Think Global, Sit Local

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This is my office. I think you’d like it. My office in Indianapolis isn’t a lot like me, but this one in Baltimore is. It’s upstairs, right between our bedroom and the TV/exercise room. One wall is dominated by a world map that Yvonne framed for me. The landmasses are outlined in blue and it has a fuzzy, antique style to it. The opposite wall has two paintings of a trilogy that Yvonne is painting for me. One is an Easter Island Moai, the second is of the Taj Mahal, the third will be another remembrance from our round-the-world trip of 2008. My didgeridoo stands in the corner, my guitar hangs on the wall. A self-portrait by Rembrandt stares at me over the file cabinets (I don’t think it’s original, I bought it at the museum shop of the Rijksmuseum).

We painted this office a year ago, so it’s all fresh and free of cracks. I added crown molding and that dresses it up nicely.

I built a second bookshelf sometime last year, using some oak from an old church pew. On top of the bookshelf there’s a plate from Nazareth, a duck from somewhere, a Mapuche bread-kneading trough, and an Argentine gaucho painted on wood. Right under the gaucho, on the top shelf, is a weird little doll of John Wesley. Yes, a doll that looks like John Wesley. At least that’s what they told me when they gave it to me. He has a pink face, a black gown and a cheery grin. I’m guessing he didn’t grin as much in real life. But it’s friendly of him to stare at me like that, even if it is a stitched-on vacuous grin.

Perched on top of my guitar amp is another doll, uh…action figure, I mean. This one is Iron Man (red and yellow suit). Somebody gave it to me at general conference. I kind of like him sitting there. On my desk sits a globe right in a stack of papers that come up to Antarctica. That’s how I measure how behind I am in my work. If the papers get to Indonesia then I know I’m too far behind.

On the file cabinets sit a kena and a recorder, both flute-like instruments; the kena is from the Andes Mountains.

The two overstuffed chairs we bought used in Chile and had them covered in leather. They sit proudly, but nobody but me ever sits in them. I like to have devotions in the one because there’s good light from the table lamp.

I have three printers in my office, I don’t know why. They just seem to collect themselves and I can’t bear to throw them out.

I have two computers; one is an 8-year old desktop that I just use as a printer server. The other is my new Apple laptop. I don’t like the Apple’ “image,” but so far the machine is working well. The Apple image has seemed arrogant and demeaning to PC users, at least that’s the way their TV commercials have been. I’m not into condescension.

So here I sit and think. Mainly about how to take over the globe that sits on my desk and the map that hangs on the wall. Not “take them over” in the megalomaniacal sense. But like, “take them over…” to a better place. My office reminds me, it won’t let me forget Chile and Argentina and China and Easter Island and India…and Wesley and Iron Man and there’s a heater to warm my toes when it’s too cold. This is my office. This is where I think.