Tuesday, August 02, 2005

altitude affects attitude

I spent some time at the end of last week and over the weekend in the mountains near Asheville. At mid-week in Charlotte it had been 100 degrees (plus heat index of a few more). The first day we spent in the mountains had a high of 80 degrees or so; that evening had a low of 60 degrees. Before I had left Charlotte I listened to a psychiatrist with a thick european accent make the following observation, about the impending 100+ degree day: "If you are anxious, you will be more anxious. If you are paranoid, you will be more paranoid. If you are angry, you will have a tendency to be more angry".


An aside: this is the 40th anniversary of the Slurpee. If you go to this sight, you will discover all kinds of information about the origin of the slurpee (or "icee"), about the "brainfreeze", etc. It was so hot recently that I went looking for a slurpee.

At any rate: back to the moutains. We did walk around the lake, eat some good food, and listen to music. I read the book of Exodus, which is quite an amazing story, although for me it does get bogged down in the instructions for building the tabernacle. There is a small store nearby that the locals call the "Four F". They sell flora, fauna, fabric and firearms. Actually, it is an amazing produce market, and I bought two of the most amazing tomotoes I can recall eating (they were from Grainger County, which is in eastern Tennessee, and apparently they have an annual tomato festival in late July---I believe it).

Some friends were with us; that was fun. My wife shopped. Waynesville is developing into a very nice artsy kind of community. We watched Monk. That hour was the sum total of my television viewing.

The senior adults from our church came up for the weekend. We all attended the morning services at the Lake Junaluska Assembly, which I guess is something of a tabernacle (no air conditioning). Michael Williams, a biblical storyteller, preached. His message was excellent, a midrash of Genesis 32 . 22 (Jacob wrestling with the angel), although he actually told the whole story of the births of Jacob and Esau, the confusion of their blessings, the selling of the birthright for a bowl of stew, the threat upon Jacob's life, the climbing of the ladder, his struggle and wounding in the process, his subsequent marriages to Leaa and Rachel, his return home, his encounter with Esau (what goes around comes around), then the unlikely reconciliation, and Jacob'[s comment, "to see your face is like seeing the face of God" (Genesis 33. 10).

A fine service. One of the Junaluska Singers also sang "Laudate Dominum", my favorite Mozart piece, and a delightful surprise in the midst of the service.

That evening we attended the closing of Folkmoot, which is North Carolina's international festival. There were musicans and dancers from Poland, Togo, Latvia, Indonesia, Cypress, France, and a few other countries. In a world that is pretty polarized in all kinds of ways, it is heartening to know that people are crossing geographical lines and enjoying and sharing their cultures.

A nice getaway, and now back into the flow of things. Altitude does affect attitude. I guess the profundity of the psychiatrist goes in the opposite direction. In the summer, if you are in a cooler environment, the following truths may be the result. "If you are anxious, you will become less anxious. If you are paranoid, you will become less paranoid. If you are angry, you will have a tendency to become less angry".

So, my advice:

Head for the mountains.
Read a good, long Bible story.
Have a slurpee.


Post a Comment

<< Home