Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Five: "Lifesavers" Edition's been awhile since I've tackled a Friday Five. (Or blogged, for that matter...great to be back!)

This week's Friday Five asks us about our personal "lifesavers" -- things that keep us afloat when life tries to drag us down.

1) Your lifesaving food/beverage.
Those would be, respectively, chocolate and coffee. For me coffee is necessary every morning before I can truly assume a locked and upright position, physically and mentally. (This is maybe why my goal of early-morning yoga hasn't yet happened -- for some reason it seems wrong to precede yoga with a cup of joe, but on the other hand without the coffee I am in a defacto Corpse pose.) And chocolate's natural mellowing agents take the edge off sadness, frustration and anger. I've recently developed a real taste for chile-infused dark chocolate, which seems to amp up all those good qualities.

2) Your lifesaving article of clothing.
When I am safely esconced in my home, my favorite thing to wear is a pair of men's flannel night pants, preferably plaid. I'm not making a statement about the constructs of gender; it's just that the guys' styles have more room to move for someone who likes sitting cross-legged. In the summer the flannel gets a little lighter and is paired with a T-shirt; in the wintertime the flannel gets thicker and is topped with a hoodie. It's a human cocoon. I like it.

3) Your lifesaving movie/book/tv show/music.
If you're speaking in terms of spiritual and other profundity, I would have to say the Book of Common Prayer's Daily Office; the prayers and Scripture readings ground me even if I'm only half-attending to them, even if I don't get through an entire prayer, even if I don't want to be reading them. In terms of welcome mindless distraction, I do loves me my Deadliest Catch. In terms of general "making any day go better" -- I enjoy music of all kinds; and when I'm down or depressed, nothing beats the blues.

4) Your lifesaving friend.
The first three years of my school career I was a geeky, unloved and frequently bullied loser. Sometime during the third grade, though, I was befriended by a group of boys who shared my academic interests. We remained fast friends for the rest of our public-school careers, even when we got to middle school and found ourselves rising to the top of the school pecking order. Many years later, working in northern Michigan, my coworkers in my department -- fellow overeducated, underpaid former  liberal-arts majors -- and I developed a close friendship that extended beyond working hours; it would have been a lonely decade without those pals. And, of course, my most lifesaving friend is Fellow Traveler, who's not only saved me from loneliness and self-absorption but has expanded my life in so many ways.

5) Your lifesaving moment.
I had an actual, physical lifesaving moment when I was about 2 1/2. While my parents were distracted by one thing or another during a typical day on the farm, I -- playing "Jack in the Beanstalk," I later explained -- crawled up our farm elevator and fell into the interior chimney of our almost-empty corn crib. I could have easily -- easily -- fallen to my death; instead I landed on a pile of old corn cobs, where I wailed indignantly until our neighbors, called by my frantic parents, came and somehow extracted me from the wire tube at the center of the corn crib. One of my less dramatic but no less profound  psychological lifesaving moments came when I went away to college -- that day I felt a freedom that, for too many reasons to relate here, I'd never felt before. And another lifesaving moment was that moment I came out to myself -- that sense of utter relief and self-affirmation that is sometimes frankly very hard to convey to straight people.

Bonus question (my own): What is your favorite Lifesavers flavor? I'm not even sure if they make this anymore, which tells you how often I eat Lifesavers these days...but I used to just love the mango melon flavor inside the tropical-fruits pack.


Processing Counselor said...

Wow. I hear those grain elevators are really, really dangerous. You are lucky to be alive!
BTW, I almost used the very same picture.

Sally said...

Thank you for such an honest and profound post, love your # 5 for all of its diversity.

MumPastor said...

with you there on the chocolate! And that corn crib moment - I can only imagine your parents' and neighbors' fear and your probable banality about the whole situation.

thanks for this great FF.

altar ego said...

Love your play. Sounds like the evolution of your lifesaving moments all helped move you toward your next one (in due time, of course). Blessings to you!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Your #1 makes me swoon. I am, temporarily I hope, on a no-coffee trial, for health reasons. And for chocolate, well I LOVE it, but I'm wondering about some affects to my health as well. I have to stay away from milk, so I can't even have hot chocolate. Sometime I'll have to cheat on the coffee and see how I feel. Meanwhile, I'm discovering herb tea again, but it is not the same.

Regarding friends: I have sometimes thought of my dearest friend as embodying the Grace of God toward me.

Mompriest said...

Lutheranchick, what a wonderful, thoughtful play....

lately I have enjoyed Starbucks dark chocolate with coffee beans - get my coffee and chocolate at the same time!

thank you.

Auntie Knickers said...

I, too, loved your #5 answer. And for the bonus question: pink grapefruit! I think maybe that was in the Tropical Fruits pack as well.