Friday, January 29, 2016

I Saw The Sign

I have a tendency to gravitate to the idea that coincidences do not exist. When like things are coming at you, there is a message. Like 2 weeks ago at church when Dinah's story came up. I unearthed an old copy of The Harlot By the Side of the Road and Other Forbidden Tales of the Bible. It opened my eyes again to the magic and amazing storytelling within the pages on this ancient text. Then, Dinah's name kept appearing and through a strange set of circumstances, I stumbled upon The Red Tent The Miniseries. 

I was convinced Dinah was speaking to me from the grave with a massively important message. I got through the movie in about 3 days and the words hit me deep, cutting my heart in pieces and bleeding. Words need to be said, I need to stop asking why and lay this burden of bitterness at the feet of redemption.

I've seen this sign before, read the scriptures, but this time it was clear and unmistakable. The path was light up bright and I still just stand here paralyzed.

Then another message...

Our bedroom area has a bit of an electrical short. Every so often, I plug in the vacuum and boom! darkness. The mister has to go flip a breaker switch and we're back in the light. It's been happening more and more these days. Yesterday when it shorted, it took out some lights in the master bath. Not just any lights, the bulbs on my side of the vanity. I heard them speaking to me again. My fear of rejection is dimming the lights on our marriage. I stand still, frozen in time, unmovable, my pride taking center stage unable to let go and forgive.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Go Set a Watchman

BOOK REVIEW: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee



Good parts of the book:

"She sat up. 'I don't know if I can tell you, honey. When you live in New York, you often have the feeling that New York's not the world. I mean this: every time I come home, I feel like I'm coming back to the world, and when I leave Maycomb, it's like leaving the world.'"

"Blind, that's what I am. I never opened my eyes. I never thought to look into people's hearts, I looked only in their faces. Stone blind... Mr. Stone. Mr. Stone set a watchman in church yesterday. He should have provided me with one."

"It had never fully occurred to Jean Louise that she was a girl: her life had been one of reckless, pummeling activity; fighting, football, climbing, keeping up with Jem, and besting anyone her own age in any contest requiring physical prowess."

"She did not stand alone, but what stood behind her, the most potent moral force, was the love of her father."

"She felt that time had stopped and she was inside a not unpleasant vacuum. There was no land around, and no beings, but there was an aura of vague friendliness in this indifferent place. I'm getting high, she thought."

It's taken me quite awhile to recover from this book.
It's that moment when you realize Santa isn't real
You grow up
You learn the roads in life are rough
Not everything is as it seems
Too many grey areas
Too many unknown variables
A math problem that goes on an on

I can't say anymore. It hurts too much.




Monday, January 11, 2016

It’s coming for me


It’s coming for me.

I can feel it. The anxiety is kicking in. There’s a disturbance out in the seas of my stomach. It’s ready to wage war on my heart, my body, and it wants to take my mind captive. This is the time of year I can’t escape the grips of the black hole. Numbness takes over. Apathy is a constant. Time ceases to exist. My eyes cannot capture light. Welcome to my hell.

The only thing to do is to weather this storm and try and hold on for dear life. I try to remember: this does end.

My childhood home was a built on a pile of ashes. The spirit of anger, bitterness, and rage rose up to destroy everything. My mother hated me for being born. She must have had other dreams for her life. She detested that I bared the image of my father. She couldn’t stand his affection for me. She lived in the midst of jealousy and rejection. I was never accepted. I never could belong… anywhere. I didn’t know how. I was easy prey to anyone in the world. Anyone who showed me affection became my obsession. Any substance that made me feel good became a way of life.

I found life in these words I write. I found meaning in literature. I saw stars align in physics class. I had a gift no one else did. I could put things together, solve difficult problems, make equations balance.

I found my way out, the path I could carve myself with my hands and feet.

But she wouldn’t let me go. Oh no. Her words seared and branded my soul:

“You’re ugly.”

“I hate you.”

“I wish you were never born!”

In an effort to end it all, I tried to take my life at 17. Thanks to my father, I was unsuccessful. He finally showed up. He finally let me know that I mattered. He finally protected me from her mental illness.

It was much too late. The damage was irreparable.

The minute I left my house, I searched this earth looking for a home, a place of refuge, somewhere to belong. I still wander in this black hole seeking forms of light as these walls close in on me.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali




Today is one day when I truly miss my family, my roots, my culture, my heritage.
I've run far, I've run long and I realize I can't go back.
I am the original prodigal son.

Don't get me wrong... I am grateful for my life, my faith.
I just miss the majestic beauty of the rituals.
The lights
The new year celebrations
Cleaning like crazy
Cooking up a feast
Sharing with friends, neighbors, even those who have wronged you in the past.
It's a day of forgiveness, of joy and reconciliation.

I celebrate in my heart.. with a bit of pain.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On Marriage, part deux


This story is changing. Curtains opening to Act 2. Drama unfolding. Uncertainty remains. Bone crushing responsibilities weigh on our shoulders.

As we weather a wintry brutal season in our marriage, we should bolster each other and hold on until the smoke clears. But we don’t. We move onto divergent paths. He’s steady, strong, undeniable in who he is. I never thought I’d question my faith. I’ve always believed in goodness, mercy, love. I’ve believed in love most of all; that the heart can expand… enlarge amidst crushing defeat.


These days, I take a minute to refresh, to breathe, and meditate. I focus on the good… no... the GREAT things: more than ten years ago, we danced in the moonlight, fireworks exploded when we kissed, lightning struck when we touched, love changed everything. These days, he doesn’t write me love letters anymore or stop everything to kiss me in the middle of a busy day. He does much more than that. He lays down his life. It’s in the ordinary moments weaved together into the testimony of a most honorable man who comes home to his family every single night and overlooks the mess and chaos.

He battles alongside me again and again, holds my hand, and stands behind me as I fail yet again to battle my demons. When I’ve deserted the troops and go AWOL, he finds me and helps me fight my way back. 

I walk in my father’s shoes now, down the same roads he’s traveled. I finally understand the whys. I am humbled by my father’s sacrifices and as I lay down my bitterness and finally forgive, walls crumble. 

I find my heart. Glory, Hallelujah. 

Ahh, so THAT’S what love feels like. 


The dust settles and Steve is behind the mist, holding it all together. He lays down his life, his heart. There are no trumpets and a parade to welcome me home. There’s just bone deep, remarkable love that walks the ordinary, normal, mediocre, daily doldrum. Sometimes it’s one step, one climb, one limp, one leap forward.

It’s one more Kid Cuisine, one more modge podge project, one more story, one more swim lesson, one more band aid, one more spill to clean up, one more kiss before bed, one more night where we commit to do better tomorrow.

This love in action.


This IS happily ever after. Our story evolves, some days can be rough but it’s still OUR story. This is when it counts. This is when love shows up. 




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On Marriage

It’s no secret: marriage is hard. Sharing air, space, a bed, a life with someone else is not happily ever after.

Last May we celebrated our 11 year anniversary. These last couple years have been rough. We have stopped seeing the best in each other. Time passes. There are so many conflicts, hurts, wounds, misunderstandings, and distance. We force our lines, smile pretty for the pictures. We’ve both wanted to quit more times than we care to admit. 

The road to reconciliation is not paved. It’s filled with thistles, thorns, overgrowth… a wasteland of obstacles; weeds of unforgiveness, selfishness and silence. We need armor and supernatural weapons to wade through.

Love has gotten lost amongst the dirty dishes, remembering to set the coffee maker, a ridiculous amount of laundry, medical crises, an overwhelming stack of bills, things that need to be fixed around the house, a baby that doesn’t want to sleep, and anxiety about our future.

We used to know how to do this. We used to pray for each other and laugh at the days to come. We used to think we were invincible. We used to think nothing could stop us. We had passion; we were driven against all odds. We have forgotten who we are without all these strings of obligations and roles.

This rift, this chasm between us- I’m still trying to figure out if we can fix it. Our hands are broken. Our feet have failed us yet again, and hope… hope has disappeared. Our trust has been severed.

A crisis of faith is tearing us apart.

They tell us to use the weapon of gratefulness. There are numerous things to be thankful for: our son who is happy and makes us whole: he is our light amidst these dark days. Our home which shelters us from so many storms - provides refuge, peace. Our family who shows us that love shows up in person, no matter what; they help us laugh at ourselves and carry us through tough times by praying for us, fixing a leak, troubleshooting computers, helping us unpack into our new home, planning the kids’ birthday parties, and making the pecan pie that is out of this world!

Love is actions. Love is Steve catching the fact that I left boiling water on the stove and got lost in another project. He makes the rest of lunch for me. He sees me in the garden, and brings me a bag for all the weeds I toss to and fro. He comes home with another bottle of my favorite wine since I ran out last night. He cleans the car seat after Drew has thrown up everywhere. He finds me the Sonicare toothbrush I wanted for Christmas. He comes looking for me on my walk around the neighborhood after my phone went dead. Steve gets up every morning, gets Drew ready for school, starts my car even on the coldest of mornings, and loads up Drew’s book bag and essentials for school despite the fact that he’s in excruciating pain and would much rather lay in bed and not face the day.

Ministry and missions is not always about serving the needs afar. More often than not, the poor, the destitute, the broken are under our own roof bleeding uncontrollably by our own hands as we do the mad dash out the door.

Sometimes, the one bleeding uncontrollably is you.

So here’s the plan: we continue going forward… whether we’re walking or crawling, arming ourselves with the shield of gratefulness and the weapon of actions. We continue to have hope for tomorrow. We ask for prayers and courage for the dark days. We laugh more. We build each other up with love, encouragement and try not to take everything so seriously. Above all, we stretch out our hands in friendship and kindness. These are the things we have missed most in the last couple years.




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Reflections from Happy Hour

I do my best to explain to them the joys of parenthood:

You may think you understand love, but you have no idea how exquisite it is to have your heart open up when your baby smiles at you. 

The days are long, the nights are longer, but the years fly by. 

The most beautiful clothes and finest jewelry are worthless as you walk through the door and those tiny feet sprint down the hall as their laugh and joy tackle you to the ground. 

The adventure is worth every sacrifice. 

My son has given my life such meaning, such significance. 

I cease to remember what this life was before his beautiful face. 

The truth is, we're not here to guide them; They're the teachers. 
If we step back, listen, let them lead, we catch glimpses of heaven. 

Those small still moments are worth.... everything. 

They smile, nod their head politely, take another swig of their overpriced mixed drink.

We move on to another topic...

I gaze around the room, misty eyed. By the time I get home my little man will be in bed.

Ahh, but when he wakes up, I'll be the only hug he runs for. I'm the favorite ice cream. I'm the superhero, I'm the most amazing, the smartest, the best...My kisses have healing magic, I'm the best friend... for right now anyways.

I dare not miss it.




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Alignment


I can tell things are going in the right direction:

My mind is open, writing is more frequent.

I sing at all hours, there's all of a sudden room to dance.

Dear Book Out There in the Cosmos: 

My hands are ready to create. This world needs your story. I'm ready to finally write it. I will welcome you with open arms. 

Dear Muses: 

The table's been set, the candles are lit, the wine is chilled. I will make you a lovely feast fit for kings and queens. It's a safe place now. 







Friday, April 24, 2015

Awakening

Ahh.. breath. breathing. heart quickening.

Taking some time to refresh, browse, letting my soul fill. 

Here are the things taking up space in my brain:

"Fire Meet Gasoline" from the album 1000 FORMS OF FEAR by Sia, directed by Francesco Carrozzini

This video came up on my one of the websites I peruse daily: Nowness. I get my daily fill of art, music, film, dance, and some eclectic pieces I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise.   

This video is.. all kinds of interesting.  Fire seems to be the theme weaving through my days.





Listening to Fifty Shades of Grey movie soundtrack. 

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Nope, haven't seen the movie yet. I'm waiting till all three come out and then... THEN!

Favorite songs:

I Put A Spell on You, Annie Lennox. 
Ms. Lennox -  still got it! WOW!

Easy fun song to dance to... sway, and daydream.



I'm On Fire, AWOLNATION
Now, I love... LOVE me some Bruce Springsteen, and no one else can execute this song quite like him.

That is all.




Witchcraft, Frank Sinatra
This just makes me smile... for no apparent reason. It always has.


And.. I owe all this awakening to PIYO!


Into week 1 of 8 and loving it!

Today is a rest day and I feel GREAT! Clothes are fitting better, All of a sudden, I'm loving my pictures and feeling more comfortable in my skin. Easily finding my rhythm again and movement is becoming something I crave.

I feel so awesome; all it took was making some time for exercise, committing to it,  and getting some glorious, amazing sleep from diffusing lavender oil at night.

Oh I love my oils. Thieves is my crack, Panaway is my cocaine. Lavender... lavender is water. I can't be without it.

... to be continued ...








Friday, April 10, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Living in the Land of Limbo

Living in the Land of Limbo: Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving

This anthology was like a big hug from a friend you haven't seen in forever. 

The stories, made me laugh, nod my head and cry at some emotionally harrowing pieces. 

We get a small glimpse through each lens of caring. 

The stories and poetry are so well written, so beautiful.

I could probably write one of these stories myself.  

I remembered looking at the back of the book and seeing the list of great authors included in this compilation. I imagined my name being in the middle of them all and my heart skipped a beat! 


My favorite quotes: 

"He had imagined she could be different if she wanted to. Which had angered him. Which was not, was almost never, the truth about things."  

"In a way, the bad nights were easier. The good nights made her remember. The good nights disarmed her."

"How can it be described? How can any of it be described? The trip and the story of the trip are always two different things. The narrator is the one who has stayed home... All that unsayable life! That's where the narrator comes in. "

"Valerie is saint, but her voice is the standard hospital saint voice: an infuriating, pharmaceutical calm. It says, Everything is normal here. Death is normal. Pain is normal. Nothing is abnormal. So there is nothing to get excited about."

"No one but Evelyn knew anymore what Lily used to be. No one else knew the record and the history of her brilliant life - all her accomplishments, playing the piano and swimming, all her days. They lasted only in Evelyn's memory."

"...the members of our family had few friends outside of each other, and their relationships with each other were often destructive. It was a family of controlling women and passive men. The women consumed their sons and alienated their daughters. It wasn't that they didn't love us. It was only that love was encased in a kernel of warped emotions. The result was a family afflicted with astigmatism of the mind's eye, which perceived a world of distorted images. This was the world of our childhood."