In Part One I posted about San Antonio, the Alamo, and Pee-wee Herman. Today, it’s scorpions and hammocks, fusion of horizons and the merger.
Scene 4ish: Scorpions
We arrived late to Laity Lodge.As the rest of us were unpacking and arranging our things, Deidra calls out, “There’s a scorpion out here!”I grab my camera and join her at the front door. “There,” she points.A little shaky, I quietly creep onto the porch, wondering if the scorpion might leap off the wall and onto my person with stinger poised to strike.I live in a Midwestern suburb and know nothing of scorpions. Are they aggressive? Do they leap?I dare to move in close to snap the picture and then rush back inside, shutting the door firmly behind me. I check to be sure it is secure. Twice.Despite my scorpion security measures, Deidra finds yet another one the next morning…in the house…in her shoe.Dena Dyer, lifelong Texan, whacks the scorpion with the heel of her own shoe, killing it in one strong blow…maybe two.We midwesterners (and Canadian) are impressed.We look up to her as a fearless warrior.She is now Dena Dyer: Scorpion Slayer.Following the scorpion encounters, Ann Voskamp and I peer into our shoes with apprehension and dread. I nervously shake mine per Dena’s instructions. We listen to all she says about scorpions and shoes, yet two full days pass before I—naive and distracted midwesterner that I am—realize that I ought to be zipping shut my suitcase after gingerly removing and shaking out each item of clothing.I am, by God’s grace, spared.
Scene 5: Hammock
Laura Boggess, a vision of beauty, appears particularly refreshed the first morning.Instead of coping with post-traumatic-scorpion-slaying-stress-syndrome (PTSSSS), she apparently woke early to jog, and after showering, spent substantial time in the hammock resting, reflecting, admiring and praising God for the glorious creation around us.This is always easier for someone oblivious to scorpions.But the blissful look on her face inspired me to climb into the hammock later and sway a while.(photo credit: Laura Boggess)But…the sway time is cut short.Moments later I must arise and head to the main hall for a meeting.
Scene 6: Fusion of Horizons
We meet as a team and hear about the history and vision of Howard E. Butt, Laity Lodge and Foundations for Laity Renewal.Then the leaders prepare us for the site merger that will combine High Calling Blogs (now obsolete) with The High Calling.Dan Roloff leads one of the presentations and tosses out the phrase a “fusion of horizons,” saying it has to do with hermeneutics. I scribbled down his brief explanation.When a piece of writing is created, the author has something her or she intends to communicate.But the words themselves have their own definitions and shades of meaning. Hopefully the selected words and phrases reflect the author’s intended message—but they may not.Then there’s the reader, who runs the piece through his or her own grid of prejudices, experiences and understanding (or misunderstanding). Just as the selected words may or may not accurately capture the author’s meaning, this reader’s conclusion as to the purpose and meaning of the piece may or may not be the same as the author intended.These three “horizons” are, ideally, fused; thus, a fusion of horizons.I’m sure it’s more complex than that, and I may not have understood what Dan meant—our horizons may not have fused—but I thought about the basic idea quite a bit. Communication, I concluded, is a challenge. It’s hard to know if you are on the same page.Speaking of being on the same page…
Scene 7: Merger
One night, LL Barkat showed us this video.This is very much like the online community of The High Calling, each of us creating beautiful music somewhere in the world, listening to the others, blending, harmonizing.With our distinctive styles and rhythms, we sing and play, laugh and weep, pour ourselves out and share with one another.Layer upon layer adds rich detail, unexpected beauty and joyful celebration as we stand by one another.This week, our two websites merged to become one—The High Calling—so that together we can sing a stronger, richer, more joyful song.We are inviting you all to pull out your instruments—and, believe it or not, your pie—for an evening of celebration. Wherever you live in this world, wherever you sing and dance and play, won’t you join us at 9:30 p.m. ET for the Twitter Pie Party, celebrating the merger and the community?LL Barkat explains the party:
Tuesday, October 12, at 9:30-10:30 p.m. EST, we’ll be having a Twitter party to celebrate. (Follow us at @thehighcalling. The hashtag will be #goodwork and the location is http://tweetchat.com/room/goodwork)We’ll spend some time getting to know each other, chatting about blogging and other stuff. Altogether, it should be a lot of fun.Bring your pie (bought or homemade) to the party, and a favorite hot drink, and tweet it so we can enjoy. If you want to do a whole celebratory pie post on your blog and add your link below, you can do that too.
Whether you’re officially part of The High Calling or not, please join us. The more the merrier!After all, there can never be enough music.And most certainly there can never be enough pie.My Blueberry-Rhubarb Crisp, first-cousin to pie.
Krista @ Life in Texas says
LOL I used to get all aflutter over scorpions, but now I have to say I’ve become like Dena. I have a healthy respect for them, but I am the master of the situation!
I so love your vignettes of this weekend. I feel refreshed just reading about the experience. It’s nice to meet you, I look forward to seeing you more.
You get a title, too, then–
Krista of Life in Texas: Scorpion-Master.
I’m so glad to meet you here and share these little moments with you!
Dena Dyer says
I’m so honored to have that title! 🙂 It was a great weekend and I’m still mulling over all that I learned and experienced.
Thanks for your thoughts about HC. I loved that video L.L. showed us but hadn’t thought of it in terms of the network…the analogy is perfect!
You *earned* the title!
More thoughts to come, but I’m so glad you are in Texas playing your saxophone or harmonica while I’m here in Indiana playing a washboard. Together, with everyone else, we’re singing a new song of old truths.
Stephie Goldfish says
Ann, I love your sense of humor. Have you gotten over the PTSSSS, yet?
Now that I’m safe and sound in the suburbs of Indiana, yes. We have snakes out in the woodsy areas of our state, but where I live, the scariest thing around might be, well, my gigantic dog! 🙂
Angela Doll Carlson says
Ack! I am so glad I did not know this…I was just drifting to sleep one night when I heard my neighbor in the room below mine exclaim that she had just found a tarantula in her bathroom. After some commotion it all quieted down again and yes, I know they are not venomous but still…gah.
If I had known there were ALSO scorpions I’d have been over the edge! Good grief.
I was hoping I could see a tarantula–from a respectful distance, out in the wild–so I could take a picture to show my kids. But I am happy to forfeit that privilege if the only way to see one was for it to crawl around in my bathtub!
David Rupert says
I like pie.
And I love the High Calling and the friends I have through it.
it was a real kick meeting you! You have a wicked good sense of humor!
So…do you like blueberry-rhubarb crisp? Because it’s not *quite* the same as pie.
It’s hard to get a sense of a person’s comic timing via e-mail, isn’t it? And I haven’t attempted humor very often in my posts. It’s a risk, and I wasn’t ready to embarrass myself.
Apparently I’ve gotten over that.
Gordon Atkinson says
We’ve gotten used to the scorpions here in San Antonio. Our first house had them regularly. I’ve been stung once. Something about that fiercesome tail barb makes “sting” seem inadequate. But truly, their sting is about like a wasp or a bee. It hurts, but it’s short-lived.
They are slow moving, and they walk around with their tail up in the air. Which is handy. We had a pair of kitchen tongs hanging by the fireplace. If we saw a scorpion, the girls would yell “Scorpion!” and I would pick it up by the tail with the tongs and get rid of it. It ended being kind of boring.
I’d rather have Scorpions than roaches. Scorpions eat roaches, by the way.
I can handle a bee sting. It’s not pleasant, but bearable. It’s good to get perspective, Gordon. Thank you.
Oh, and Scorpions as roach-eaters? That’s pretty cool. I never thought of roaches as having predators.
Good to know that scorpions eat roaches.
Ann – I was on the airplane before I realized that I failed to shake out the contents of my suitcase before closing it up and trapping whatever may have lurking inside to bring back with me to Nebraska. I was in a slight panic somewhere over Kansas, with visions of “Snakes On A Plane” dancing in my head.
Big props to Scorpion Slayer. That’s MY roomie!
Hilarious! And I’m glad that nothing crept out when you unzipped it to unpack.
Janis@Open My Ears Lord says
Scorpions! I hate them and am so scared of getting stung by one. Living in Arizona, we have all kinds of scary creatures (see my Multitude Monday post about snakes:http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com/2010/10/autumn-marks-its-season.html).
One summer, we returned from vacation to find a “dead” scorpion by our bookshelves. I called the exterminator immediately and had the “whole” house sprayed.
From an insect standpoint, California was so much better. But we did have those awful, huge, black water beetles (known as roaches in some areas).
Glad you survived the Texas insects! Enjoyed your post.
A Simple Country Girl says
Oh, your pies look like mine! One part pie and one part crisp. Sorry I missed the big party, but I will (hopefully) have a pie image and poem up tomorrow. My blog was far too argumentative today for another post. 😉
It’s been great fun reading your retreat posts and looking at all the images… Listen, I live in the Pacific Northwest and even I shake out my shoes, boots, clothes, and towels. I also look in my sheets with a flashlight. Yes, I have a problem. And it has something to do with scary and/or hairy spiders. I am wondering if Gordon makes house calls?
Megan Willome says
Ann, I love that you have shared funny moments from Laity. That place has been a source of fun in my life for the last 29 years. It probably comes from starting out as a camper there, and getting very comfortable slaying scorpions.
Yikes! I can’t get over the fact that I kept slipping my feet in and out of my running shoes without looking first! … I wasn’t in Scorpion Slayer’s house, so I missed out on all that action. Probably for the best. I’m paranoid of all things creepy-crawly.
Every morning at Laity Lodge I would swing my bare feet out of bed and wander into the kitchen for a glass of water. and every morning when I was sufficiently awake I would realize my toe vulnerability too late. If one of those tail raisers had been hiding under the cabinet overhang, I would have been toast! Must have been staying in the house with the scorpion slayer that gave me a false sense of security :).
This was a great part two, Ann. I hope we get to add more parts in this adventure for years to come!