September 27, 2005

stairwell accompaniment:Guster-Mona Lisa

Today I wore jeans and a sweater and flip flops. I sat outside the coffee shop with my feet up and books open in the wake of a passing train and the sunset and the crisp fall air I long for on the humid and frigid days alike. I sat and wondered how life possibly could feel more pleasing.

When I was in high school I used to use sidewalk chalk on my parents’ large driveway to study and leave traces of math equations, science sketches, anatomy diagrams and Spanish phrases for the rain to purge. Scraped knees, a chalk-covered bottom and colorful elbows were the result of one of the few ways I was able to keep my largely left-brain thoughts in order. Memorization through art. I am currently enrolled in two science-based nursing classes that will once again paint the cement of our entryway with splashes of powdery pastels and pharmacological vernacular. I am frustrated by my lack of comprehension and the necessity I’ve found to actually put forth effort to excel in school.

I have to remember that it is okay (and normal and right) to not feel up for it all sometimes. To let it down and not fulfill every role. Always thinking “this is it”.
I am here to be different to be full-grown and woman. Not a girl rattled with questions. But a woman ready to make new work and find new answers. I am a woman who has put on lipstick like the rest of them. I am a woman who puts on her future when she wakes up in His arms and decisions. I am a woman who wants to fall in love with her work the way men do.

And I love getting there as much as being there.

I am a woman who wants to make powerful art in the world. I am a woman who can feel so lonely at the most unexpected times and sometimes I can’t ask directly or tell you how upset I really feel and I hope I’ll grow out of it. I am a woman who sometimes forgets about poetry and reading in the shade. The beginnings of conversations to be continued. And I am seeing how we traipse about wondering how we can devise plans and theories on how to make life feel better, more safe and right, more beautiful and how all the while our life, this big and messy and rousing life, is waiting for us to step into, to dance to, to write about, to live.

and i wonder along with Lucy whether it is a thunderstorm or a kitten we are romping with.

Today I love:
cold hands and feet
down blankets
golden delicious apples
my puppy’s new collar
a clean room!
voice mails
white pumpkins
trail running
the Chronicles of Narnia
anticipation

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in bear country!

September 23, 2005

stairwell accompaniment:colin hay

oh and fall is here. it has arrived and alas my heart is stolen. fall has arrived. autumn has come and wonderous days of joy are to follow, to be sure!

“But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound like a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe the truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well–except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity. Part of what it means to be is to be you and not me, between us the sea that we can never entirely cross even when we would. ‘My brethren are wholly estranged from me,’ Job cries out. ‘I have become an alien in their eyes.’

“The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no man is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs above all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when ever friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than most of the time we dare to admit.

“Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done–not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speaks the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well.”

from “Pontifex,” Buechner

September 21, 2005

stairwell accompaniment:patti griffith

This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted. -C. S. Lewis

today i was sure! so wait for it…

September 13, 2005

my 50 to do this year:

1. start again
2. re-evaluate the mystical
3. dignify the nameless
4. drive northwest
5. unlearn identity
6. de-crutch universalism
7. make a way for moses
8. kick one rock the entire walk from the coffeeshop to my house
9. practice holding hands
10.sign up for the third time
11.clap for trains
12.go home
13.commune
14.photograph the tacit
15.welcome someone back to the states
16.collect and disperse inaudible sighs
17.kiss the sun
18.read to the wounded
19.wave
20.avoid millstones
21.agitate what was and make what is
22.be there
23.fall in love with the red letters
25.give up my seat
26.accept gratitude
27.admit my debt
28.peek out from behind metaphor
29.re-marinate my eyes
30.ask without self-interest
31.pursue the trivial
32.pray for promiscuous absolution
33.control the urge to charge
34.stay up real late
35.become far less easily pleased
36.make black cherry kool-aid
37.tell you my secret
38.dine with Pharisees
39.eat a roadside peach
40.take care
41.pursue him
42.work hard
43.study harder
44.light a sparkler
45.hopscotch
46.learn to ride a bike with no hands
47.share my dinners
48.drive through the night
49.make snow angels
50.be relentlessly optimistic

stairwell accompaniment:Guster-Mona Lisa

Board a plane to London, you say. And in all honesty, everything in me, every selfish, narcissistic, flight-risk-prone part of me screams in giddy shrills of agreement. We will meet there, in a train station perhaps. And in our best British accents we will take on the city as each undiscovered eccentricity of our personalities is exploited to the fullest. We will go native, Piccadilly will be our playground, sipping tea, conversation with the locals and we will be mysterious. More than an adventure, it would be a new beginning. A genesis of sorts. Forgetting all that plagues me here and now. But if London were the answer to all my deepest fears, this threshold I have found myself upon; if running away with you was the elucidation that would bring about this abundant life I so desire, how am I to work out my faith with fear and trembling?
I will not give way to fear. I do desire to go everywhere, so see everything, to feel it all to the margins–I desire to be pursued under the light of risk, courage and ruthless trust. But to want everything, in fact, is to want nothing! Must I specify?
I consistently find that I am a little girl in a summer dress walking along the pier toward some sort of end, be it water or air. And desire that he holds my hand.
Board a plane to London, you say. You will pay my way. You will pull me out of this heartache as you promise. And if my desire was in you, if you were my best friend, if my longing was for you, we would stand at the base of the Westminster and I would be overjoyed. (it is not so)
In truth, I don’t fear a flight over the ocean. I have crossed and back before. I fear that fear will rule through incertitude and it will all pass us by.
Unwaveringly, I will not give way to fear.

I have been rescued far too many times to allow worry to be draped around my neck any longer. It would weigh me down, it would push my eyes to the floor.