I hope that hand-made wreath graces your front door. Your first front door, where family and friends—who are are mostly family—will come through and sit around your table, propped on elbows and leaning closer to listen above the murmurs of the people you love all around you and above your favorite song humming behind the gathering—a subtle ballad to bliss. I hope that skillet makes not-so-perfect pumpkin pancakes on a late and rainy Saturday morning and that those pancakes are the beginning of an agendaless day. Oh sweet friend, you’re radiant and lovely and full of that thing that makes him love you.Read More »
I don’t know how to write a poem. This was going to be a poem, but I never ever understood poetry except for that it is beautiful. Instead, this is a story–or more like an excerpt of where I am. I am on my couch, in my living room which is a room inside of a loft inside of a big house off of a windy dirt road on the edge of town.Read More »
They always asked me if I was nervous. I said, “yes” every time because, well, wasn’t I supposed to be? All eyes would be on me. I would have to say words that made sense while people listened and watched. And “worst” of all, I was about to commit the rest of my breathing moments to existing with a single person.Read More »
I prayed for it. I honestly yearned for it, when I realized I’d taken the long way. And by long way I mean the wrong way, thus turning around to find the right way. I had all day, why panic? I resisted my heavy right foot and willed patience upon myself. Anxiousness has a funny way of creeping under your skin and making a little home for itself there. It keeps you up at night, mind pacing to and fro. Yet some how, it keeps you from waking in the morning, the lengthiness of it all too intimidating. Forget that. Who needs it, anyhow?Read More »
Words are hard to come by. In times like this it seems they hold too much weight to bare or not nearly enough to matter. I caught myself entranced by words standing in a grocery store check out line, only not in a good way. Headlines in all sorts of striking fonts and colors told of the latest scandals, mishaps and terrible disasters. One or two books in the corner hidden behind a rack of gum actually disclosed something good, something noteworthy.
I’ve read sex sells. Turns out drama does too. And our world is chok-full of it. Drama, that is. It’s far too easy to turn on the television and wind up in a spiraling state of impossibility. How could we possibly find a way out of it? Unfortunately, I watch more superhero movies than I do news, so I assume Captain America or the Green Arrow is coming to the rescue any minute. To my naive and childish dismay, that is sadly not the case. We’re all human, even the good guys. There’s no need to take a religious or political stance to realize the traumatic state of the world.
There is, however, a need to realize it’s always been this way. Before ISIS there was White Supremacy, before that there was Ecoterrorists (???!!??), and yep, before that there was Hitler. There will always be a successor to evil. This world will always be in a state of turmoil, it seems. For many, all we can do is stock our cupboards with cans of beans, invest in a good lockdown system and hope for the best. But that’s what happens when you let evil outweigh hope.
Words have a tendency to lean toward the frightening, the drunken, the disastrous. What would happen if we pushed them toward hope? Could hope ever outweigh evil? I’m positive I don’t know the answer to that. Oh, but I’m sure I need to try. I’ve decided that words are my route to whatever it means to finding my place in the world. I’ve never quite finished a sentence though. Whenever my pen makes contact with a page I panic, convinced I have nothing to say that will matter, or sound poetic, or compare to the talent around me. Yet after paying for my groceries, I now know how to finish my sentence.
There’s goodness to tell of, I know it. It only takes one California sunset to see that there is beauty beyond the rubble. Words, I’ve found, have power to pick up broken pieces and recreate majesty. There couldn’t be worse if we didn’t long for something better. I suppose that is what I want my words to tell. I want to share what is left of the lovely, and that there is, in fact, a good deal more of it than people seem to think.
It’s the simple things. Like a wandering outside during that magical moment right after sunlight and right before sunset. Like choosing love even when you’ve fallen out if it for a time. Like encountering creation and responding with nothing but awe. Like looking into the eyes of someone close and treasuring them for nothing other than who they simply are.
I’m not naive to the bad stuff. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it, I just don’t want to write about it. I think the pressure to write knowledgeably on it has kept me from writing. But I know I can write passionately about the good stuff. And I think we all could use a bit of good stuff. So, consider this a revamp. I need to write more and the world needs to hope more. Here lies my feeble attempt to connect the dots.
In my life, cynicism and criticalness is is easy. In fact, it’s my norm.. my go to. Thankfulness — now that’s a challenge. Believe it or not, that’s what yesterday was for. Shocker I know… dark meat or light meat is not the only thing that should be on your mind on Thanksgiving. Now I myself am not entirely sure how we got from pilgrims to turkey dinner and football in a matter of a few centuries… but none-the-less.. the day is (by it’s namesake) a day to give thanks. So here is what I’m thankful for on this holiday:
I’m thankful for my mother-in-law’s eagerness to please a household, for her kind and honest smile that says, “It’s not perfect, but it will do.” I’m thankful for rambunctious children and the shameless opportunity to dance and play alongside them. I’m thankful for my sister-in-law, that she proudly walks out of the door the same woman she walked in as. I am thankful for her confidence. I’m thankful for my grandparents-in-law, the way they smile adoringly at their family, the way they perfectly arrange the fruit basket year after year. I’m thankful for my little brother’s long hugs, for the grown-up air he’s suddenly gathered around him. I’m thankful for my mother’s charm, that she highlights even the dullest of moments. I’m thankful for my grandmother’s charisma, that she is instant friends with whoever she sits next to. I’m thankful for my aunt’s quiet desire to serve, for my uncle’s exploding kindness. I’m thankful for my sister’s inclusiveness, she always makes me feel at home. I’m thankful for my stepdad’s encouraging words, the way he’ll always share a good thought about another. I’m thankful for my grandfather’s smile, for his deep, compassionate heart. I’m thankful still for my husband’s impossibly constant grace.
Practicing thankfulness is painful where is it should be natural. My heart smiles when I force it into my hardened heart. Aha! New Year’s Resolution #1 has been conceived: to find thankfulness in everyday’s frustration, to see beyond annoyances and unfairness and to realize how stupid beautiful this life is.
Okay, doing this challenge thing on my own time… but doing it nevertheless! This assignment was to write of where we would be if we could transport anywhere. It is unintentionally short, but I decided I liked it that way. Enjoy.
It’s not so much that I would rather be there than here–there is nothing particularly wrong with here, it’s just that, whenever I think of what I wish or desire, I paint this moment:
I am standing at the crest of before and after. At the top of the isle I clutch my father’s arm, his coat crumples and wrinkles beneath my nervous grip. He whispers to me some expression of forever love and I inhale shaky sobs. I don’t answer, that would be too much right now, but I know he knows I love him too. I’m closing my eyes waiting for the guitar to pluck my cue when warm sunlight suddenly and relentlessly creeps underneath them. I open them at once, and find myself face to face with Him. Our open eyes are locked and steady. He is statuesque, white knuckled, and unmoving–all except for His quivering lip, His twitching smile, and His perfectly twinkling eyes. There’s my cue.