Friday, June 22, 2007


Now, some of you - okay, all of you - who know me at all know that my verbalization waxes and wanes. But usually, it just seems to wax, increase, and crescendo. Depending on who I'm around, I can be quiet (if they're high energy) or loud (often if they're low energy).
But sometimes, my chatter reaches that stratospheric level of what Mom called "motormouthing." It took far into my teens to grasp with self-realization what exactly she meant. I finally developed the knowledge of my own self to be able to stop in the middle and say, hmm, wait, am I motormouthing?
She simply meant that words were pouring forth from her daughter at an unrelenting pace, punctuated possibly by activity or eating, but only as one pauses at a rest stop before continuing the journey. A friend joked recently about building me a red wooden soapbox. My basic
reply to that is that I haven't needed one yet to coax me to talk, it'll happen regardless of
what I'm standing on, be it woolen Mongolian rug that hugs my hardwood floor or sun dappled
back porch that keeps leaning disconcertedly.
I once described a devotional moment involving Psalm 46 like this: "And you know, the verse 'Be still and know that I am God'? Well, it was like God was reminding me, hey you, sit down and shut up for a minute and just remember which one of us is God."
Delight tickles my soul when I am able to use words to instruct or teach others, whether it's
how to "fold in" eggs in a recipe or relating historical facts about John Wesley's family or Lady
Jane Gray's martyrdom.
I also glean joy and satisfaction when my vocal chords lend themselves to someone whose
voice isn't working, or whose words are quiet, misunderstood, or even unspoken. One of the most fascinating communications I've ever witnessed was a large group of deaf people in the foodcourt of the local mall. I noticed vaguely two things: silence on my left, and lots of hand
gestures. It was like having Everybody Loves Raymond on mute. Then I looked closer. Forty,
fifty, sixty people of all ages and races were together for what appeared to be a weekly meeting.
And since the hearing impaired don't have trouble being heard - at least in terms of audio -
they could communicate to someone thirty feet away as long as their vision was intact. I've
never wanted to know sign language so badly. Interestingly enough, I felt like the outsider.
I wanted to know what they were saying, I wanted to reply back.
So in a recent post, I attempted to lend my access to a keyboard, my "soapbox" to the Chinese
brethren who suffer under oppressive political practices. Like the government literally
looking over your shoulder when you pee on a pregnancy test stick to see if they need to
"relieve" you of your burdensome little bundle of would-be joy. If any government official ever tried to attack my uterus, you'd be keeping look-out while I dug a shallow grave in my back
yard for the unsuccessful beaurocrat.
Be that as it may, I recognize that many different opinions exist on exactly how to deal with
the Communists harming their people problem. Some are for attempting to subvert through
slow, gradual capitalism, while others like myself take a more pointed, aggressive approach. Please share your thoughts, whatever they are, on the scrap paper of my blog so that we all
may have our cages rattled.
Today's motormouthing, soapbox sermon is of a fluffier but pressing nature: instead of
cruel regimes, we deal with a domestic thief that has robbed many of your homes.
This September, I will participate in the Memory Walk, a fundraiser to support research into
treatments for Alzheimer's disease. I had a grandfather with dementia. Many of you have had
grandparents, parents, sisters or brothers who have fallen prey to the robber of selfhood.
For almost a year I toiled in the company of women and men who needed daily assistance
remembering where they were, what year it was, and even how old they are. Sometimes
they could still walk but couldn't remember where their room was, what my name is, or
if they wore an outfit yesterday.
Unfortunately, for the sake of physical care, this population frequently finds itself
physically and socially marginalized from the rest of the "real world," as church members
and pastors become busy with worthwhile things only to forget sinners and saints housed
in the halls of nursing homes.
What a joy it is to learn their stories, share common interests, and laugh wholeheartedly
with people so eager to give. My own little nest of senior citizens raised money for a shelter
for women fighting addictions. They hosted a bake and book sale, assembled gift baskets,
and delivered them to the center. All nursing home residents - mostly women - being
useful to other women who found themselves on the outskirts of society.
If you have a moment, I welcome you to my Memory Walk website. Please don't forget
the ones who can't remember.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Hmm. I tend to be a little bit of a motormouth myself. You can't inherit something like that can you? ;)