Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Biblical Halloween?

The other day I was talking to my sister, who lives in N. Carolina, about Halloween. She told me she’d been discussing Halloween activities with some co-workers. They told her the church doesn’t call it a Halloween party but a Fun Fall Festival. The children go to the event dressed as their favorite Bible character. She told them when we were kids our church gave us containers to collect money for UNICEF then we’d go to a party at the church dressed as anything we liked. Now I ask you which seems more of a Christian ideal- dressing up as a Bible character or collecting money to help others?

Afterwards I wondered what a biblical themed party would be like. I imagined walking into a room with all these miniature “apostles” donned in old sheets with their dad’s raggy work shirts that have had the collar and cuffs removed layered over the sheet and cinched around their middles with a bit of rope. They are all running about. There’s an adult saying to a little boy “And who are you?” The boy holds up a hunk of netting and says, “I’m James”. “Gee, I thought you were Andrew” replies the adult. Really, I think. How could you tell one from the other? And how many Marys and angels can one party hold? This place was packed with them. Ok so there are other roles for girls if you include the Old Testament but many churches emphasize the New Testement which, like back then kind of sucks if you’re a female, few choices.

Then I visualize the smart-ass teenager doing his impression of Jesus turning the water into wine by spiking the punch. In the corner, boys are throwing wadded up paper towels at someone recreating the stoning of Paul. I see another little boy lying on the ground being told to get up. ”No”, he says. “I’m Lazawus. I haven’t been wesuwected yet.” Though his miss-pronunciations are adorable he’s yanked up by the arm by his mom. “You are now,” she says.

All right maybe my imagination took off a bit. (I personally like when that happens) The party is not like this at all. There are games and food for the children to enjoy. They’re safe. And probably more than a few, though frowned upon by the church, have gone trick or treating. Whatever you think of the day I hope you enjoy it.


Sunday, October 16, 2011


One morning Hoda and Kathy Lee were interviewing Tara Sophia Mohr, author of "10 Rules for Brilliant Women". She was listing some of the things mentioned in her book, but the one that caught my ear was number 3 - Gasp. Start doing things that make you gasp and get the adrenalin flowing. (And we're not talking sexually here- :) ) Ask yourself, “What’s the gasp-level action here?” Your fears and a tough inner critic will chatter in your head. That’s normal, and just fine. When you hear that repetitive, irrational, mean inner critic, name it for what it is, and remember, it’s just a fearful liar, trying to protect you from any real or seeming risks. Go for the gasps and learn how false your inner critic’s narrative really is, and how conquerable your fears.

This led my brain to the movie I.Q. (You know the one where Meg Ryan is a super smart mathematician and niece to Albert Einstein and Tim Robbins is a mechanic who is in love with her.) In it he asks her " When's the last time *you* said Wahoo?" Well that kind of stopped me; when was the last time I Wahooed? I can't truly remember. 

 I think, for most of us, life with its responsibilities tends to make us seek the safer side of life. You don't want to disrupt the family or get hurt or take the time, etc. But I feel it's important not only as a writer to experience new things but as a person. I don't know why but I've been feeling the tug of that need more and more lately.

I almost had a wahoo moment when I went to N. Carolina. I was seriously thinking of going paragliding, which would have been a big deal because I'm afraid of heights. But I decided not to because I felt $60 for an hour and a half, of which 15 minutes was air time, was too much. Besides what would my family do while I'm off on some personal adventure? I felt guilty. So I didn't do it. But I'm still kicking it around for the next time I go down there. (If I do I'll try to record it so you can all have a good laugh) I think it's time I started hitting those safety walls.

So when was the last time you said wahoo? Plan a few. Maybe even ask your husband if he'd like to join you on one. He probably needs to say wahoo too.