I was busy listening to the Cubs’ ill-fated attempt at postseason redemption this evening, so I missed the Okie Blogger Roundup over at Hideaway Pizza on Cherry Street … where, as it turns out, I apparently fared much better than Chicago’s boys in blue.

I got online a minute ago to see whether Yet Another Small Town Moment had won an Okie Blogger Award (it hadn’t, but go read it anyway, because it’s one of my favorites), and lo and behold, I discovered that Red Fork Hippie Chick had won the Best Inspirational Blog category.

In retrospect, I probably should have ditched the Cubs, grabbed my laptop, and grabbed a slice or two with the bloggers. I’m sure no one would have minded if I kept one eye on the MLB Web site while I celebrated my own victory and drowned my sorrows over the Cubs’ loss with a giant chocolate-chip cookie.

Ah, well. Just wait ’til Maybe next year.

In the meantime, if I were going to make an insufferable little acceptance speech, I would have to thank everybody who voted for me; Ron, who helped me start this blog; the late Jim Jung, whose Waterman and Hill-Traveller’s Companion was my initial inspiration; Mary Baker Eddy, whose writings underpin most of my riffs on faith; my Primary class teacher, who doesn’t seem to mind the fact that he is doomed to spend the rest of his earthly existence answering my incessant questions about Christian Science; and, of course, the source of all right ideas: God.

But really, y’all … thanks to those of you who voted for me, and to those of you who weren’t eligible to vote for me but would have if you could, and to those of you who didn’t vote for me but are kind enough to read me even if I’m not your favorite. (“Tree people out there, God bless you. I’m singing for you, too.”*)

It means a lot to hear that my small effort to put something positive into the blogosphere and uplift others’ thoughts a little bit is having the desired effect. Thanks for the recognition. 🙂

Congratulations to all the winners and all the nominees … and a big thanks to all the great bloggers — in Oklahoma and beyond — who keep me informed, enlightened, and entertained every day. Speaking as a busybody, I appreciate your willingness to open your hearts and lives to a complete stranger every day just to give me something to read. When you think about it, that’s a pretty amazing gift.


* First person to identify the source of that quote wins a fabulous prize.

UPDATE: On a totally unrelated note, I have been playing around with the idea of making some changes to the look of my blog, so I may be test-driving different templates and header images over the next few days to see how they work before I settle on something permanent. Please bear with me….

Christmas in October

Ron bought me an early Christmas present this afternoon: A fancy new bounce strobe for my trusty Canon EOS Digital Rebel.

I have a bounce strobe for my ancient 35mm Nikon F2, but it lacks the necessary whiz-bang-electronic-techno-magic bits that would allow it to communicate with the Rebel’s internal computer … so every time I tried putting the Nikon’s strobe on the Rebel’s hot shoe, the Rebel would override my carefully selected manual settings and default to a ridiculously slow shutter speed that resulted in nothing but blurry, unusable images.

The way the guy at the camera store explained it to me, the old strobe could give off light, but it lacked the necessary technology to express it to the Rebel in any meaningful way. Meanwhile, the computer inside the Rebel sensed something on the hot shoe, but it couldn’t recognize what it was, so it basically got confused, panicked, and — in a desperate attempt to let in the light — did something that didn’t make any sense at all.

Although we were talking about cameras, not metaphysics, my experience at the camera store illuminated more than just the subjects of my photographs.

First, I found it interesting that while the old strobe’s light may have been bright enough to produce clear images, the light wasn’t usable, because its method of expression was inappropriate, outdated, and inconsistent with the more advanced technology I’ve adopted in recent years. Substitute “love” for “light” and “understanding” for “technology,” and you’ve got a pretty good metaphysical lesson.

Second, I find I have some things in common with my aptly-named Rebel.

The apostle Paul talks in I Thessalonians about praying that our “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless.”

If I understand Paul correctly, he is saying that when we find ourselves in a confusing or uncomfortable situation, the right response is not to rely on material sense (which is notoriously unreliable) to tell us what’s going on, but to preserve ourselves “blameless” by calming down and relying on God — divine Principle — to adjust the situation, let in the light, and reveal the true picture.

Like my camera, I’ve sometimes found myself in the position of struggling to communicate with someone who was trying to shed a little light on something for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t always heeded Paul’s advice. Sometimes — like my Rebel — I’ve panicked in the midst of perceived darkness, made assumptions based on incomplete information, and reacted in counterproductive ways. Predictably, my reaction only added to the confusion instead of bringing the peace and clarity that come when we remain calm and wait on Principle to show us the light.