This & That

With a map in my hand, I can hardly tell what is to be discovered. The red lines point me in multiple directions concerning where it may be best I lay my head and during which season, so I lay it everywhere. Like having many pillows yet never enough blankets my depiction of home is comparable and fluctuates like the uneven ratio of such needs and wants. The deep cold in the middle of the night is really cold when you don’t have enough blankets, ya know?

My brother, he cannot wait to see me. My mother worries how I can afford to see my brother. But Tennessee beckons because I’m pressuring it to. Wherever I am called, I found I will surely follow. Cuz here I am, You. And though I follow, I wonder of the things, from time to time that I have left.  But that’s kind of achy and uneven so I go to bed often with the prayer that things will be well. That they are well. That Tennessee has good Fall weather. And that I’ll one day have enough blankets.

I woke up today in the state of hardly knowing what is to be discovered. Again. What has discovered me may be a better indicator of what it must feel like to get a good night’s sleep in living your life to the fullest, form. Among the population of my friends, family and simply neighbors in my neighborhood, there is a reflection I’m not too mad about. A reflection that is simple blessings. Simplicity like a neighborhood that nests common and odd folk, who gladly retreat from their homes to roam their greenish grasses on sunny and even wretched, hot days. Their greenish grasses have got me  thinking lately about the idea of greener grasses and if I am to forge a field or try and be faithful to the stuff underneath my feet presently. Good things can come from both. And good things have come from much less. And they all seem happy. So I probably should follow.

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Now That I Am Older

  • Excitement is 8 hrs of sleep.
  • Sadness is sly.
  • Goodness is difficult though richer and bravery, uncomfortable.
  • Dating is the opposite of whimsical.
  • Loss is a landmark.
  • Marriage though fancied, seems further away.
  • Love is abstract.
  • Relationships are complex. Friendships, definitely included.
  • Travel is the fresh breath of air.
  • Babies are a less foreign concept.
  • Mustaches are less creepy—nay, are attractive.
  • Protein is essential.
  • Trans-fats are strayed from.
  • Risk is risky.
  • A nice walk is a must.
  • Los Angeles is less scary.
  • New York is less dreamy.
  • Cooking is therapy and extravagant.
  • Education is missed.
  • Embarrassment is rare.
  • Loneliness is intentional.
  • Solitude is necessary.
  • A 30 yr. old isn’t old at all.
  • Dependence is anchored by few. Secrets are shared with fewer.
  • Money is both fuel and futile.
  • Savings accounts are a luxury.
  • Dreams are more doable and dreams are less dreamy.
  • Beer or a glass of wine does a body good. Every night.
  • Stretching is crucial.
  • Religion is less authoritative.
  • Spirituality is fundamental.
  • Expectations are both wide and deep.
  • There are never enough bullet points.

Thankful

I’m thankful for the rarity but reality of an 8 hour deep sleep. I’m thankful for rest that is adamant. I’m thankful for the sound of the planes in the middle of the day, afternoon and night and even when I’m in my backyard reading—and reading itself, for it uncovers longing, familiarity and adventure. I admit though, the sound of the planes competes with your voices/texts/tweets and for that I am also thankful for. I am thankful for refreshing new company, renewed old company and the blood and heart both have seem to interwoven in my spirit that creates a sigh of uninterrupted joy.

I’m thankful for childhood albums and before and after photos. My have we’ve grown a lot all the while not very much at all. And my have we’ve also perhaps grown apart. But I’m thankful for lingering hugs and elongated sentences when we do correspond. I’m thankful for letters written and received, conversations with coffee-colored steam or just a short walk by what now has been my frontyard’s subtle sea. I’m thankful for invitations to dinner parties, gatherings and wedding celebrations and long tables and lit lamps outdoors that spur community, creativity and the occasional cocktail or three.

I’m thankful for surviving not just trials and tragedy, but other people. I’m thankful for relationships. Close and distant, near or far, and one still to be discovered–how it still challenges the heart with the same mystery. I’m thankful for feeling and curiosity. I’m thankful for healing and for warm and prayerful hands who have led me away from a cold spirit (the kind that is deathly). I’m thankful for honesty that soothes and hurt that sharpens, how interchangeable they can be and how changeable I myself can be. I’m thankful for change. The kind  in my heart and even in my pockets.

I’m thankful for the overall steadiness of an acknowledged blessed life filled with family, friends, faith and even food. Yes food. I’m thankful for family who pays for expensive face cream, friends who make you blended smoothies and faith that endows me with grace-laced perspective. And I am thankful that the simplicities that uproot all intricacies are not faced by myself and only me. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who goes on behalf of me when I fail, when I flee and when I’m fed up. Thankful to be led by unrelenting power, amidst undeniable life circumstances alongside thankful’s creator Himself, Jesus Christ.

Look at the what the light did

I like the way the light hits through the window when it’s 3 pm. It’s anxious I can tell to reach my face, but I hide under stacks of to-dos that have nothing to do with being responsible, but rather, responsive. I keep x-ing boxes of inquiries because I don’t think I am called to coordinate unorganized people or walk your dog, but  I am called to organize the coordination of prayer, talent and the timing that is my person. It’s hard to tell what timing is when I hide under stacks, but I guess 3 o clock is a good indicator that there isn’t much time left so maybe I should stop eye-flirting with my fellow coffee shop dweller and start flirting with the submission of resumes and creation of cover letters.

But then again, maybe not, because time, when measured well is abundant.

If I could live off my declaration of independence from ever having a 9 to 5 I would be a happy woman. Maybe happy isn’t the right word, but I’d for sure be the woman I think I’m meant (hate that word) to be. I would also just be happier if all the Bloody Marys I consumed were free. But my vices advise me to drink and be merry and to get to know the people around me and to invest wholly and honestly. So I have, will and am learning how to continue that specific calling and also afford a crown for my tooth*.

Yet still there is a tension in my bones of late.  Thankfully it is quickly remedied with the fact Jesus is faithful and that my thankfulness is thankfully not as fickle as I am. Because as I live, and breath and sip this espresso, I’m completely at a lost for words why I get to sit here and shout my dreams while landing safely in a home built upon peace, hope and immense love. I also have come to grips (while we’re getting personal) with that fact this has become my one and only diary, so please lock it back up after you eavesdrop this solo coffee date I’m having.

I hope a lot of things, but I’m hopeful about much more. And today as I catch the light retracting from it’s attempts to reach me, I all of a sudden am vying for it’s attention hoping for a tomorrow filled with more grace and patience. And though it feels like the light is well out of my reach, I know Faithfulness will bring me an opportunity to hid or show my face. So I’m challenged to be honest with the expressions I display–even if it communicates I want to hide. Because things are so good. And goodness should be displayed and expressed. Like how the light shines through the window this time of day. And this reminder is for solely me, though meant for us both.

*Previous post shall explain my dental reference.

To You It May Concern,

I’ve had the pleasure to know you, to hear your heart, to feel your lows and to celebrate your highs. And this came blatantly to tangible fruition recently as I entered the next chapter of my life in celebration with you beside me. Whether by presence, by words, by prayer or simply by that one conversation we had in that one enclosed space for what felt like at least the afternoon, you are my concern and I’m thankful for you.

Your friendship has been a goodness that I’m learning that gives me courage to unclench my fist around the things I thought I was protecting my whole life. Around the things I didn’t trust anyone with, until you showed me that heavy hands are not meant to be in bondage nor that freakin’ heavy.

You are wiser than me in ways I lack and I more than you in yours, and the wisdom that intertwines our dialogues have woven in me bridges of humility, challenge, and well, a lot of lofty and powerful metaphors concerning the intricacies of my insides all to reach the heart of my heart that have essentially healed me with freedom to. just. be.

And that has been the kind of heavy I’m learning to cling toward. The weight that does not drag but drives.

So thank you for the space you create with your affirming head nods, your discreet you know better than this look in your eyes, your insistent posture of honesty and anti-bullshit, your vulnerability that sharpens my own vulnerability and simply your friendship and love that pours into my life at the speed of what feels divinely guided and grandiose.

To you, this may concern.

 

/t

The F Word

Fear has been known to some to be the heart of love, but for me, it has been the heart of decision-making.

A quote recently humoured me while also provoking me to take into account it’s very true sentiment:

To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.

During this crucially mysterious season of life, I am corraled into this thought. I am blatantly guilty of being swung and sired into the thought that fear has precedence over me, while my faith is simply unavailable for the taking.  I am so dizzy. And my decisions are hesitant to declare itself final for they are fickle, all because of fear.

Often, I look for lofty and pretty quotes to help keep my stress, worry and fear away since I easily let worry lead my fear instead of allowing Prayer to be the keeper of my being. So often that it’s gotten to a point where I know when my prayers are rushed and inauthentic, and it’s a dark moment. But this dark moment is to be had, to be experienced all to realize the importance of recognizing it and countering it with authenticity, with light. Patience is important too, because hurry definitely kills prayer and consequently revives worry.

Since fear and worry are BFFS, they can be very strong. They know each other well and they are unstoppable when paired together. They stay up late and rest is seldom to be had. And I am in the presence of this harmful bond and know I need to extract myself from such environment.

For I desperately need rest, to gain stability and a clear mind. And so  these ever faithful questions arise:

What do I fear?

&

Can God conquer that fear?

When it comes to my responses, the former has countless answers effected by countless variables while the latter remains the same. I am in awe at the cycle I partake in when it comes to this.

Fear, worry, pray, rejoice. Fear, worry, pray, rejoice. Fear, worry, pray, rejoice.

How I long to just pray and rejoice. I despise to be that kind of believer who declares one thing and lives out another–expectedly…routinely even! Yet a greater awe lies in my Helper, my Maker. For my dizziness is relieved by His stillness, my hurry by His calm, and my flawed cycle by His perfect plan.

All the while a new fear is unearthed…

What do I fear? That I will forget the above.

Can God conquer that fear? A resounding YES. 

To believe in God is one thing, but to trust that God will protect, direct and provide for you is another.

So may we be people, who are unswingable.

The Best & Worst Question

How’s Writing Going? 

It’s almost gotten to a point where I’d almost even prefer “did you work out today?” or “are you dating anyone yet?”

But lezbehonest, I don’t.  Unlike my answers to latter two though, the former takes a more careful and craftier response. It’s hard to tell someone how the passion of your life is going as opposed to your very simple dating life–or lack thereof.

NO, I’m not dating anyone.

Easy.

But when prosed with the writing Q, my mouth stutters and my eyes panic.

Writing is going….I’m waiting for some stuff to be publi—I started a series for an online magazine no one has heard of—I’m in the works with a friend to launch a blog—do you read children’s books because—

NOT SO EASY.

It’s difficult because I think a lot of my identity  rests on writing. Actually, on my writing. Like any art, it’s hard to cultivate a passion/talent/trade in a light that looks successful or worthy to be doing in the first place when it’s not say being played on the radio, on the NY Times Must-Reads or in a gallery somewhere in Brooklyn. Then again, I suppose that’s entirely subjective, but sometimes I wish there was something more tangible than clicking “publish” or “post” to help confirm I’m doing things–that I’m moving forward.

I often find myself dependent on the works I manage to finish. Because if writing is not going well, I usually am not so well and  so I am not a success. And since that thinking is unfair, my definition of such a word has had to change (especially  since I decided to step into such a lifestyle). It has transformed and is working it’s way to where it’s to be less a kin to the gold factor and worldly kind, but more responsible for carrying and acknowledging the weight of the power of word and blessing of gift. And when “success” becomes that, I am easily less discontent with my work, because though failure becomes somehow easier to recognize, it’s also easier to restore and or restart.

This is a passionate meets pitiful road I tred adamantly on, despite. it. all.  No other profession could embody such traits more complimentary to me than writing.

I’m obscure, I’m introverted, I’m fickle, I’m random, I’m lofty, I’m emotional, I’m conundrumous and I’m ebb and I’m flow.

I’ve accepted I am meant to live in the tension that I think must be called creativity.  I write because if I don’t, I go crazy. Though when I do, I also go crazy, but that type of crazy turns into like a cool and acceptable chaos that somehow detangles the already present ones in my head, heart and fingertips.

And though at times I feel like the most foolish person to want to partake in this craft as a forever endeavor,  a wise and mentoring voice soothes this catered ache within me:

Writing is like a ‘lust,’ or like ‘scratching when you itch.’ Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I for one must get it out.” (C.S.)

So this is me getting it out, my Russian nesting doll version of writing–writing on writing on writing and why I write. And hopefully also, these 545 words may suffice the next time someone asks me, “how’s writing going?”.

Blessed are my eyes, though weak and old and one of a kind–and terrible at flirting.

You know what a wretch is?

I’m a wretch. Carefully crafted in piles of forgiveness, restoration and renewal.

My hands are dry after embarking on this grapefruit and cramp often too. I write a lot these days, it does nobody good. But it is good (the act of not necessarily the content)! My nail polish chips as I tap out some hopefully decent words to produce some fruitful responses. Did I mention they are sparkly silver? A woman I am.

My eyes are my mother’s. Older, weaker and one of a kind. I’ve seen a lot with these and only hope to see more. But lately I’ve seen a skinny bearded man fall in love, best friends packing up their life away from mine and a lot of bills and thrills in the form of paper and dapper gentlemen. These stress and mess with me. Blessed are my eyes, though weak and old and one of a kind–and terrible at flirting.

My soul is whole though continual pokes and prodding from onlookers and outsiders and outlaws of Easybreezyville are adamant. Soul is stronger than life, so this bodes well considering a year filled with uneven ratios of mishaps and missing/wanting/needing/disliking people, things, circumstances. Soul is whole. Period. I guess. YES.     .

My mouth is chapped from the Santa Anas (oh and that damn grapefruit). It’s also a lifesaver in the line of defense when encountering my foes (doubt, hunger, mundane living and the flu…)–whether in writing, speaking, singing or tasting. My mouth is also really small which is for some reason disheartening and makes me feel odd. Like an outsider.

My love is still deep, pure and lovely. My love is for the Father, love for Jesus, love for bffs, love for family, love for a good cup of coffee, love for a brilliant sentence, love for a delicious lamb shank pie, love for a glass of wine, love for many things yet still not for one tall, dark and handsome one. (Perhaps my luck will change if I grow a beard and get skinny).

All in all, sometimes I wish I could fly and yet sometimes the sky is frightening. So it turns into a dream of floating rather than flying. Depending how brave I feel in that moment. A human I am.

I am many things. And am all these things but paired with prayer. Which makes me prayer itself. A prayer faced daily with the interchangeable definitions of what good and bad are to me. And carried thus victoriously by the words that turn me into a bravery that says yes again and again to what I easily forget: forgiveness, restoration and renewal upon my house. And for my eyes, soul, heart and love.

I am made new and well by the impeccably steadfast truth of what prayer does from the mouth of wretch, of a woman, of a human.

 

A list of things I should remember

Tomorrow is a new day.

I produce carbon dioxide.

Less anti-bacterial soap is more.

A tattoo is a big deal.

Crying is good–like the best.

Everything in it’s time.

A closed door can be opened.

What was once locked can be unlocked.

Returning a phone call will show you care.

Eye contact is crucial.

You can’t take back text messages.

Prayer is power and praise.

Do. not. slouch.

Debt can be embodied responsibly as much as it can be irresponsibly.

Kindness is key.

24 is not old, nor is 25. And so on and so forth.

Salt water stings.

Sleeping late means unrest.

Exercise is 9 x out of 10 better than coffee.

Fear is an enemy and friend.

Keep that handshake firm.

Winter goes but also comes back.

Give time, time.

Patience is never perfected.

I am loved.

A figure.

There is a four door, dark brown sedan I often refer to as Home. I call shotgun because you are the driver. Our destination is simply there away from here. What’s your favorite snack? I’ll pack it and most likely feed it to you as you make left turns. Those are tricky—and so is tracing the whereabouts of Runts. People hate the banana ones, but you are not regular people so I can honestly declare I love you.

Ahead we can see the sun, behind us the moon. It’s been about 16 hours or perhaps just a few moments. Time is irrelevant, as our landscape seems to never change. My peripherals numb to anything but your silhouette. Around us, I assume are breathtaking fields of lilies and auburn hills—since it’s what our neighbors once described the road to there to look like, some time ago.

The air conditioner is broken so you crack the window to a height that does not blur my vision but enough to cool my forehead. It feels like the breeze is pushing us along with it’s weight as we carelessly sit back and fall into the idiom that is giving up all control to the wind. We sway towards one another for nature tells us to, her command we praise. I can feel the concrete’s pathway underneath my feet, so jagged I slip up my legs on the dashboard because I decide I want us to be captured in a moment that favors a photo. I take the picture with my mind, my eyelids shut, and I keep them closed.

The radio mimics the functionality of the air conditioner, so you start humming because you cannot sing though I loved to listen. I like the silence, but I only like when I’m alone. You hum as my eyes stay closed. I see flashes of red and gold as they retreat when we glide pass thick trees. The melody you hum is reminiscent to a tree. Tall and strong and gives shade to a tired girl.

Suddenly the moon is ahead of us, and you’re still tall and strong and I’m beyond the deepest definition of exhaustion. Your deliberate aim to get us there makes you handsome and I succumb to your charming yet fiery protection and what is to become of you when you realize my hopes can surely become your reality.

The sky stares down at a four-door, brown sedan, reminiscent of home. A home that moves swiftly between the hills and beside the trees. Mom keeps calling, but we respond with a text saying “we’re just fine and we’ll see you soon.” So swift, everything turns into blur; everything except now two silhouettes. One real and the other her imagination.