.

Despite our gallant efforts, life does not always go as we desire.

Why we don’t fly, a Passover story

Why we don’t fly, a Passover story

Why we don’t fly, a Passover story   Cohen and I chat about once a week, usually on my evening walk with the dogs around my beautifully maintained 1940s NE Portland neighborhood. We chat about life, how we miss our deceased parents, his dating life, my parenting...

Chats with Larry Episode 4

Chats with Larry Episode 4

On today’s RABBI BRIAN’S CHATS WITH LARRY The Tuesday night Stained Glass class where our friendship formed Larry’s school years The book called “Transcend” that I sent to Larry Why ministers don’t have a lot of friends How the current generation is more open-minded...

In three words

In three words

Fresh Fish Sold Here Today I remember a magician in the 1980’s unfurling and holding up a paper banner with the words “Fresh fish sold here today” printed on it. The magician would say, “I find this phrase a touch redundant. Fresh? Of course it's fresh fish. The sign...

Laughing @ Incongruities

Laughing @ Incongruities

Laughing at as many incongruities as possible It's a Tuesday night. We just had tacos. We do Taco Tuesdays probably more than two weeks a month, if we kept track of it. But it could be any night other than Tuesdays. Because we aren't that uptight about stuff. The kids...

Chats with Larry Episode 4

Chats with Larry Episode 3

On today’s RABBI BRIAN’S CHATS WITH LARRY How much liberty do you require, how much community do you require? (Individual freedoms vs belongingness to a group) Boundaries maintenance “Do we have too much excessive psychic stimulation?” What do we mean by God? If we...

Saturday Service February 2021_2

Saturday Service February 2021_2

Podcast:The Saturday Service February 13, 2021 Podcast Notes The Saturday Service --08:00​-0:8:10​ Reports from the committee dedicated to watching the mud settle.08:10​-08:20​ Edutitarg, Backward ways of doing gratitude.08:20​-08:30​ "No one heals themselves by...

Saturday Service February 2021_2

Saturday Service February 2021_1

Podcast:The Saturday Service February 6, 2021 Podcast Notes The Saturday Service --8:09​-8:22​ shake the mud8:23​ review of spital life8:28​ wave to face book8:29​ so many ads—graitude8:45​~5 advantages of being senseYelling + tutoring.   Shapeable as a block of...

Saturday Service February 2021_2

Saturday Service January 2021_5

Podcast:The Saturday Service January 30, 2021 Podcast Notes Saturday service with rB and Toni Anne! Try a little Tenderness. - Otis Redding Quote: True friends celebrate your successes. 00:00​ - 05:49​ - Greetings and rB story about magic camp. Introducing Toni Anne...

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Dad and I went on our third father-son road trip in 2002. This one was in a rented RV. We leave LA, drive east, pass Palm Springs, and go south to Niland, by the shore of the Salton Sea—a huge unswimmable lake of salt, rotting fish corpses, and runoff fertilizer. From...

S’more I don’t know

S’more I don’t know

My friend Michelle sits four feet feet away from the stainless-steel fire pit in my backyard. I’m on the other side, also four feet away. We are having a small, Covid-safe inauguration celebration. We are drinking G & Ts with Hendricks, a fancy tonic, and slices...

The 77% Weekly

Try for free. Always free. Directly to your in-box.

intelligent wisdom. real + funny. about life

Enjoyed by 1,000's of people. 40/52 weeks a year.

Why we don’t fly, a Passover story

Why we don’t fly, a Passover story

Why we don’t fly, a Passover story   Cohen and I chat about once a week, usually on my evening walk with the dogs around my beautifully maintained 1940s NE Portland neighborhood. We chat about life, how we miss our deceased parents, his dating life, my parenting...

read more
In three words

In three words

Fresh Fish Sold Here Today I remember a magician in the 1980’s unfurling and holding up a paper banner with the words “Fresh fish sold here today” printed on it. The magician would say, “I find this phrase a touch redundant. Fresh? Of course it's fresh fish. The sign...

read more