This is the second week of a "Saturday Puzzle" for the Friends blog. For the foreseeble future (subject to pre-emption by FRRL business) the blogger will post a word challenge for our devotees. Let us know what you think!
It is bittersweet to watch my son grow into a man. I know it is God’s grand design to take him from snuggly, giggly little towhead to an adult who can think ahead and plan his future. I miss the snuggly, giggly one though. I sigh because in the modern temple of commerce it seems he is doomed to seeking a profession that will provide sufficient means for him to provide for a family as well as pay for the economic missteps of his ancestors. As his shoulders broaden, his voice deepens and his gait lengthens, I search for the mischievous grin that lurks under the surface, hoping to see humor retained as one of his great gifts to others. My husband and I try to guide him gently in his choices, fully realizing that this is his own sojourn. We can offer him the benefit of our experiences, but he will encounter his own headaches, and will develop his own aspirin. Will he discover a better way of doing things—one that changes lives for the better? Will he slice the sky like a knife in the jet fighter he aspires to? I pray that he will know the joy of fatherhood and that God graces him with a supportive, loving, wife and many children (okay, that part is for me). He jumps on his bike to head to school, his lanky frame draped over the mechanical transportation, his helmet firmly in place. To be a mother is to be left. Each day’s parting is a sweet sorrow as he comes home from school a little bit more of ‘out there’ and a little bit less of ‘in here.’ Ah well, we’ve come a long way from when he wanted to grow up to be a puppy.
Dr. Hill, the eminent archaeologist, was musing about the bad fortune he’d had this time out. One stupid accident after another, weather that seemed to anticipate when he needed the opposite of what it was going to provide, and so far, nothing to show for the thousands of dollars invested by his university and private venture capitalists. Working in a career field plagued with Indiana Jones wanna-be’s, and surrounded by superstitious field workers, Hill was beginning to feel twitchy himself. A hooded man had shown up each day at sunrise, watched them all day, and disappeared each evening with the sunset. The scientist thought the man might be an albino, protecting his skin and eyes. The hooded man never spoke, just watched. It was creepy. “Dr. Hill! Come to see!” he heard a call. Stepping over the small moat created by the spring rains, Hill approached the trench with curiosity. His Indian assistant was almost quivering with the excitement of the find. “Sir, we believe the piece is still intact, and sir, it is marble!” Arjen said. Hill got down on his knees in front of the curiously shaped piece. It was the size of his wife’s bichon friese dog and probably more intelligent, even if it was made of marble. The item hung, half exposed, from the side of the trench. It was bulbous in some areas, sheared flat as if cut by a laser in others, and covered with symbols that were unlike anything he’d seen in his thirty years digging. Hill ran his hand over one of the shapes and murmured, “Now what’s that supposed to mean?” He turned to Arjen, “when did you discover it?” “At about 7 p.m. yesterday evening,” the young man replied. He went on, “Complying with sound first principles, and your explicit orders, we left it in situ, with a guard on it all night until you could return to see it this morning.” Hill smiled, “Very good. As you know, the key thing is to preserve the site!” Now let’s get something up to protect our work from prying eyes..er…the weather.” The workers scrambled to get a curtain rigged as Hill continued to examine the artifact. Nearby, the hooded man melted into the onlookers, and disappeared.
Under the surface, Angelina seethed with emotion. She knew that the design was ostentatious. Actually, outrageous was the better description. The grand design of the edifice lent itself to the worst of what outsiders believed Hollywood to represent. The client had insisted on a moat around the property, a subterranean passage (which in actuality was just a trench lined with bright fuchsia curtains), and ended at a massive entrance door adorned with carvings that were faintly reminiscent of Indian pictographs but without any apparent meaning. Worse, the client insisted on the doorkeeper position being occupied by his albino half-brother. They looked enough alike that visitors did a double take, believing they were seeing the negative print of the owner of this temple to decadence. As Angelina prepared for the final installation of a particularly hideous water fountain in the atrium, it was difficult remember that the key thing in the design had been to please the client, not make the designer heave. “If only,” Angelina began, “if only I had been able to prevail on sound first principles, we might not be in THIS position!” “What’s that supposed to mean?” asked her assistant. Angelina, not noticing that the client was hovering anxiously in the shadows, answered foolishly, ‘in design, less is often more. We want people to come here and be blessed with a feeling of serenity, not feel doomed to an aspirin-inducing experience!” A shriek and dramatic collapse alerted Angelina to the fact that once again, her mouth had run away with her good sense and she had articulated an unkindness. As everyone rushed around to tend the client, Angelina began to pack her gear to leave. She knew that she’d never get another normal design commission again, and now because of her mouth, she’d probably never get any abnormal ones either!