Wednesday, February 23, 2005

pink hammers and slime covered snails

my sister said to me she saw a snail who was saying,
i want to go faster! i want to go faster!

it summed up my life. i want what i am incapable of having. i long for what cannot fill my aching need. i simply want. but it's not that simple, is it?

upon spying a friend's pink tool kit one night, i mentioned how i had always wanted a pink tool kit since i was young. more musing on the fact that i like anything pink. she produced said tool kit and handed it over. i was humbled and grateful.

i broke the head off that same pink hammer yesterday in my garden.

i've never decapitated a hammer before. i was quite surprised actually. i've been too genteel for that i guess. until now. i've learned a few things about pink hammers.

they don't get the hard work done. they are lighter and nice to look at but that is about it. i have friends like that and i don't waste too much time on them either.

i need something sturdy. something equal to the hard labor of these days of preparing the garden.

soon, twelve budding gardeners will be upon my lot looking to till, sweat and sow anything their little hands can find to sow. for them there are no tears with the sowing, right now it is all about the fun. getting out in the sunshine and digging. getting dirty and for good reason, digging and digging.

no, pink hammers will not do.

so i heave my husband's heavy, unattractive, manly hammer through the air. my muscles ache from the strain. but i press on.

lifting boards, many boards and denailing them, my once junkyard, is becoming presentable. the falcon which sat on my neighbor's fence, then my fence looked pleased. the crow kawing in the creek beyond resounds with delight.

the birds are pleased, i muse and press on.

i keep struggling against nails bent on nailing something. then my beloved hands me a pry bar. a heavier, uglier tool. i've learned to respect leverage. the heavy pry bar lifts four inch nails as if it were plucking mushrooms.

if only i were stronger and better able to handle the weight of the tools of my labor. again, the story of my life.

beneath the boards i am liberating from their resting place are many slugs and snails. i keep hearing,
i want to go faster! i want to go faster!

and it occured to me, if i were a snail i would leave a slime covered trail no matter how much i detested it. so as i creep slowly, miserably through my inexplicable life, i think of that snail and try to recapture the pace of my design.

i do want to go faster, but God is in the slowness of this season. He is in the difficult dark nights, the sowing with tears, the silence of it all. i have learned only this, i will go at today's pace and try to see some beauty in the iridescent trail of slime behind me.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

book review published

slow starter, but ends well. i would choose epic over this one though:

To Be Told : Know Your Story, Shape Your Future by Dan B. Allender

Monday, February 14, 2005

young toughs

comments from the peanut gallery are always welcome, i love the peanut gallery, they are my people!

an occurrence of yesterday.

girl scout cookies are being delivered en masse, and as i was half bent sorting our orders in my trunk, i heard
we'll go by this nice lady. we'll go by this nice lady.

trying to ignore it, like some pesky fly (i'm from LA, what do you expect?), i finally realized it would not go away and i turned and said,
what's up guys?

the three, not unlike my own nephews, had long hair, innocent faces, and trusting eyes. the kind of thing you can see in an instant. they each carried a skate board, one wore an askew hat (like hello kitty), and the others just stood there silently.

one responded,
those guys are harassing us

i turned and saw two vehicles slowly pulling out of a U drive in front of an elementary school. they turned away from us (and i noticed, the boys did not) the toughs pulled right back in the U drive. i knew as soon as those three "skaters" as the toughs called them, left me, they'd be in trouble.

sure enough. three skaters cross the road away from me, and two cars full of six toughs follow them.

here is where the skaters got in trouble. they crossed off the main road and were cutting through the drive of a business into the adjacent subdivision (i still hear RUSH whenever i use that word). the toughs followed.

i hopped into my car and swung around into the drive behind the toughs, jotting down their license plates as i drove. they began to pull away and i said to one carload full of them,
stop harassing those boys or i will turn you into the police

the toughs replied,
they threw a rock at our car

the toughs drove away and i swung back through to get my girl and darted into the subdivision (RUSH again!). i found the skaters and gave them my name, phone number, the license plates of the two cars and told them to call me if they got harassed again.

i was driving impaired yesterday and it took me a while to get off the road i was on. when i finally did, my girl said,
mom, there they go

sure enough, i checked the plates and the toughs were going after the skaters in the subdivision (off the main road where no one could see them).

i followed the toughs until they split up then pulled alongside one group and said,
i'm telling the police, you were harassing those boys again!

we were about five miles away from the subdivision at that point and the toughs said,
we're going home.

i said,
if you're going home, then you had no business in that subdivision

and drove away.

we delivered our many cookies and stopped by the police department on our way home.

the officer said he would run the plates that night and call the boys out of class and put the fear of God in them. the toughs could be charged with injury to a minor if the kids were under thirteen (which they didn't look to be any older than that) because they could be tried as adults if any of them are seventeen. i hope it works.

those toughs were looking to harm someone yesterday and i just happened to get involved. it felt like my good samaritan moment. all i could think about was the innocence on those skaters' faces and the evil intent on the toughs' faces. i couldn't let those skaters get beat up.

could you?

i've been told it was not a good thing to do, i "should" have just turned the license plates in. that would have been the "safe" thing to do. but i can't live in a world where the God of Heaven can't protect me and mine. i can't live in a world where i have to turn away from one clearly in need to save my own skin. what if my skin was supposed to be marred for those boys? it is a tough call, and i would rather it did not involve my child, but if my child were in danger, i would HOPE TO GOD someone would put themselves in jeopardy to help her.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


john 11:43

how many times
have i walked
the length
and breadth
marking the
each sentinel
as the years
your untimely grave
grows over
i am no
cannot liberate
with a
only by
gloved hands
against the
saint which
would keep
you bound
until you
fly forth
sings in


the symphony
with children
is a mixture
of delight
and irritation
they squirm
and giggle
at inappropriate
all manner
of bodily sounds
distracted by
the ballerinas
pirouetting across
the stage
stealing my
gaze from the
whom i
rising too early
the crowd exits
and i am left
my girl
an appetite
for symphony
and theatre
i am grooming
a companion
after all
in these
where the
brie is gobbled up
like a chunk of cheddar
in a greasy
grilled cheese

Thursday, February 03, 2005


i had a dream last night that i was sitting in the kitchen, at the kitchen table (where all the real things of my life happened), of my Grams' house. and we were sorting spoons.

i asked her, "are you afraid to die?"
she replied, "you are not allowed to ask me that."

then she gave me an almond roca, saying she didn't like them anymore.

my mom, uncle, and auntie panda were in the kitchen with us as we sorted spoons. i took the fancy teddy bear shaped ones to return to a cousin. my husband was in the room at times as well.

my grams died nearly five years ago, and i still miss her. i dream of her. i am writing an allegory and i had shelved it for a couple years because i just didn't know what happened to my character, and that is the way i write. but this morning, i think i might have an idea. i think it might be time to pick up my allegory again, and write a few more chapters.

i was telling a friend, my poetry has infected my prose. i have all kinds of issues with my prose because i have made choices in my poetry, to leave off caps, to drop question marks. those things. but with the help of a great many friends and editors, not all of whom like my work (praise God), i am beginning to see my writing flaws, and they are legion.

praise be to God for the eyes of my friends and their willingness to edit me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005