"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Swedish Eccentrics

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Swedish Eccentrics

This afternoon as my son played his Little League game, his little sister and I flew a kite on the adjoining field. We were soon joined by other tots too restless to sit in the bleachers; they took turns running with and after the kite, giggling and yipping like puppies. More than once I was tangled in string as they circled around me, and I thought of the kiterunners in Kabul who glue glass bits to their strings in order to cut loose other kites. Glad I'm not in Kabul, I thought.

Occasionally a freight train rumbled by and the children would wave and chase it. Our local ballfields are scenic. Recently at a game near the ship canal, a NOAA vessel floated past, causing everyone to turn and stare as the bridge lifted and the cormorants circled and the aspens quaked.

But no one blinks when our former governor shows up. He's here for his kid, like the rest of us, and no doubt he winces inside when his kid strikes out, like the rest of us. There's a lot of striking out among 7-year olds.

One of the smallest kiterunners introduced me to his dad, a dapper black guy who avoids the cheering section and brings reading material. I figured he was either (1) shy, (2) tired of white people, or (3) not a baseball nut. After a few minutes of conversation, I decided it was the latter, as he was friendly and eager to talk. We covered a wide variety of subjects, including architecture, happiness, the legal profession (he is a law prof at the UW), our neighborhood, home renovation, music instruction, and religion. Isn't it crazy how with some people you can get to the heart of things?

When his lovely wife arrived, I was charmed to learn that her heritage, like mine, includes an unusual religious sect started by an eccentric Swedish scientist. Swedenborg, that is.

Lucky her! Her eccentric scientist inspired Blake, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Jung, and Johnny Appleseed.

Well, the game ended too soon. Our boys made their first base hits of the season and were very pleased. The rest of our conversation will have to wait.

Meanwhile, can anyone tell me more about Swedenborg? What do you suppose was his impact on Laestadius?

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