Thursday, March 30, 2006

next stop, promised land.

those words are beyond my comprehension. to be going to a place unknown, unseen, yet ripe with promise and hope. i can hardly imagine it. when i contemplated the actualities of our relocation, i got excited. the last week has been a blur of details and i am glad it is at an end.

but goodbye begins in earnest today, i expect to cry many tears. the best thing about a heart of flesh is that it feels. the worst thing about a heart of flesh is that it feels. when i find myself in places of utter vulnerability with people i love, i sometimes wonder if it is worth the pain. every time, i answer, yes.

sometimes this past week i wanted to numb out and just get through it, but i'm glad i didn't. i'm glad i was able to be amidst the flurry and rush, feeling. alive.

i wrote a poem the other night about the missing of a departed soul. here it is:

i keep looking
as if watching
the horizon
will make you
suddenly appear

i keep waiting
as if lingering
close to
will make you
return to me

i keep dreaming
as if hoping
could change

i keep praying
as if power
were mine to
bring you back.

it is well. it is all well. hopefully i'll blog monday.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

genuinely disliked.

some part of me wishes leaving didn't involve saying goodbye. i know i will see those that matter again, in this life or the next. it is just hard. my best friend was telling me, new york is a different world (she grew up in jersey). she said,
here they act friendly even if they don't like you but it doesn't mean anything.

i said,
that is why i had such trouble here.

she said,
there, they act like they don't like you and they mean it.

i'm from LA, i understand this. it has taken me a long time to adjust to the disingenuous friendliness, because being from LA, they genuinely didn't like you either. i'm so looking forward to being genuinely disliked. i'd rather have that any day than fake kindness. or feigned interest. i've no ability to tell the sheep from the goats then. they all act so nice.

if i had known this last bit of wisdom while still here, it would have grieved me. i had opted out of many fakey friendly encounters but hadn't known why. ah, the mysteries of the universe are being solved.

i'd rather people deal with me honestly. if you don't like me, don't act like you do. the umph won't be there anyway, and you'll save me a great deal of trouble and bewilderment because i won't understand. you see, i'd rather be alone than around fake friends.

but deny me those who love me with genuine love, and i would likely die. i hadn't realized what a truly blessed woman i am. until now.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

likely God.

i have heard over the years how marathon runners hit "the wall." well, i hit the wall sunday night. monday i could barely keep my eyes open when i awoke. so i went back to sleep for a while.

i prayed for the rush of euphoria, of God's strength to infill me because i had nothing. my tank was utterly dry and i was coasting downhill. monday flew by actually, and i did get a second wind from somewhere, likely God.

my best friend kept saying, and was still saying yesterday morning,
suz, you're not going to make it. we've got to pick up the pace.

and i said,
i can't go any faster.

understand i've been purging and packing our junk for a full week today. without a day of rest. without any break of any significance, just a couple hours here and there. in the midst of it all i'm writing a book, so my days start at 5:30 and end around 11:30. i'm fried. completely.

but the purge ended yesterday, and we moved into rapid packing mode because everything left is either going into storage or with us. i have only two rooms left to pack and my master bath. i think i'm going to make it. my best friend finally agrees.

i wanted to take three days to get to ny. it is symbolic, three days descent to dust, and then reemerging at the beginning of a new journey. but i am told my husband and his best friend are going to try to get us there in two days. so much for my poetic angle on this drive. i'll be grateful to arrive earlier, but the metaphor is blown if we get there in two days. bummer.

today i really believe it is going to be all right. i'm not just saying that anymore. i believe it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

plan b

i've lived my life largely without an exit strategy. without knowing where i'll go or what i'll do incase we lose air pressure in the main compartment. i'm not sure if those oxygen masks are even standard equipment. that is how unprepared i am for eventualities.

the gospel i read says,
take neither tunic nor sandal, just go.

it doesn't say, and be sure to rent a really big storage shed to keep your stuff for your eventual return. it nowhere says, and leave a string trail so you can find your way out of the darkness the presence of God will most certainly plunge you into.

i can't find that. granted, i haven't looked. but i don't really think it is there.

God is my escape plan. God is my refuge. God is my eventuality. whether it goes ill or well, He is all i've got my hopes hung upon.

i am so utterly exhausted right now, my eyelids feel heavy and i just woke up. the weight of blinking is not something i am used to dealing with or even thinking about. i think my back started spasming last night. but i've not yet begun to pack in earnest, granted i've purged like a bulemic after thanksgiving dinner but not packed much (my friends, bless their souls, have done much of that for me).

the miracles of our departure are mounting and i am convinced that God is able to get my family to new york in six days. He fashioned an entire world from chaos, packing my house isn't that big of a deal in the scheme of things.

miracle # 8592: we are within walking distance of a library. i hope it's a good one, nothing worse than being by a library that sucks.

so when i leave texas, i don't want to look back. i don't want to come back. i just want to cut the cords and move forward. i was thinking none of the israelites came back, the red sea was flowing and they didn't really have that option. plus, they all got wiped out, but for me, i just want to move forward not back. and i see new york as forward movement.

miracle #256: there is a monastery within walking distance of my home, too.

and a whole bevy of churches. a cornucopia of faith. i'm too tired to make any dazzling points, so let me just say, i don't think jonah had an out either, but God took care of it all. yes, i am encouraged.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


right now a great many miracles have to happen for me get through this move. i have to somehow get vast reserves of energy. my daughter has to be cared for. she has no toys out essentially (poor planning on my part).

the purge goes well, but i'm very tired.

there are a great many things i could tie myself up in knots about right now, but i am opting to trust. Trust God that it will be all right. i keep saying, as if to convince myself, it is going to be all right. it is going to be all right.

even if nothing goes as planned. even if we don't know where to live when we get there. even if we have to trust God wholeheartedly to get us through this. it is going to be all right. it is going to be all right.

it has to be. everything has worked out in the past. just a few more challenges this time, but God is able. i have learned that through my many years, i have seen so many miracles of working out details. it is going to be all right.

if you talk to me, remember to join in this refrain,
it is going to be all right.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

unkindness of ravens

i've wanted to write about ravens for a while. they get a bad rap. native people in some areas think them harbingers of evil, some others revere them. i guess that is how it goes, can't please everyone.

i am quite fond of the raven. trickster that he is. i hadn't seen many around the entire time i've lived here, but they have begun moving in. perhaps it was too rural and they are inclined to scavenge. not sure.

either way, to be so lustrously black you're almost blue is inspiring to me.

i'm packing like a mad woman and my friends are telling me, pick up the pace suz. you're not going to make it. i keep thinking, i'm not going to make it if i do pick up the pace. my back has never ached for the sake of aching. which now, it does. feels like a metal rod is shooting through it.

i'm tired and cried myself awake this morning. hadn't had that experience before. like i didn't get enough of the tears out during the waking hours, i began to weep while i was sleeping.

i don't know what God has up His sleeve, but i hope He's like the samurai with all kinds of junk up there. because i need several successive miracles, the kind israel needed, to get free from this bondage. to find my way out of slavery.

my stuff rules my life, apparently. my husband doesn't want me to take my books with me. he may as well have told me to not take my clothes. what will i do without my books. everything else i am willing to part with, but my books are a familiar comfort.

maybe i can take less clothes. but i do have about a hundred boxes (rather small, 12x6x6) full of books. and i have to leave them here in texas for a while. in storage.

Lord have mercy. i hadn't planned on that happening. i need an unkindness of ravens to come and feed me sweet meats to keep me alive, for i am famished.


i survived my daughter's first night away. i missed her as i would miss my soul. the pecuilar gift of children is they help adults keep it together, at least, she has always helped me this way.

when my Grams died, i had to keep moving forward. i had to grieve, but i also had a then two-year-old who needed to be fed, changed, nurtured. she, more than anyone, required my presence. and i fought my desire to drift away in grief, so i would remain present to her. with her.

she is well cared for. she is with a dear friend. i know this. i must trust this. i awoke this morning in tears, overwrought.

almost as soon as i walked in the house yesterday, i fell apart. overtired. overstressed. undone.

i even read my bible in 3d. i read it online for prayer, but the law written on my heart and mind is what i contemplate. the indelible ink of the Lord, is what i feast upon. the Living Word.

there is a line from shakespeare in love where mr. henslow, speaking to mr. ferryman (the money) says,
the nature of the acting business is one of insurmountable odds on the road to imminent disaster.

what do we do?

nothing. strangely enough, all turns out well.

how does it?

it's a mystery.

that scene is the story of my life. trusting the mystery. embracing the unknowing. resting in the palm of His hand, knowing it to be the only place of certainty, safety.

being found by my dear friend from high school has revealed something to me, the losing touch with those i love, the not knowing if they are even alive (i'm so dramatic), leaves these vast reservoirs of doubt. or had left these vast reservoirs. i question the stickyness of God sometimes, because i have been left, not by the will of my friends in many cases, but by life. we are all left. people must keep moving forward. soon i leave some of the people dearest to my soul, but i do not abandon them.

though they no longer have the consolation of my tangible presence, they have my love. they have always had my love. and they always will. it is thus with God. i must trust it. i must understand, there is a promised land ahead and i must go forward.

come then, go with me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

i once was lost

one of the great pains of my life is losing touch with those i love. such was the case with a dear friend from high school. you know i hated high school. it was a nightmare, save the few dear souls who befriended me.

one called tonight. he remembered everything. i was astonished.

i have looked for you for years,
he said.

i looked for you too,
i replied.

i thought i'd lost him. it is tough for me to know those i care for are out of touch. but it happens. years pass. sometimes, yes, sometimes, like tonight. we are found.

and all is well. i could not ask for more.

the purge

as i fill and refill my truck, taking loads to the dumpster and charity, i am moved by the great abundance in my life. not only of things i can and willingly part with, but with those i am more reluctant to see go away.

yesterday, purging in earnest, my best friend and i were discussing a great many things. she said to me,
stop saying you are socially inept. that was true yesterday, it is not true today.

and i kept my head down, packing.

she continued,
you are a bright light. you have many friends. others can put their stuff on you but it is immature to think everything is your fault.

her words rang so true, i said,
yes, thank you.
if i continue to say, i am socially inept, i am, in effect, determining my course by yesterday's shortcomings.

the force of her words and the anointing over them were precious. i knew it was a moment in time when the Lord would release me from a burden i had laid on myself.

this friend has seen me for seven years in every circumstance. she knows how i behave with my family behind closed doors. she knows my secrets. she has seen me in public. we worked together briefly at a church. she knows whereof she speaks.

i said,
i will just let that pronouncement go out with all this garbage.

she said.

and so i did. it is not only tangible purging going on, but spiritual housecleaning too. i don't want to go encumbered into the land of promise. and i won't.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

my last texas open mic

last night, for the first time, i read the complete death shroud poem and eve speaks poem at an open mic. when i finished death shroud a little nine year old girl, who was making her debut said,
maybe you should put something like, he lost his life in there?

every one's a critic. i replied,
maybe you should write a poem about that.

and she did. she got up to say a poem she just made up. this slight girl, had presence. she had no reservations about standing up at the mic, reading the first poem she had written that day (THAT DAY! mind you). she read really fast, but if i was nine at my first open mic, i'd probably read really fast.

she introduced the poem.

she said, then said nothing.

she said, and sat down, but not for long. she wrote the poem on a paper, and tried again after the next poet.

she read. and it was a delightful poem about death. what a sweet girl. i told her,
it was years before i went to my first open mic after i wrote my first poem, you're way ahead of the game.
she smiled. she had to leave after her death poem because it was her bed time.

such simplicity, such beautiful simplicty. she couldn't care less about what critical arguments we'd make about her style, performance, or work. she just read what she had and blessed us all.

O to be like a little child again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


i talked with a homeschool mom yesterday who mentioned,
did you see my ad?
until yesterday i edited our homeschool newsletter. the ad she mentioned was an art show/lecture she is going to give at the local library.

she said,
you inspired me. because you do something with your poetry.

you know, if i never become nothing, i will be so grateful to have influenced one mom to pursue her gifting. i think it so easy to prefer everyone to the peril of a mom's soul. i could have received no greater blessing than that yesterday.

two best friends arrive today to help me begin the purge. we have so much stuff, hey, we're american. but it is time to downsize in a major way. we've got four vehicles, two houses, and enough stuff to fill the astrodome (do they even call it that any more?).

my friends will help part me from my junk so i can move into the promised land unencumbered (or slightly encumbered), i found a small cottage with a basement for storage. hey! there you go.

but truly, i feel like it is a forced purge and much needed. we've got to lose the excess. we've got to. no one needs as much as we possess. and while i've pissed and moaned about how hard a time we are having making ends meet because truly, i don't spend but a fraction of what i used to spend, books are piling up again. i had to clean off the kitchen table and my girl had five books she was reading spread across it. she is a bibliophile too i guess.

looks like a home in nj/ny won't be a problem, now it is the getting there that needs my attention.

i mentioned on my ma blog today that i am a finalist in a local poetry contest. i would have gotten to meet the texas poet laureate, but no, i'm moving.

such is life. there'll be plenty of poets to meet in new york. i can't wait. i remembered receiving a poetry society of america notice, with upcoming lectures for poets in new york and thinking, if only.

well, if only has happened, and i can actually go to those lectures if i want.

what a boon, what a blessing. i may get eaten alive. or i may find more of my tribe. more of my people. i think it will be the latter. i do well with poets, it seems. tonight is my swan song open mic at a local barnes an noble. if any of my friends in the area want to go, it is your last chance to hear me read.

maybe not, my best friend wants to put together a women's luncheon for me to speak at before i go. not sure if i can swing it, but it is the kind of thing i'd love to do. so i may try. i will read some of my works there. she called it, my goodbye. and i thought i was going to slink out of town without being noticed.

much to do. peace!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

walk it out

one thing that strikes me about the men who have gone before and left works, like merton, for example. his gifting of words did not exactly jive with his monastic vocation. but he walked it out, regardless.

same for van Gogh, he walked out his talent because he had to. not because it was a get rich quick scheme. and he died unknown. talent unheralded.

there are so many others who find this to be the case. and yet, i hear talk of how to do things to garner fame and make a big splash. i'm not sure that is the right goal. it makes sense, sure, i want to be paid for what i write too. but i don't know that not being paid is such a bad thing.

it gets me in a lot of trouble, this ministry approach to writing. when i don't charge for things, my husband feels i am being taken advantage of. but i don't see it that way. God has so mercifully, so consistently cleared my account of sin, of ingratitude, has lavished mercy, freedom, compassion on me. if i have a gift, i have to give it. i just have to.

yes, i would like to be paid. of course i'd like to be paid. but it won't kill me if i'm not. i trust God for the resouces i need. not man. i trust God for the promotion i "deserve," not man. (i bless the God of Heaven for not giving me what i "deserve" but giving me only what i deserve through Christ.)

one of my dear friends said to me,
the editors hold our publication future don't they?

i said,
no. they don't.

but i can see why they say that. i'm a fool not to believe that. not to bend over backwards to do everything right. i'm probably more of a headache to my editor than a blessing. which is something i work on constantly to right.

i believe if God is in something, He will make a way where there is no way. if God is not in something, it ain't gonna happen, unless i make it happen.

i'm not about making things happen anymore. i'm willing to go down to dust with my small circle of friends and being unknown. if that is the course the Lord has chosen for me. in the meantime, i'm laboring in obscurity to be faithful with the talents God has given me. this naturally results in improving them. it makes sense to me that if i am faithful to improve my small talent, God will be faithful to move if He feels so inclined. not because i deserve it, or want it bad enough, or ask enough times, but because He loves me and it is time. the harvest of my heart is ripe, and there is something to feed hungry souls.

the rest of it does not matter to me. i've not gone one day without food, nor one day without shelter. if some come in the future, i'll look to the feeder of all men, the shelterer of all men for my sustenance. not to my resume or man.

this living apart is both easy and difficult. because i have to remember always, it is not whether i do good one day (as at camp this weekend, i failed miserably in terms of performance). but i met obligations and tried. with the scant interpersonal resources i seemingly possess, i tried. the failure can be attributed to my ungraciousness, but God is still faithful, my ungraciousness not withstanding.

i don't know how it all works out in the end. but i know how it will work out today. because i've seen it over and over in the past. i will yield to the Spirit and pray for the best. the rest, is up to God.

Monday, March 20, 2006


in my prayers this morning, the lineage of Jesus was one of the readings. i was struck by the mention of women in this passage, namely these:
Tamar. raped
Rahab. prostitute
Ruth. moabitess
"the wife of Uriah" Bathsheba. adulteress
Mary. unwed mother

God does not operate as we do. He is not afraid of scandal. He is looking at hearts. this comforts me more than you can imagine. in the matter of uriah the hittite, he was not in the lineage, but he was named. it could have been avoided, by merely calling her bathsheba, but no. she was called, the wife of uriah--and she wasn't even his wife when mothering solomon. scandalous.

these are some of the most intriguing passages to me. where God demonstrates His willingness to be fully known. i hide the darker parts of my story (even still), but not so with God. men aren't able to be as forgiving, or are they? clearly they see the GodMan Christ Jesus and don't fumble over the scandal. why then does that not happen more interpersonally?

not that i want to become scandalous to test this theory. but having lived a sullied life, i know it to be true. although, there are those rare souls, those brave seeing ones who seem to look beyond it all. to see through the shame and sin to the person deep within.

i was told this weekend,
God loves you.

and it struck me as so obvious, but it is so necessary to hear. a blessing pronounced, even when i am lost in His embrace. because He is so far beyond my comprehension that i need to be reminded. st. john is a slippery fish to me, because he says,
come to the place where you no longer need or desire consolation.

enter into that void of trust (essentially). that void can be a dangerous place. it is dark and dark means scary (at least to me). but even in the darkness He is there. even in shadow, He remains. i forget this often. He is everywhere present. He inhabits all space and time. i am never alone.

so when they write my name, if something scandalous follows, i must remember God still loves me. and has a new name, a secret name, which will become my true identity. no more:
suzanne. molested.

acknowledging the dark parts of a story don't make them more true. it drains them of their power. too long i've been afraid of these words. but not anymore. i am not afraid.

this will not be me forever. i will someday be (all ready am):
suzanne. redeemed.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

leeks and onions

perhaps--no--most certainly, the things i will miss most about texas are my friends. those dear souls who understand. camping this weekend with people i barely know made me realize how awkward i am in a group. if i'm "on" it's not so bad. i can play the jester at times. but when i'm sidelined by life, when my plate overfloweth, as they say, i lose the ability to bullshit.

there was no quiet place for me to be apart. i had to be among. perhaps not physically, but certainly acoustically. why camp lodges aren't built with the leader who needs a moment's peace in mind i don't know.

camping two weeks (or so) ago, the kitchen was a relatively soundproof place. we leaders joked as we shut the door and huddled inside, that we'd be fighting over kitchen duty (you know, if you've read me before, i'm no fan of kitchen duty. but i was that weekend). we shut the door to be apart from the squeals of little girls (i think they are louder than boys, or it seemed that way as the sounds echoed through my brain all weekend). It is what we are there for, to let them have some fun--but i'm infinitely "more" fun when i can get a moment's peace and quiet.

i'm not a people person, am i?
i asked my husband.
no, you never have been. (that would have been a good, helpful place to stop. but he didn't) only to your family,
he said.

i've long stopped looking for the comforting answer from him. he deals more in honesty. stark raving honesty, like me.

when i apologized to a fellow camper today, she replied,
you have a lot on your mind.

people make excuses for me and while i appreciate the graciousness of these gestures--they bring me no closer to the standard i want to live. i think it was st. john who said,
seek not to be understood, seek to understand.

i sat before a pane of windows to meditate. then found a zen moment sweeping. but none of the things that still my deepest trembling involve people.

i do what i want and need to in order to nurture my sometimes fragile inner self. it may appear i'm being aloof, but sometimes it is all i can do to keep from collapsing. this weekend, it was to spend my time focusing on merton.

my parting gift from camp was a migraine. i still feel the dull pang of it in my right temple.

i came so close to the point of collapse this weekend that it made me wonder if it is not the seeming infinite details of our pending move.

i cannot do it all. and when it's done and the camels are loaded, our exodus begun, i'll remember the leeks and onions. those dear friends who temper my harsh flavours with their subtle sweetness. i do not want their memory to be only remorse, so i will make myself think them gold.

the gold bands upon the arms and wrists of fleeing israel.
take these and go!

the gold travels with us. the gold becomes part of the inheritance. the gold becomes the plating of the ark.

this is the most fitting rememberance of my dear friends. for truly they have housed the presence of God for me.

Friday, March 17, 2006

decisions, decisions

we're going camping this weekend. the hardest thing i have to decide is what books to take. last time i took about five books with me, tomes. big heavy things. i was glad i grabbed what i did because i hadn't known what i would be reading that weekend. and it proved most fortuitous that i took the wild women book. which led to finishing my eve speaks poem, the rest, as they say, is history.

so who will accompany me this weekend? surely merton. don potter has a book out called facing the wall. i'll likely bring it and read it aloud to my family as we drive to camp. st. john got a little roughed up last trip, maybe he'll get the weekend off. i've new schaap i've not read. my family opted to hear his barneveld calvary over tolkien. and my then 8 year old requested i read him to her again (she's got great taste in literature). yes, schaap will go (incidentally, he is the only author i had to take about five books he'd written with me to fit my many moods and the preferences of my family. if you've not read him, he is very edgy. i laugh. i ache. i love reading him). i take my own work in progress along, and last time spent some time contemplating it.

i never really ask the how can i improve this question. which some would say is to my own peril. but i ask myself, would i write this again? do i still believe this? and every time i answer yes.

looks like when we return, we'll be preparing to relocate. a big adventure ahead and i'm excited. the only bummer is that i'll miss seeing my bulbs come up. some grape hyacinth and diminutive daffodils have come up, but the irises i've been waiting for, for years. our passion vine is all ready returning to life, from its seasonal slumber.

but this is when i find out if i am attached to wordly things. my husband says the piano can't go. this bums me out. but it was a gift, and i have to trust that God has something else in mind for us. i have to believe that.

today i read about joseph, about moses entering the promised land. in many ways this leaving the old habitation is that for me. an outward sign. so i'm ready to cast off a great many things that have encumbered me to this point. i just pray for strength to let go. to help my daughter and husband let go.

i can release my things relatively easily, i've been doing that all my life. but they are a different story.

of course, i'll miss my dear friends here. i have four best friends here (and by that i mean, those types of people who i can stand in utter nakedness of soul and spirit and they will not take potshots. or wound me, but cover me in love. i am a woman most blessed). but there must be more people i am to meet. this encourages me.

the promise of new territory to explore. new lands to discover. new birds and butterflies to experience. the whole thing is quite exciting. there is a mountain, i am told, where we will be going. not a large one, but certainly larger than the flat lands of texas. i never thought i'd get used to texas. and now that i have, it's time to go. texas has been good to me, but i'm glad to leave. it has never been my home, merely my landing point for a while.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

alas i dream

sometimes the writing writes me. sometimes the dreams come with such fervor i am conscious of them. i sleep, but my heart is awake. this morning i was dreaming and roused so suddenly from my dream state by something i had to write that it has left me trembling inside. perhaps it is from the near crash of my computer coupled with the uncertainty of whether or not i have actually backed up my current manuscript.

to have one's work locked in the bowels of a computer for even a moment is a lifetime to a writer. i hope what i wrote this morning is worthy of this tremulous relief. but it is nice to be me today.

a friend asked, so how is the book coming?

i said, it is every poet's dream. and i am living it.

it's time to thrive. it is time to sink my roots in deep and thrive. i wrote a poem last night which is very sensual. i didn't intend to write it. but i had the stirrings of it in me for days. i knew what i wanted to say but wasn't sure how. it was an image of weakness and strength i wanted to convey. but how. you might recognize some of it from previous posts. or if we talk on the phone. you just might hear my voice.

i am not sure many will understand it. some may even think it utterly reprobate. but it is mine. i think it lovely. it is the kind of poem one does not explain. may it find you well.

rest upon my spine

i've wanted to take
you into me
and hold you

i've wanted to draw
strength from you
and give some

i've wanted to share
every word i read
because i know
you understand

i've wanted to draw
you into me
to rest upon
my spine

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

stone child

i'm listening to a lecture by a jungian psychologist by the name of clarissa pinkola estes. she wrote the women who run with wolves book, and this lecture is entitled, warming the stone child. it deals with abandonment and unmothered children.

i don't want to write about this because it will be hard for my mom to read (yes, she reads all this stuff). but i want to write about it because it is one of those topics that won't let me go.

dr. estes said whatever archetype or myth you cling to has some significance in your life. what fairy tale, what story is your story?

i couldn't come up with one. but then i realized romeo and juliet has always been a favorite of mine. since i saw it at a young age, and that monk and horse walked right by romeo returning to verona.

but you know all ends in shadow. i know this. what a wretched lifemyth to embrace. so dr. estes advises, rewriting the ending. not sure how to go about that just yet, but i will. because my season, as i've said, has more to do with thriving than surviving (which is the goal of the unmothered child).

dr. estes said the unmothered have acute intuition but often they override that intuition. they have this hyper knowing thang, but will often sacrifice it for love.

how well i know that story. how i have lived that story my whole life.

where the good doctor gets all whacked out on spirit guides and whatnot, i veer off the path there because i don't believe in any of that. but i won't throw her whole message out because it is sound and deeply stirring to me.

i've long sought healing. i've long pursued true maturity. and sometimes i am baffled by why they continue to elude me. i know one person is not the answer to that, but when she says, sometimes we want to devour that thing which gives us great comfort. sometimes we want to rest on the spine of the one we love, enter in and be them. i understand this deep down.

the goal then is, as nouwen would say, entering into that place of pain and allowing the Love of God to penetrate.

estes said, we must allow ourselves to be loved. this is part and parcel of the maturation process. this keeps one from collapsing like a cheap aluminum folding chair when one is met with downward glances or words, or treated in any way negatively.

this collapsing business has begun to fade from my life, but i have my moments. i do not know i will ever fully be able to bear the weight of the judgments of others, but i don't know that i need to. i need to not let them douse my light. i need to guard my inner flame, instead of relying on others to stoke it for me.

the mother figure, according to estes, tends the flame. where there has been wounding, the mother is undeveloped. she spoke of the moon and this resonated with me but i'll have to hear it again because i failed to grasp all the subtleties of her words.

i'm going to leave off now without profound thought or much of anything other than honesty. but i think you understand. i trust you understand.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

le pointe vierge

it is a new day. ripe with possibility. fragrant with mercy. lush with opportunity. do you feel it? have you blessed the God of heaven for this new day?

merton speaks of le point vierge, which is that moment just before the light when innocence reigns. when the birds ask if it is time to 'be' and He says, 'yes.' merton also says this is the point of absolute poverty before God. the place where we stand naked before Him.

all this reminds me of the garden. that we are daily face to face with God and utterly innocent. then we fall and live out the sad parts of our story, but there is one moment, even just one, when we are who we were created to be.

i don't know how it gets all messed up. how it ends up being a wasted day. how it becomes lost opportunity, but it happens so quickly. the trajectory of the day goes off course so slightly and we become lost. exiled. afraid, again.

i know this dashing of hopes and dreams so well. and yet, each morning, when i am rising asking the Lord a great many questions, i have come to ask Him this one great favor. that i may lay myself down for my husband. that i may throw myself away for my family. that i may be a servant.

it doesn't always work out so well. i get cranky. i get tired. i feel used. but if i am asking to be laid down and poured out, aren't i essentially asking to be used?

you fashioned me for a purpose Lord, let me fulfill that purpose. use me. break me. crush me. rend me. none of those are sweet, easy places to live from.

so then is my dashing of hopes merely the crestfallenness of one who does not realize he is being used for the glory of God in the land of the living?

perhaps. i never really thought of it that way before. perhaps that is my point of joy then, when i feel used. this upside down kingdom where the saints will not be put to shame, yet are martyred, stricken and left seemingly without hope.

yet there is hope. the undercurrent of hope and faith runs pure and clean. sometimes underground. sometimes in plain view.

this being enamored of emotions and "consolations" as st. john would call it, is a great illusion. st. john says we become so enamored of the rind that we lose the benefit of the fruit. come to a place beyond emotion, beyond feeling, beyond consolation. that is the place where God dwells. He uses the emotions to be sure. but there is a time when they are simply inadequate. the orange gets peeled and we are left with the fruit.

i don't understand the Lord. i don't really want to. because then i'd have Him prepackaged by my expectation. i embrace this mystifying trust and hope that today when i feel used, i can realize it is the feeling that is illusion. i hope i can enter that place of absolute poverty and trust, and innocently commune with God. midday. not just when i'm half-asleep. but when i am fully functioning.

sometimes i slip into this zone as a poet. i think it is a privilege we are afforded. that is when i see the great beauty all around. in the simple acts of kindness, in the faces that i encounter. perhaps today i'll be able to find that place again fraught with the presence of God. i am most willing.

Monday, March 13, 2006

my Dove

there is a song by brian johnson, which i play over and over. it is a song (called broken for you) inspired by the song of solomon. the words and melody waft me away to the garden and i am dancing with the Lord once again. ah, yes, a lovely song.

the sufi poet, hafiz, was recommended to me and i sat in barnes and noble reading the gift yesterday.

there i found a kindred spirit. a poet who was the contemporary of chaucer, but played with words and images much like i do. irreverent. sensual. free. funny. (i hope that is how i'm taken, but won't lose sleep over it if i'm not.)

it is hard to leave a book unbought at a bookstore because i never know if i'll see that book again. i ordered it from amazon along with: drunk with the wine of the Beloved, and the subject tonight is love.

i find his writing intoxicating.

i don't have much to say today, but i'll share a poem i wrote which i wanted to write while i was reading hafiz, and then stopped to write. i turned the page and his next poem ended in nearly the same words. freaky man!

i got the first line of this one because this young guy was laughing and i thought it so profoundly beautiful i had to write about it. i saw an african american lady with her rounded hips on my way to the book store, she was wearing a black and white striped dress and little tiny pumps. my eye followed her curves as i passed by. and i thought she looked good. who knows where the rest came from.

I saw you today
____in the young man's smile
I saw you today
____in the mother's hips
I heard you today
____in the child's laughter
I heard you today
____in the widow's sobs
I felt you today
____in the warmth of sunshine
I felt you today
____in caressing breezes
I smelled you today
____in the spiced air
I smelled you today
____in the flower garden
I tasted you today
____in the crisp green apple
I tasted you today
____in the warm chocolate fudge
I saw you today
____and you were beautiful
I saw you today

Sunday, March 12, 2006

funny in a sad way

my sister writes me this about yesterday's post:

You forgot the part about you and Allen both falling asleep during that lame movie. It was A Sure Thing by the way.

that would make a birthday suck, wouldn't it?

happy birthday G.
i love you.


incase you haven't guessed, i'm not the queen of discipline. i don't sit down and do much of anything regularly, but i am trying to pray every morning. blogging, too. but that is about as far as discipline goes in my life.

i am trying to sit down every day and write. it is tough because it is contrary to my thoughts on writing. i am inclined to write when i have something to say, not just because a clock tells me it is time to write.

i understand the reason for the discipline of sitting down to write regularly, but i do not know that it is necessarily right for me. i produce a lot of words when i don't sit down every day. is my purpose then to generate more words? or is it to generate Spirit breathed words? or suz generated words? is there a difference? how do i do both?

while i've no definitive answers, i am attempting to yield to the discipline of this season. while talking with my sister yesterday about worship, it made me realize, i want to be in the place of authority, but am i ready? if i were called up today to be God's woman in the writing world, am i really ready for that? if not, what difference does it make if i'm not preparing unto the day when i will be called up? my days of small beginnings are for naught if i'm not moving toward being instant in season and out.

that being instant word really gets me. i want to be able to speak when asked, even if it is without preparation. i want to be able to write (not sure if that is an entirely different application of this word), when asked. dance, when called upon to dance (though my dance is not performance, it is worship).

if i am piddling about without discipline, can i ever hope to be instant in season? i don't really think so. as fond as i am of my loosey-goosey lifestyle, i have to build up my endurance and that means training, discipline.

so that is what i'm about now. disciplining myself unto the day when i am called upon. though i think that day is upon me and i am doing a bit of catch up. in a way i have been preparing, but hell week is coming and i've got to make it through.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


i know God has a plan for everything. that He has ways of doing things that mystify me. and i'm cool with it. but i have lived my whole life feeling like i usurped my beautiful sister. i was born two years after her, but a day before. talk about lame. i always got the party nearer to my birthday (what difference does one day make?).

we went to a metallica concert one year, and i turned thirteen on the way home. i think we spent her birthday at some lame movie. again, nothing you can do about when a concert happens. but it was an adventure getting those tickets from a scalper on sunset boulevard. then to have the anticlimax of a movie for her birthday. i don't doubt it seemed, well, like a letdown.

the image that has come to me over the last few days is, the V flight pattern of migrating birds. that my sister broke the headwinds for me, made my flight easier because she always went first. she was always pointman.

she is still that for her family. she has a beautiful family. but she has not found herself yet. and i can see her beauty, her inestimable worth, her great great talent, but she just doesn't have time. more to do. kids to feed.

this is probably not cool in terms of permissions, but i'm going to share a blog she wrote to me personally. the writing is beautiful. the thoughts clear and applicable to most people i know.

this is my beautiful sister. she writes:

Just got home from our annual church talent contest. Misery does love company and I had none. It was a depressing event. Sure to make you realize all the things you had dreamed of that never happened....

The truth is I am very unhappy. So unhappy I am miserable. All the time.

I know I have nothing to be unhappy about. I tell myself that. I will myself to be Joyful, or at least a smidgen happy. But I have sunk so low. So low that I border on blasphemy as I sing "oh crappy day" over and over and over.....

I feel bad about being so unhappy. I mean there's really nothing I lack. I have my health, my vision, two hands and feet. Some would say I have it all. I even have the loving family. I tell myself all that. But this feeling will not go away. No matter how much I tell it to. No amount of self-talk, rebuking it, bible reading, or even prayer helps. I am adrift on a sea of sadness. Counting the days 'til I get to Heaven, if I get there....

I am resigned....

I will sing
when I get to Heaven
I will dance
when I get to Heaven
I will paint
when I get to Heaven

There is no time for singing or dancing or painting now. There are dishes, laundry, toddlers, pre-teens, lessons to give, and plan, classes to drive people to, friends to help, floors to mop, bathrooms to clean, heck whole house to clean, checkbooks to balance, dinners to make, you get the picture. You live the same picture.

I watched someone my age dance tonight, and she was smiling. She looked happy, even dare I say it? Joyful.

I cried....



what do we moms do when we hit this place? how do we live here? i contend we cannot. we must find our way out. i'm struggling with it myself. and we need each other. how to fix this, i don't know. but honesty, like the painfully beautiful honesty above, is half the battle. i hope my sister's friends hold her close and let her know they love her. i'm so far away. my arms only reach so far. but she knows i love her. and that is all i have to offer. my love.

Friday, March 10, 2006


today is the last day i'll be thirty-five. in some ways, i guess the descent has begun. in many ways, it feels like i've just begun to understand what the Lord would have me do (which does not make doing it easier, it just gives me some slight certainty that i am actually following the charted course).

i had a conversation the other day which resulted in a poem, allow me if you will to share that poem with you:

are businessmen
running churches
____he said

confirming my worst

my husband
____told me
this was so,
____long ago

but i refused
____to believe it.

there are things
____i just don't
want to know
____my body fat index
_____IQ, weight

and that pastors
____are just businessmen
____running churches.

this was not an encouraging word. this was not a moment when i believed the church to be in a state of preparedness. this was a crushing moment. and i have to believe we really need persecution to get things back to where they need to be.

i understand this, before we hit the skids financially, i took everything for granted. before we lost all outward comforts and certainties, i demanded many rights and privileges unearned. i had an entitlement thing going on. not anymore.

i understand of what i am made, and Whose i am. i understand my very being to be in His hand and my life purpose not my own.

i understand.

i cannot see the church being wooed into this place. even in the OT when israel went through persecution, wars, and the like, they turned their faces and hearts toward God only in the lean years, the rough times. but once comfort returned, it was, God who? Yahwho?

i don't want to go through persecution. i don't want the church to go through it. i don't want my daughter to go through it.

but more than i want these comforts and freedoms, i want to see a powerful bride again. a redeemed holy bride. not a corporate bride. not a swindling bride. not a prostitute dressed up in bridal garb, but a truly pure spotless bride.

that kind of change doesn't happen in comfort and ease. i understand this.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

black swallowtail

it seems when i am most afraid, when i am most confused, most befuddled. God moves and does something to utterly mystify me. He has done it again (no it isn't a job).

my daughter called me away from my writing desk to tell me dad had found a black swallowtail with a broken wing.

i searched out this little beauty, and sure enough, there it was, trying to unfurl frozen wings. it appeared he was born in a gale. and he was. the winds are strong today. around 30mph. a mild texas breeze. but for butterflies, deadly.

this swallowtail's right wing is permanently blown over his left, and neither is fully unfurled. he looks rag (which is old in lepidopterist speak). so i picked him up and put him on my chest. the resting grounds for all way ward butterflies.

he wandered up to my shoulder, down my arm. i kept returning him to the landing zone and he keeps climbing up, wondering, perhaps, why he is making so little progress.

tell me about it,
i say

as i watch him begin the ascent again.

if i let him off my shirt, he tumbles feet over wing and flails. it is better for him to find his rest on me. his little hooked feet latching into my shirt. my daughter took a picture, but i can't find the picture loady thingy, so you can't see him. he is delicately beautiful, as are all butterflies, even the striken ones.

i am reminded of the passage in pilgrim at tinker creek that talks about the gypsy moth kept in a mason jar until it hatched and its wings froze to its back. that little moth hiked down the driveway of the school and out of sight to die.

this little beauty would likely hike off into oblivion if i would let him. but i won't. i will keep him with me until at last he is still. i've tried giving him sugar water, but he is so messed up, he can't even get his bearings and falls right into the water and fails around some more.

my daughter is very sad about all of this, but it is another lesson in all things must die. all things. even you and me. i hope when my time comes, someone gathers me up and stays with me. that they will assuage my doubts and fears, and hold me until i move into shadow. yes, that is my hope.

i've dying grace to tend to.

fare thee well.


sometimes fear sideswipes me. it happened last night. i was gripped by fear and could not find a way out.

sometimes, writing is a great way to get it off me and on to the page. sometimes, reading, to redirect my mind. sometimes, talking to a friend, no one was home last night (i tried). sometimes, reading email (had none. i delete everything immediately after reading it, so a big plump juicy 0 waited for me at my inbox).

nothing soothed, nothing came to distract. nothing.

i could hear my mom in my head saying, rebuke it. (she says that a lot.)

i could hear even my good intentions justifying my inability to rebuke it.

it was only until i sat and talked with my husband, read him the actual words i'd leaked on the page that the fear subsided. we didn't solve any riddles. we are still unemployed. but somehow, his entering into my world with conversation and even muting the TV (what a joy that is!), somehow that did it.

he hopes to have work next week. i hope he has work next week. but today, we are trusting in the unseen hand to guide us. the unseen protector to protect us. and i am trusting that when i get scared, God is just waiting for me to settle back into His arms of love. this time, my husband bore them. and i am grateful for that.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

part deux

for those who want to know more, here it is.

i've been thinking of samson, trying to describe him more fully. he was very dark, incredibly dark, like a kind of earthy loam. that really fertile soil that results from composting. yes, that is how dark he was. his lips were full and his teeth broad and straight. i wish i could have seen his eyes. they do tell a great deal about a person.

in samson's defense, perhaps portraying my recklessness, i was not wearing my wedding ring. i did have it cliped on a caribiner at my waist, but i don't think men are inclined to visually scan anywhere but a finger for a ring.

my husband does not wear his either, except sometimes. i got him a gold zuni inlaid ring when we married. i have a simple silver band with stones askew (kind of like me). we purchased matching rings, with stones overlaid, if you've ever seen the work of danny romero (a yaqui we met in santa fe), it is stunning. national geographic did a piece on him. anyway, i used to wear that ring all the time, but i busted it up with my carelessness. so i'm back to my simple silver band.

wedding rings are not a native tradition. they are more a european thing. so we don’t lose any sleep over whether or not the other is or isn’t wearing a ring. i have thought, i need to get my finger tattooed, then i’ll always have the “ring” on. that is probably the only way i could do it to where i always wear a wedding ring. curiously, before i was married, i had this big diamond ring my dad gave me for my sixteenth birthday. i used to wear it every day. people always thought i was married. i don’t wear that ring anymore, largely because i don’t wear anything gold.

the next person who sat down beside me was a young hispanic guy with a spike in his bottom lip. i hadn’t seen that application before. i had just seen dennis rodman on tv with two spikes coming out of his nose, on either side. so i asked the guy,
did that hurt?

he said

i asked if it bothered him when he ate.

he said,
sometimes, when i’m eating something really good, i’ll bite it. but it doesn’t hurt.

so it healed up well?

he said.

he told me if the piercer doesn’t put it in the right place, either too high or too low, it will disintegrate your gums. (yikes).

at the end of that little conversation, i had nothing more to say. so i sat quietly for a moment. he was wearing black converse type tennis, baggie jeans, a white button front shirt with a white t-shirt under it. he had papers in his hands and a large scrollwork type ying yang tattoo on his right forearm.

i forgot my social security card,
i told him.


do you think they’ll need it?

i don’t know. i brought these papers.

and he showed me all the papers in his hands. a birth certificate, renewed driver’s license print out. he told me he had lost his wallet on saturday.

i said (i’m pretty profound).

i have to go to the social security office next,
he said.
i don’t know what they’ll need but i hope these will do. i know where it is i have to go.

i wanted to ask him where, just because i’m morbidly curious at times. but i didn’t.
do you have a picture id?

i do, but i want to keep that out of it.

which i thought was a curious answer. i told him,
i think it all depends on the mood of the person you get.

he smiled and agreed. he said,
i am afraid to come to these places.


because i feel like they are going to lock me up.

i know. the authority thing. i get that way too.
that point of honesty was beautiful. i wished i had more time to sit there with him and talk about fear. i told him,
just be polite.

then they finally called, 66.

i went up to the counter, you never know what to expect at those places. whether the lady would be a nickel and dime type, or gracious. i was hoping for the latter. as i said, opted not to bring my social. i had considered in the time i was waiting, leaving. i thought, well, they probably need it, so i may as well go now. although the card i got in the mail said, you only need it if there is a question.

i went up to window 7, and the girl was young, plump and had a smile. it was early. i was grateful that she seemed happy.

it was like being examined by the queen. lord wessex advised lady dellesups to be: submissive, humble, modest, brief.

so i was. the model of a good citizen, the kind you don’t need a social from. you can just trust that it is them.

i had to take an eye test, and for nearly twenty years i had no restrictions on my license. now i have an eyeglass restriction. i couldn’t even see the first row of numbers on line 5. with my glass on though, perfect. i guess it just goes to show i’m getting along in age and need to wear my glasses.

i watched many people leave during my time in the waiting area. some of them were giddy and smiling widely. others, grim. i’m usually in the grim set. so i determined to be grinning when i left. i was, after all, leaving. so i took my picture, which i hope turns out better than the last one. the lady behind the counter irritated me and i had to have a serial killer photo for six years, but in this one, i’m smiling and my hair is all over the place.

i hopped in my car and blessed the God of heaven for being with me at the dmv.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

a day in the life

i had to go renew my driver's license this morning. what a joy. the dmv (as we call it in california, or dps--in texas), is a great leveler of all humanity. sitting in those uncomfortably small hard plastic chairs, crammed together like chickens in a cage going to slaughter. one has a hard time not noticing who they are around.

i walked in and went to the information desk, asked for a number. the lady said,
they are over there.
i began walking away, and the lady sitting in the front row of uncomfortable plastic chairs said,
no, they are behind the counter.
praise God she was listening. i went back, and asked again, and was given a number (go figure).

i sat next to the lady, who was dressed in mournful (or slimming) black, and she had her hands and legs folded, trying to keep herself within the slight bounds of the chair space she was filling.

i sat beside her, our hips nearly touching, and said,
thank you so much.
i looked around at a sign with digital numbers which made absolutely no sense to me (i don't know who designed that sign but it was pure gibberish. it may as well have been in klingon). i asked the kind lady beside me,
what number are they on?

she glanced up at the board and said,

i saw a 12, 14, and 5. i never saw 35.

i said,
how did you get that? add up all the numbers?

she laughed. she said,
no, i just know what number they are on.

what number are you?
i asked.


i had 66 in my hand.
how long have you been waiting?

about ten minutes,
she said.

that's not so bad.
i began filling out the form, talking to myself out loud. which i do regularly.

the kind lady beside me was a waitress. she was supposed to start work at on the border today, but since her license expired in september, she has to start tomorrow. she smokes, i could smell the nicotine on her breath (i probably had coffee breath). but i did like her purse. it was faux leopard and that is just my kind of thing.

i was reading a book on poetry, and asked her if she reads much?

she said,

i asked.

she said.

the guy sitting uncomfortably close to me on my left was a young african american with a slight beard. heavy gold chainage, and a great sense of humor. i just had to listen to him. he was talking to the rotund african american woman he was with, who was two seats over from me. she had a close cropped hair style, and sounded pleasant.

so my friend leaves, and a tall, dark african man sits beside me. he had on square toed dress shoes. black. and he crossed his legs tightly, not taking up manly amounts of space. he sat far back in his seat. and i sat, enshourded by downward spirals of hair, transcribing passages of levertov in my journal.

his friend sat beside me to my left (as the young african guy had number 55). they tried to talk to each other, and i had to sit back so they could.

they spoke in a foreign language, and i had to (HAD TO) ASK,
what language are you speaking?
i knew it was some african dialect, it didn't take a linguist to figure that out.

(i couldn't make out exactly the ending of that word)

do you know it?

i know nigeria.


he had very dark sunglasses on, i couldn't see his eyes. but he was looking right into mine.
what is your name,
he said.

suzanne, what is your name?


ooh, strong name.
i said.

samson, wanted to do more than chat, and suggested we swap phone numbers.
"so we could get to know each other"
he said.

my husband won't like that.
i said.

he exited stage right promptly thereafter.

i have to stop writing now as i might get kicked off the library. i have yet to tell you about the young hispanic with the spike in his lip. but i'll try later today or tomorrow if i can get online.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

a moment in time.

my daughter calls out from her sprawled place on the living room floor, i continue reading and try to finish the sentence.
it is the second calling of my name that gets my attention.
yes, love

i look up, breaking my stride across the page
i like that you are so determined to read

she says with a smile.
thank you love. now be quiet.

my husband sat with us at breakfast the other morning, she devouring ramona quimby books and i nearing the end of the wild woman book. neither of us talking or looking around, both head down reading while we ate breakfast. he sat there for a moment with us, and then left us to our reading.

but this is how we do school. many books, much reading. one cannot read and talk or watch tv or do much else. yet we are doing so much.

the thought of relocating to an actual city is daunting to me. i realize how cloistered my life really is. how much time i actually spend in silence. how much time i spend apart from the rush of life. i run errands on tuesday. the rest of the week, most weeks, i stay home.

my ministry is to my family and the small circle of people i commune with over the internet. that is it for now. this is the day of small beginnings and i cherish the easy pace of it all. i would have it no other way.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

ten days.

merton writes me this,
When the Dalai Lama was young, still a boy, he was lonely in his palace, the Potala, and would walk on the roof looking through field glasses down upon the houses of his subjects to see if they were having parties, and in order to watch them enjoying themselves. They, in their turn, would hide themselves and hold parties out of his sight, so as not to sadden him still more.

i can't tell you how this passage moves my heart. i hadn't seen my family. i hadn't laid eyes on my tribe. i hadn't touched the women or men of my family for three years before october. i spent ten days, ten glorious days, cradled in their arms, nursed on their affections, and laughing. we laugh much when we're together. we fight, because we're mostly latin, and we sing because we're together. we sing when we're apart, but i think it reminds us of being together.

my sister and i reminisce about the many years we've travelled and the baggage we still carry. trying to offload some of it with the help of the other. that is our job, skycap to each other.
let me carry that for you a while, you look burdened.

upon returning, i found christmas well nigh unbearable. if you receive any of my private correspondence, you know this to be true.

this year, this, how many years has it been now, let me pause a moment and count. this would be the --i can't even remember how long it's been, since 1999-- seventh year since my grams' passing on to the heavenlies. where she is amusing many, i'm sure.

this seventh year, a symoblically significant year, is all ready tough for me. i've been unable to pull out of the tender place i've been the past few days. making love is but a brief comfort.

writing poetry, too soothes for just a moment.

having spent seven full days with wild women, i realize afresh what a treasure my grams was, is. how much i miss her. my mom told me a phrase she used to say, i've been trying to figure out how to use it because it made me laugh. my grams had spanish sayings that would be so profound, and now in hindsight we laugh to block the tears which would come if we sat silent.

so today, march fourth is my grams' third birthday in march. i told a friend it was a long story, but i'll tell it here, because you can leave if you get bored, and i'll be none the wiser. but i must tell it, because she is listening and i am going to try to laugh as i tell it to keep from tears (too late).

my grams had three birthdays because she was born in 1920. apparently, they weren't too certain what day it was and wrote her birth certificate for march 1. it was, in actuality, march 2. then, city hall burned down, and she was issued a new certificate with the march 4 birthdate, about which she probably laughed and went about her business.

she loved a good celebration and three days of birthday are better than two. three is always better than two. so she would have said.

the dalai lama quote above touches me because today, my tribe, women of my flesh and blood. women who share my face and stature, my hair and mannerisms are getting together for a cafecito. which, i am told, they are given to on occassion. reminsicent of an english tea, they have pan dulce, or sweet bread, coffee, and my sister often naps like a cat in the living room (we're notorious nappers, my sister and i. sometimes, i used to have such bad nightmares, the only sleep i'd get was naps during the days around friends. i'm sure glad those days are over).

but this dalai lama business reminds me of my day today, because they will likely call and laugh and talk to me and tell me how much they love and miss me. and i will be grateful. but it will ache. i will cry. but i want them to penetrate my silence with their voices. it is what keeps me alive. even though it hurts, it heals. it reminds me that our tribe is still together and moving forward.

on my grams' deathbed, i promised her we'd keep the family together. hard to do from a distance. i've listened to more tales of dismay than i care to hear, but that is part of it. when it comes down to it, there is her blood coursing through our veins, and for no other reason, we band together and laugh.

i don't take many pictures anymore. since my grams' died, i just lost the gana, or desire. i wish i had a picture to share with you of the women of my tribe, but i don't.

my sister hopes to go walk the beach today and talk to our grams and her baby sent among the waves.

i will likely sojourn to a little place i had a memorial put up, just to have a destination. not because i need a place of rememberance. i bear it in my flesh always. but so i can see the ocean of sky above, and wonder if grams is looking down her field glass at me, and if she misses me, too.

Friday, March 03, 2006


perhaps it's the noise that gets me most when i go to town. yesterday i sat at the intersection of two freeways, at a place which was much like an arcade. inside there was no silence, it was full of technoblather. and i had to go outside to get away from the noise. but the sound of cars speeding past was constantly buzzing in my ears.

i came home, fighting a migraine, which seems to happen when i spend a day in town.

now, i am not sure what kind of silence i need. because i played metallica all the way to the place where my daughter began her birthday celebration. it didn't bother me. but the noise of hustle and bustle, that gets me.

my appearances out of doors are becoming more rare, and soon, they'll start trying to predict the weather. did she see her shadow? six more weeks of winter.

i've got to go out today, i've tried everything i could to get out of it, but since it is the actual birthday of my girl, i can't swing opting out. so i'm in. my head still aches from yesterday. but today we go to the fair grounds, there isn't a fair going on right now, so it is quiet and pretty peaceful.

have a blessed day.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


sitting at my kitchen table yesterday, a woman and i conversed about the difficulty of finding tangible community. we are both very active on the internet. we are both active in our homeschool group. we are both members of the same organization. but we feel estranged from one another. we do not feel a part of each other's community. and yesterday, i wished we did.

i confessed,
i do not know how to make community happen.

neither do i,
she said.

we spoke of our attempts and what could be done about it, but mostly, we came up with no solutions. but it was nice, for a moment, to have another living, breathing soul that i could see and touch sitting across from me, entering in, as it were, to my life.

homeschooling is a strange throwback to old times.

my sister likens the co-op movement many homeschoolers involve themselves in to the "new" homeschooling.

i, like my sister, do it the old way. we stay home, alone with our children and study.

my daughter is the member of one organization and goes to church wednesday and sunday. but that is the extent of our social calendar.

i noticed while we were swimming (we do that, too), how the homeschool children orbit around their parents (many of them, not all). we are little planets and entities unto ourselves, so that many times, even when we are together, we are alone.

my dear friend who visited yesterday is fulfilling her many roles as wife, mother, daughter, with great strength and integrity. i told her so. she said,
i don't hear that often.
i understood. nor do i. but it doesn't change the fact that it is true.

i don't know why i'm telling you all of this. i guess i am gearing myself up to talk with a friend whom i am spending the day with. i guess i am trying to drop my elusive thang and be present to the people i'm around.

internet folk demand so much less of me, and i can get to them when i remember them. but my daughter needs tangible children. so i must go out today and let her play.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

nether regions

sometimes when i say things, i don't realize what i am saying. this is probably true about 30% of the time. then, when i see what i've said, i think.
huh, why did i say that? is it true?

and typically, i come to find out, yes it was true. i just didn't know it.

i mentioned to a friend that my husband calls me back from the nether regions where i dwell.

this statement struck me as odd. i can't imagine how it comes across. probably very odd. i have thought about this statement ever since i wrote it. i've contemplated it.
what does it mean? why did i say that?

the book i've been alluding to, but not named, is women who run with wolves. a powerful book about the wild woman myth and archetype. this five hundred page behemoth has consumed seven days of my life, as i devour it. it is such a powerful book, (with some garbage in it), but largely, a powerful book from which i can hardly get a page and have to write yes! in the margin. underlining. dialoguing with the author as we go.

i'm nearing the end (p. 495), and i've just passed a section on under world. pertaining to the subconscious. i dig the subconscious. i use it for my main writing tool.

but the nether regions, were the words i had used. land of the dead.

the book talks about the dead being abandoned or aborted artistic children. yes. those creative endeavors we did not complete. those spectres of creativity who are rattling their chains in our subconscious.

the author says we need to mourn these dead, and bury them. effectively pinning them to the ground so they don't follow us around anymore.

sounds like wisdom to me. i've said all along, i want my next creative child to live. i want my next soul movement to thrive. i must mourn the dead and move forward.

i look forward to my next creative endeavor. though now it seems the future is as grim as the past as far as publication goes (of my poetry, that is). i won't despair. knowing, trusting, God's plan.

i have to remember simeon. if an infant Jesus is all i ever get to see, i pray He will be sufficient. that i will step out in faith and trust an infant Messiah.