Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Talk of fire in this passage made me think of the Fourth of July fireworks we saw, as well as the numerous times I’ve shot off my mouth and regretted it later. We enjoyed the weekend in Port Townsend exceedingly, despite the fact the house we stayed in had been built circa 1958 and the design of it made that painfully obvious. It had just one big common room, rather than delineating the kitchen, dining room, living room, and entryway; instead, a big stone fireplace dominated the center of the space. The cabinets had big, round metal handles that screamed their age, and the people who owned the house were apparently attempting to match the furniture to the house’s style. Thus we sat on retro couches and chairs (though all the living room furniture was exceedingly comfy), ate off a formica-like table with bowed-out legs, slept in a vibrant green room with a décor of blue and green circles everywhere (even on the comforter; they carried the color theme down to the plastic storage containers), showered in a shower with multi-hued circles decorating the curtain, and were constantly amazed by the drawers-within-cabinets that people seemed to like back then. However, they’d just redone most of the house and so everything was new, if exceedingly tacky.
When Ian and I arrived in Port Townsend at 9:00 in the morning on Saturday we knew it’d be a long day. So Mom, Dad, Carmel, Ian and I went to the Dungeness Spit. Only they don’t allow dogs, so we went to a different disappointing spit, then to the Old Fort Townsend Park. Overall, three disappointing parks, but we had a good time hanging out together. We did all the nice Port Townsend things while there: walked up all 138 stairs from the water to the hill; looked at the gorgeous restored 1880’s/1890’s houses; explored Fort Worden’s numerous dark alleyways, flashlight in one hand and heart in the other; bought ice cream at the Elevated Ice Cream Parlor; ate at the Nifty Fifties Diner and Fins (very tasty, very expensive surf & turf—there’s something amazing in paying over $100 for a meal); walked the dog everywhere; admired the Lowest Tide in 23 Years by walking on the beach during it; accidentally found an absolutely gorgeous park that offers: stunning panoramas of the Straight of Juan de Fuca (map), gazebos, beautiful flower beds, swinging benches, a creek, a tire swing, and supple shaded grassy stretches; and of course watched the fireworks. We sat on a bluff on the Fort Worden grounds, shivering, waiting from 7:00 when we arrived to finally 10:30 when they started. Thankfully Fort Worden is a fun place to walk around, and as night fell we could see lots of other fireworks being set off by other cities on Whidbey Island and beyond. No fireworks that we could see in Canada. We bought hot dogs as good Americans, ooooh-ed and aaaaah-ed at the beautiful fireworks, and generally enjoyed ourselves muchly. The fireworks were very neat—they ought to be for $20,000. Why would you want to buy your own kind of lame ones when a city will spend so much to entertain you much more fantastically? So our Fourth of July was patriotic and possibly more fun than any of the others in my memory. Most of all, it didn’t rain because it wasn’t even cloudy…Incredible how lack of drizzle increases enjoyment.
Today on the way we waited in line for quite a while for a ferry. They estimated two hour long waits, but it didn’t take us quite two hours. Mom and I had a nice chat while Dad and Ian “bonded” over technical stuff in the other car and Carmel sweltered in the Outback. Today was my first day with a non-puffy face and only now do I consider myself fully recovered from Zoe and my backpacking trip. Sunday I woke up so puffy I was ashamed to go to church and so hid in the dark bedroom until my eyes could open more than little slits. Is that vanity? What was God trying to teach me by allowing me to swell up like a drowned corpse? Maybe that I need to worry less about how I look and focus more on other people: Jesus, Others, Yourself. That in fact how I am normally is fine, and look how much worse it could be! Not sure, but I do know that our visit to Port Townsend helped us relax and thoroughly enjoy each others company.
– KF –