Thursday, May 18, 2006

Growing Green From the Cross...

I suppose some may wonder what I mean by using a silly slogan on my main web site Well, I'm blogging today to tell you about the legend.

This coming weekend, Sunday, is the saints day for Constantine and Helen. What is particularly important about St. Helen is that she, in addition to being the mother of Constantine, found the True Cross of Christ.

The legend is that there was basil, the "king's herb", growing from where the cross lay buried in the earth. To this day, on the feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross in most Greek Churches they decorate the cross with sprigs of basil in remembrance of this tradition.

Well, so I've taken that great tradition and morphed it into a "silly slogan" for my web site. But, there's more too it than that. Years ago I always felt I had a childlike wonder at the world, in a word, I considered myself "green." Then one day I was attending a Christian Writer's conference, and I met a poet, Lucy Shaw, and when I purchased her book, she autographed it (for now particular reason): "To Kevin, who is Green..." I also believe the title of her book had "green" in it.

Well, bringing you to the present. When I became Orthodox I took the name "Basil" - not after the herb, but after St. Basil the Blessed, Fool for Christ of Moscow. Now that these years of being Orthodox have gone by, I've begun to see myself as "green" again. I am just a kid at heart, struggling, longing, striving to love God, and follow Him. I'm green, through and through.

Sometimes as Orthodox we begin to think too highly of ourselves, to distance ourselves from our protestant pasts. The older I grow, the more I understand how connected I am with my own past. And what's more important, the Orthodox consistently re-iterate the truth of the Gospel: "Unless you become as little Children you shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

So, this little slogan of mine is a reminder of the historic moment of our faith, when St. Helen found the precious cross, and it is a reminder of my own youthfulness. Of how, no matter how far I'd like to think I am getting down that road, I'm still only a child. And it is a reminder of how, I must daily, take up the Cross of Christ and deny myself and follow Him.

I'm not very good at it, but I like to think I'm trying.


New Look

Welcome to the new FLY...

... a whole new look, designed to fit nicely inside



Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Wake up and smell the...

Chicken? Turkey?

I rode my bike to work today.

I started out my morning at Bothell Landing, a little park in downtown Bothell. I decided to ride my bike to work today. I decided to start out at the point I've been too tired to start out at in previous years.

There is a nice bike trail going from nearly 8/10ths of the way to my house, all the way to work. In the past I've driven down to a nice little park almost 2/3 of the way to work, and biked from there. But today I started out at a nice little park nearly the whole 8/10ths of the way home.

I can't actually ride in from the full 8/10ths, because there isn't anyplace to park that close to my home.

So, what's the problem? Well, the problem is I'm still a kid. I ride a bike like a kid rides a bike. I probably always will. Everybody else zips past me doing 25, 30 mph, and I think I'm doing about 10 mph max. Maybe only 5.

I think partially the problem is I have a crummy bike: it's meant to be a dirt bike, so it has big fat tires with mud-treads on them. It makes so much noice from the treads that it sounds like it is motorized, but it isn't (unfortunately).

Another part of the problem is that I don't know how to use the !#@$@#$ gears. There's a set of four buttons I'm supposed to push to change gears, but none of the four buttons seem to do anything consistent. At one point I think I figured out that the buttons on the right shifted into lower gears. The big fat one seems to do the majors, and the little tiny one seems to do the minors. So, I tested out the assumption that the buttons on the left would therefore shift into higher gears. Well, it only works about 50 percent of the time. Sometimes the left buttons DO seem to shift me into a higher gear, and sometimes they seem to shift me into a lower gear. Sometimes the left buttons don't do anything at all.

I think what it is, is that I really need a new bike. I bought this one used, and it was good to get me started biking once again, but it really doesn't cut the mustard.

But there's one more thing. I'm just not in a big freaking hurry like everybody else. I mean, what's the point in riding your bike if you are going to go zipping down the bike trail at 30 mph? Maybe there is a certain irony it all: these folks are trying to proove a point: they can get to work faster riding a bike than they can driving their cars, because of all the traffic we have here.

My point is not their point. I have a different idea in mind altogether, namely:
(a) do something different
(b) see some places I just don't get to see when I'm commuting in my car
(c) get a little exercise too

But, still, even if I'm not on a professional workout schedule, or trying to get ready for a big cycle race, I probably do need a better bike if I'm going to do this more often.