Sunday, April 30, 2006

one more day

it's not that i don't dream, it's that last night's dream was so close to my heart, so much the mysteries of suzanne's life revealed, that i am still somewhat in awe. i don't really believe dreams are telling us things, yet i do. especially, like last night, when there was a friend there whom i miss.

get over it, shake it off, keep moving. i tell myself, and i will. but i've had the bud of a poem in me for days, perhaps it will come, perhaps not. but the dream was so real. i was there. so was my sister, so was my friend. i was there i tell you. i was there.

but i'll shake it off, i'll move on to the next thing at hand. i'll busy myself with the work of the day and push the dream from my mind. force it out. there are many other faces and places vying for the time i dedicate to remembering this friend now gone.

there is plenty to do. new places to see, new people to meet. new poems to write. why then am i mired down in this?

because it is how i'm wired. i was up very late talking to my sister, who said,
you really miss people when they go away.

she said,
i'm glad when people go away.

one less egg to fry,
i said

i think because i find my rootedness, my home in folks, i ache when the void is evident. and this isn't just some anonymous person who wafted away, this was a dearly loved friend. and today, i'm just missing him.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

stones and dandelions

at the little park by my apartment there are checkerboards in the tables. my daughter and i sat and played a game there yesterday. she gathered stones and put them on her side of the board, and when she was collecting sticks for me, i said,
no wait, i want to be dandelions.

being a lover of all things floral, it was a perfect fit. my girl is a rockhound, so that too was a perfect fit.

when the pianist arrived, he informed us that we had too few rows of checkers and the gameboard was askew.

i said.
who makes these rules?

my girl chimed in,
there is a game of checkers called scant checkers (i think that was the word she used, she has excellent diction). it takes only two rows of checkers.

the pianist informed us you "must" jump when you can in checkers. it's a rule. which elicited another balk from me. i can't stand rules sometimes. what if you don't notice you can jump (which happens to me on occassion), and which i bank on from my opponent. what then? we're breaking the rules. madness.

the issue of kinging came up, and did you know there is such a thing as leaping kings where you can jump a whole row at a time? i did not. i guess the rules can be helpful, eh? but i have always thought checkers a last ditch children's game. the kind of game no one really plays seriously. but i guess i was wrong there as well. when kinging a dandelion, we turned it's little lionface down to make it look like a little girl in a green ballgown and yellow petticoat. very sweet. the dancer in me rejoiced at this. to king a rock, we took dandelion greens and made little magic carpets.

my girl lost interest and i had laundry hogging up the community washer, so we headed home and i threw the load in the dryer before we set off on our daily pilgrimage to the library.

i realized this choice of stones and dandelions was fortuitous.

she is solid, substantial. shall not be moved kind of grounded.

i am all over the place, ubiquitous some might say. given to casting my seed upon the wind. flighty in a good sense. how can you not walk by a dandelion fully plumed with seed and not pick it up and participate in the most perfectly delightful casting of seed ever designed?

sometimes when i look at my girl, i am incredibly grateful that she is much of what i am not. she has stability though her environment radically and unexpectely changes. she has firm contact with the Ground of her being.

i can't say i had that so much when i was young. we were kept in the same schools, which is more of a blessing than i understood, but i realized just the other day, that my seven year stint in texas was the longest i've ever lived anywhere in my entire life.

the story of my life is my unrootedness as my dear friend has been telling me. uprooting me again has been so vastly discombobulating (great word), i often find myself struggling just to find my footing. but some rhythm is returning and soon, i'll be as good as new.

though going to new york city for an evening poetry gig is still a bit daunting to me. i have to find some poets here whom i can tag along with or drag along with me. there is this great place called poet's house. lots of workshops and whatnots. i can learn so much here, if i can just brave leaving the relative comfort of this small village.

but as all dandelions are inclined to do, i will fly upon the breezes sooner or later.

Friday, April 28, 2006

head games

remember that foreigner song? from the 80s probably. if i turned on the radio right now i'd probably hear it. i am reminded of it in my prayers today, and often feel like God is doing to me what He did to philip:

When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.

sometimes i want to just look up and ask,
are You messing with me?

i hate to be toyed with. i would rather get the straight line and be done with it. at least that way i can do something. but when someone who knows the plan asks to figure out if i know the plan, it bothers me. just tell me you know the plan and i'll go with it. don't frustrate me.

i've never liked exposing my ignorance. something i'm overcoming largely in my writing. i'm very ignorant at times on the page. perhaps not so much ignorant as willing to admit i don't know the entire plan. i have glimpses, you see, of how it will work out. shimmers and shades of fulfillment. but i certainly don't know how thousands will be fed with two tiny loaves and five itty fishies.

i stand, with philip, utterly perplexed. you notice philip didn't answer [note: of course, i cut off philip's answer and didn't realize it: Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages 5 worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit)." would have been better if he hadn't answered]. sometimes when i am utterly mystified it is best to just keep my mouth shut. lest i sow disbelief. one of the apostles answered one of Jesus' maddeningly hard questions once with,
Lord, you know. (or Thou, knowest. gotta love kjv)

and that sounds like a good answer to me. i'm being told by my dear ones to pray specific prayers so i know when and if God answers. give Him parameters. but i say,
if i give Him wrong parameters, if i ask specifically amiss, what is the point of that?

rather, i pray,
as You know and as You will, so be it.

He knows what He's going to do anyway. why get all invested in the outcome (especially if i've got the wrong picture of the outcome). rather, i just leave it all at the feet of God. problem. solution. everything.

help God. help.
these are my profound prayers.

i've taken to mimicing a part of the liturgy we pray weekly,
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

again, profound. but i've come to a place where i know He has to have a clue what is going to happen. what the result of all this madness will be. and i trust Him to be gracious. He has been so gracious to me my whole life over. why would He change now? now that i am consious of what i pray and specifically ask for what i need, how is that going to garner any more favor than i all ready possess? it cannot. it will not. i am but a child, coming to the Father saying,
papa, i'm hungry.

He already knows what He will do. and i trust Him to do it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

abyss of absurdity

liturgy has kept me tethered to the faith in these times of uncertainty, it has been a lifeline to me. but today is a repeat of yesterday which was a repeat of the day before, and i'm just sick of it. so i will look to merton, this passage i found particularly encouraging:

In his [Staretz Sylvan] inner conflicts and sorrows he found a strange answer and a still stranger way of prayer. The Lord said to him "Keep thy soul in hell and despair not."

this is utterly refreshing to me. a man who hears and writes like i do. God says these kinds of crazy things to me, too. God is truly a wildMan. merton continues:

At first it sounds a bit dreadful, or perhaps at best eccentric. Yet to me it is in a strange way comforting, men still share deeply and silently the anguish of Christ being abandoned by His father (to be abandoned by God is to be "in hell") and they "despair not." How much better and saner is it to face despair and not give in than to work away at keeping up appearances and patching up our conviction that bogus spirituality is real!

i need a moment to collect myself. merton bodyslams me here. and takes my breath away.

That we are not really facing dread! [merton in previous writings has said we all must reckon with dread. it is the way of faith] That we are all triumphantly advancing "getting somewhere" (where?), accomplishing great things for Christ, and changing the face of the world! We can still choose between the way of job and the way of job's friends, and we have to have the sense (i say sense, not courage) to choose the way of job: it takes far more courage to start out on a way that obviously leads to the far end of nothing, and to walk over the abyss of our own absurdity in order to be found and saved by God, who has called us to walk that way.

me again. wow. merton lays out all the shams of faith so cleanly here. i've lacked courage in a major way, but he tells me it is not required. thank God. sense to walk in the way is. he continues:

It takes sense to see that if He calls us, it is the only way. As to courage, He will provide: and of course He will provide more in the form of hope than as plain fortitude. We must not expect to glance at ourselves and see "courage," and take comfort from this. Christ alone, on the cross and in darkness, but already victorious, is our comfort.

ah, this comforts me marvelous much. to string a few words together the way merton does. there is this passage on him reading poetry which he questions whether it is an affront to his vow of poverty to read words so rich. gorgeous. now THAT is a poet. that is a man in tune with poverty and all vows i would say.

the abyss of absurdity though makes so much sense to me as i've often felt these musings are more absurd than not. i've been called absurd by one professor. and i just have to remember always, it is not she who will judge me on the final day. it is not she. it is He. He alone.

he talks of walking to the far end of nothing. yes. it is a frightening thing to walk out on the sea, to step out in faith and trust. it is a tremulous ordeal. how these slicked back hairdo guys can make it all out to be light and happy a walk in the park is beyond me. this, what merton writes, is more truth to me than i have heard in a great many real time words from the church collective.

speaking of the collective. clarissa pinkola estes talks about some people who dream for the collective. some people, she says, are people of destiny. i believe God is saying that and has been for a while now. are you a person of destiny?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

land of a thousand sounds

where we used to live, we could hear the silence. it was palpable. we could sit and steep in it, as one is steeped in sounds of the city. in my garden the occasional car would pass and otherwise, it was all quiet.

we were fortunate in that when we moved away once the home next door to us was built. we never had to suffer the construction sounds. it has always been a home unsullied by noxious sounds.

but i had begun to notice the increase of traffic on the road out front. i could hear trucks rumbling by more frequently. the young neighbor fancied rap and loud speakers in his car. things were definitely changing.

these changes are what started me praying,
i'd be ready to sell this place if i had to.

well watch out what you pray for kids. it happens, sometimes with the speed of lightening.

this new town, or village as it is called, in never silent. if it is not the neighbor upstairs rumbling about and creaking floorboards, it is the neighbor downstairs and muffled conversations. fortunately they are very kind and gracious neighbors. but they vacuum more than any living souls i know (last night i heard the vacuum at around 1am). while i, in contrast, didn't even bring my vacuum. eventually we'll see about changing that.

i've never been in a place so obsessed with trash. the trash truck rumbles by every day (or nearly, i'm not kidding). it's metallic sounding arms lift the heavy industrial cans set out for the church in our parking lot (or we are in their parking lot, actually. i've become as territorial as the blue jays chasing the raven this morning). or they rumble down the street, three times in one day that we saw while my sister was here. i've even seen a "trash patrol" car on the streets, a small white pickup with those ridiculous words on it.

for being so uptight about trash, there is trash everywhere. i've never seen so much trash (and we are generating quite a bit ourselves as we are still purging).

then there's the church bells, which are nice. and ring out in stark contrast to the whining of sirens and rumbling of trains.

i cannot imagine if i lived in the city. or a city larger than this one. my daughter has run in frightened by all the sounds at times, but she is beginning to settle down. so am i, i guess.

noise pollution is real. i hope someday to live in a place where silence is the only sound i hear when i choose to listen.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

say my name

yesterday i was unpacking boxes (no, i'm not done yet). and looked around the apartment with its retro wall paper, and large wooden molding. i thought, i never imagined i'd be here. never.

i guess i'm still recoving from the shock of such a rapid move. i know God is in it, it is just utterly disarming to be completely, utterly, beyond description comfortable in one home one day, and two weeks later in a completely new environment.

i'm glad He got me here for spring though, it is a sight i've never seen. trees being scant every place i've ever lived.

one thing i told my husband about a week ago was,
i can't be in a room full of complete strangers on sunday.
when i walk up to my little chapel, the priest says,
suzanne, welcome!

with accompanying grin and shakes my hand. the first time i went he gave me a holy kiss. which was unexpected, but wonderful. like God kissed me.

there is a lady there who knows my name as well. and she shakes my hand (they do a lot of handshaking there), and says,
peace be unto you suzanne.

Lord knows, as do you, how i need peace. so i'm grateful for these kindnesses. the familiarity of strangers.

just to hear my name, in warm tones, spoken from someone with a glimmer of recognition is all that gets me through the day here sometimes. this is a very small community and i am meeting more and more people, but the linking of hearts is slow to come. and i do hope for a lot.

i met a pianist at the park the other day. he had an awesome spirit. and on sunday at church, there he was.

the pianist!
i said.

and he smiled and walked over. he uses a cane, so dignified. and juts it out just so as he walks. he wore a fine black coat, and hat. he looked like a perfectly dressed man, as perfect as i've ever seen. and had the sweet spirit to match. he met my husband and was delightful to him as well.

it is getting easier, with each passing day here. but to hear someone say my name, that means more to me than you can imagine.

Monday, April 24, 2006

a thousand eyes

O thousand
heavy lidded
eyes, rise
from thy
of silk

O dreamer
receive thy
sight, walk
from thy
of dust

O thousand
heavy lidded
eyes, arise
now take
thy flight


there is a cocoon high in a tree, draped with leaves and swaying ever so gently in the breeze. the pad of silk still holds strong. through the long winter, through spring rains, the sleeper dreams.

a thousand eyes of intuition we are said to have. mine struggle to open. sometimes i would rather sleep and dream than rise and do what i am called to do. but i must remember the journey leads on from this place. the path with lead me to new friends, new hope, new joy. so i walk each step in faith and trust, always mindful that i do not know and have not seen the end of my days, merely the beginning.

i try not to linger on yesterday, mourning precious losses. rather, allow myself to become acquainted with the strangers who surround me, then meeting those who will cleave to me as i them. though waking hurts sometimes, though rising makes me leave the comfort of my cocoon, it is time.

arise, O sleeper. the day has come. it is time to fly.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


i have lived so long in famine and drought that bounty comes as an utter surprise. after literally counting sheets of paper i would print, to own a case of reams of paper and be able to print at will seems, well, indulgent at least.

sitting under a tree yesterday, the carpenter bees were lighting from bud to bud. drinking, supping, pollinating. no one bee feared the other bees would consume all the nectar. there were no bees racing to flowers to beat out other bees. there is abundance. there is bounty. there is plenty for all.

i must remind myself of this. and some of the books i'm reading stress this abundant universe business. i believe the abundance of the universe comes directly from the abundance of God. so when i find myself parroting the abundant universe talk, i stop myself and say,
no, wait. it is all God.
whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. it is God Himself who is abundance. He is sufficient. there is enough. i don't have to fight for scraps from God. He is bounty.

what some in christian camps would call positive confession, others in nonchristian camps would call affirmations. speaking out positively, or creating your own abundance. i'm not sure i go with that. but i do believe God would like me to Hope in Him. to hang my hat on Him alone.

i said to a would be friend,
i can push you and catch you when you fall.
but then it struck me, though God use my hands, my face, my voice, it would not be i who caught you. it probably wouldn't be i who pushed either.

this is where the don't take the credit words came from. i realized there are so many things we are privileged to do as christians, and it is so easy to say,
i did this. i did that.
but God really did it. we merely got to be witnesses. how this works out in the verbiage of positive confession i can't say. but i affirm God is the One who gets it all done. i merely get to watch.

my cyberpastor has been gently nudging me to the edge of a precipice, namely publication. he's ready to give me a good swift shove. and sometimes i feel as though i'm all ready falling. i'm all ready careening through the tunnel into wonderland. in today's prayers i read this,

I was hard pressed and falling,
but the LORD came to my help.

you see, this is what i've been saying. i do all the tumbling down, and God does all the lifting up. i don't know how it works. i don't know how it works.

the first time we did service in our little chapel, i sat in the very back with my sister as we walked in late (classic-suz maneuver). my husband and daughter were in the front row essentially.

after the handshakey bit (which i dislike immensely), the priest said,
suzanne, come up here.

and i whispered to my sister,
ah, the seat of honor.

then grabbed my stuff and up we went, while the whole church watched and waited. the bummer about the seat of honor is, everyone waits your lead. they waited for us to go up for communion first, they wait for you to go for prayer first, all kinds of firsts.

and not knowing what one is doing can be daunting, to say the least.

but i must remember this, there are seats of honor in all manner of settings. my being given and taking the seat of honor does not deny anyone theirs. God is bounty. He is abundance. He will lift one up and put one down. but i'm finding when it is time for Him to stretch forth His hand to lift one up, the floor, sackcloth and ashes are very hard to leave behind.

Friday, April 21, 2006


went to my first new york open mic last night. the calibur of poets is definately higher. i had never been to an open mic with so many poets all were restricted to one long poem or two short. it was quite an event.

the good thing about the restrictions is, everyone has to bring the cream. there isn't time for the rest. even the poets who would be considered "bad" or underpar were quite good.

i'm so used to being in scrape the bottom of the barrel poetry situations (not on all occassions), that it is nice to know there are many, many poets here.

i am finally getting some precious time alone. this is only the second time in about a month--and i just don't operate that way. i have to, have to, have to have time alone, or i weird out.

last night was the first time i've felt relatively normal here. like i am supposed to be here and it is going to be all right. i am grateful for that.

i was trying to find a book like the one i am writing to put into my proposal for a publisher, but the task is overwhelming. i understand that i don't fit into any box and how that can be problematic.

the book i'm writing is much like this blog, and involves poetry and prose. if you come across any that resembles what i do here, do tell. i'll greatly appreciate it. i've nearly struck out.

i found a book by robert bly on the human shadow. and a sue monk kidd book, but those were not my objectives. largely, i left with unmet objectives but content with what i had accomplished.

the wisteria out my kitchen window is budding, and each day it gets just a bit more pronounced. a bit longer. that's the thing about spring. when it's time to bloom, there's no stopping it. i am grateful for that. i've wanted to clamp down the glory of spring at times so i can mourn, but spring won't be stopped. it will come whether you want it to or not. and it is dragging me along with it into glory.

i look forward to the day when i run and leap toward joy without any reluctance. i'm buying myself tulips (my sister bought some for me while she was here), and they bring me much joy. it is time, friends, to be kind and nurture our souls.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

proved true

this morning the familiar story of joseph comforts me. he got it right, he knew the deal but was young and untested, unproven. he made the grevious error of presuming others would be as thrilled with the promise of the Lord as he.

the liturgy goes on,
God sent one ahead in slavery

so when all the bad stuff happened, joseph would be in place. then,

the word of the LORD proved him true

that story appeals to me because it is the story of an innocent exile (or more innocent than mine). it is the tale of how bad things happen to good people. sure joseph was young and bold, but it wasn't his fault his dad made him a cool coat and displayed his favour so obviously. so the kid has a dream and it all goes south from there.

or does it?

my dear editor friend gave a lecture, which she sent to me and asks,
it looks like joseph's path was all convoluted (she said it vastly more elegantly than i), but it was the path he needed to take.

i have counted the times joseph wept when meeting with his brothers. five times. five times he wept. the lesson to me there is, even when we are seated in the seat of honor, fulfilling the plan and purpose for our lives, we will still weep. we will still grieve. we will not forget the lessons of darkness.

my life feels like its at the later part of the dungeon, where i keep hearing promises of being remembered (i can't tell you how many people have promised me this or that in terms of writing. long story short, say nothing if you can't fulfill it). yet years pass, and i keep tending the dungeon. chief slave is still a slave.

but liberation is coming. i can feel it. i can see it. the king is getting restless and having bad dreams. time for God to do His thing.

because it was not joseph who interpreted those dreams, it was God who gave the interpretation. it will not be me who does anything spectacular, it will be God who gifts me spectacular things.

i look forward to the day God proves me true.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

hidden things revealed

it is no great secret this promised land has been a struggle for me. my best friend said to me,
your mind is all over the place. i can see it in your writing.

my daughter did not want to sleep in her room, and i did not want deal with the mess in there, until yesterday. a full two weeks into our stay.

only by extracting every last item from her room, did i come to find what i found. someone had tossed their toast in her closet. oh joy. who would do this and why?

i've struggled with besetting fear since i got here. i did not understand it. suicidal thoughts hounded me. but finding this little bit of evil intent, prayerfully cleaning it up and hauling it away has given me peace again.

i kept wondering, is it necessarily evil intent?

how could it not be? you don't accidentally lose your lunch in a closet and not clean it up. i did not walk the house when we moved in, in terms of checking closets and such. i packed in such a way my girl could unpack herself. she didn't even notice it.

i did, as soon as i had cleared everything out. and now the house is clean.

it makes a world of difference. her demeanor has changed. she wants to be in and sleep in her room, finally. i know the besetting fears i have grappled with have departed.

sure i've still got issues, but who doesn't?

i am not the kind of person who sees a demon behind every bush or a design of the enemy in every foul thing. because God is a big God. He can use even the evil schemes and plans to further His purposes. what was meant for evil, He can use for good. i believe it. every word.

this transition has been the time to get me. the enemy knew it. i've been phished (what fun that is, you should try it some time, or better yet, don't). i've been bullied by all manner of past failures. but slowly i am beginning to realize, these are only the distractions. only the outworkings of someone trying to keep me from living in the promised land. i could run. i could hide. my friends want me to go back to texas for a visit, but i can't. it feels too much like retreat for me. i have to move forward. i have to will myself forward even though i tremble. even though it be a challenge just to get through the day here, here is where i am to be. i will not abandon this place for i truly believe in a God who redeems every foul thing that crosses our path. every foolish mistake we make, every dumb irredeemable thing i've said and done. He will work it all out for the good. He's such a cool God.

i just have to remember not to take credit for it. i realized this yesterday after dialoguing with someone i hope one day to be a friend. i said something that was very self-assured. very much, i can help you. when i can't. i am just as clueless as the next guy. but i know who can help. and it is He who deserves the credit. remember, it is very easy to take the credit, and He'll let you have it. but there is so much more. such greater blessing and gifting if you'll let the credit go.

i have a poem stirring in me, but i don't know that i can grasp it yet and it is sure to be one of those uh-oh poems that may be i better not write. but i will.

can God use

can God use

can God use
death to secure
eternal life

can God use
evil intent
for good?

i believe
He can.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

the roar

my daughter and i get out and walk nearly every day. something about the right brainedness of walking, julia cameron calls walking a means to prosody. something about it opens your heart. it certainly does mine.

if you've never seen excalibur, the great arthur flick from some time ago, there is the scene, i believe it is after gawain has brought the chalice to arthur and he rides to carmina burrana and blossoms are strewn from the trees. i love that scene.

that is how it is here. the blossoms pouring from the trees in the gentle breezes, the bees lighting from flower to flower. renee informed me yesterday that she wanted "these blossoms" strewn at her wedding instead of rose petals. i believe she means cherry blossoms, but i've yet to identify the tree with certainty. how young an age to be thinking of a wedding. but she is a girl after all.

so we are walking by this stream and there was some lush green vegitation springing forth. i pointed it out to renee because it was so abundant amidst the yet to return to fullness bushes surrounding it. renee says,

it's saying, hello world. this is me. and i'm blooming!

i wish you could just see her sweet little legs pumping the bicycle pedals as her hair blows in the wind. yesterday she had on my pink leopard back pack with a red teddy bear i sewed for her looking back at me. she rides off in much joy.

i think she just redefined my year. the peculiar gift of children is the way they can make such profound statements in utter innocence. they can speak the truth of God and not bat an eye, because it is just them speaking their hearts.

i realize i spend a lot of time in lamentation. i am looking to change that. but not artificially. i'm not looking to get out of the doldrums just because i'm sick of being there. i genuinely want to rejoice. as easily as i lament. i want the joy to flow from the depths of me, just as the grief has.

my rabbi wrote to me after yesterday's post, and said this, i use it now without his permission but with his blessing i'm sure:
Texas certainly lacks without you and yours
And New York does not yet know what it has
But only the young lions do lack
And yours is a powerful roar

i spent the entire day thinking of these words. the roar. when i was given a tribal name by some apaches, i wanted my name to be lion heart woman. they thought it too aborigonal (though they forgot california has mountain lions), and named me bear heart woman.

i have always felt lion heart woman to be my true name. so this roar business really touched me. and here is what i came up with:

it is a great
friend indeed
who can
hear the roar
of a lion
from the

i've been so utterly downtrodden, yet those who know me hear beyond the grief and pain. those who listen can hear something stirring up a roar. and it is time for me to roar and to bloom. both of those. the season of death is over. time to move forward to pentecost and the infilling. huzzah. what better way to do it than with blossoms streaming from the trees. i may even play some carmina burrana (they do let us drink from the chalice every eucharist service, which i find very cool).

Monday, April 17, 2006

fearful yet overjoyed

yesterday i wore all black to church. i felt a bit uncomfortable as the pastel hues and bonnets were everywhere present. but i felt me again. i felt like it was the right thing for me to do. and so i did.

i walked into the chapel we had stripped on maundy thursday service, and it was dark. i sat there and wept. mary did not know anything about the resurrection. she did not know it was a day of rejoicing, all she knew was her love lay dead and buried. her offering of ointments and herbs were all worship to her. she did not know what the day held.

the days seem to blur together a bit here. i live so much in the moment, it seems, i forget about tomorrow and the significance of it. easter came and went, me focused on Christ, and i can't say that has ever happened before.

we were exiting the chapel and one priest asked my girl about chocolate and bunnies, i put finger to lips and said,

easter is not about chocolate and bunnies. i'd like to get away from that expression of the holiday. but it seems unlikely while my child is yet a child. and i do not begrudge her the comforts of the season. i do not begrudge her any comforts at this point in our journey.

she has begun saying,
i could live here forever.
which is nice to hear, since we swept her away from everything familiar. the only home she has ever known, and all her little friends.

i told her,
i could live here forever, too. but we'll have to see what happens to your daddy in winter.

he does not like the cold.

as we were out and about yesterday, my black garb was little on my mind, and then i saw tasseled jews in black. their long curls descending from their yarmulkes (my dear rabbi sends me the correct spelling of that word). they dress in black as well.

there is a large jewish community out here. i've much to learn.

my mourning and trepidation somehow stayed with me this morning and i read the line from my prayers that said
mary, when she left the tomb was fearful yet overjoyed.
yes. that is how it is for me. i am trembling yet trusting, too.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

yet i live

there are times when life is too heavy a burden for me to bear. when i wish to be away from it all. such was the case this week. i had thoughts that oppressed me and i could find no release from them.

then i took communion and lay in my husband's arms and wept. he held me and let me pour out my heart. my fears, my failures.

the dark thoughts that plagued me earlier in the day, the wishing my life away as it were, ceased.

the next morning i found myself still unsteady. i breathed deep and picked up a familiar refrain,
it's going to be all right.

i walked to the post office, though i did not want to go. and just getting out of doors got me out of my head.

we stopped at a playground and stayed there for hours. i met a sweet girl who seemed tossed by life. strangely enough, i felt centered. i sat there feeling strong again.

when she left, i realized i hadn't slipped out of my shoes much lately, so i did. it had rained the night before, so the grass was chilly and moist. i walked in circles as i read chapter after chapter of a book about healing your soul.

yes it has some whacked out stuff in it, but it is largely sound.

my prayers this morning had this precious refrain
I shall not die, but live

and so i shall. i rose this morning and thanked God for another chance. another day to experience creation. another moment of time to love and be loved. even imperfectly, loving is better than sealing off the heart. even when it is utterly painful to love, it is still better than not loving.

i don't know anything anymore. even the subtle comforts i once held dear have been stripped away. my friends are far and some silent. but my heart holds them all and i intend to brave the day and move forward.

spring has sprung, just in time. i could use a season of love. blossoms again filling the air. everything twitterpainted.

yes, even in uncertainty, i live.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

all details handled.

when i wrote that we were eyeball deep in a two week move to new york. i did not know all the answers to the questions i had asked, but i knew someOne knew, and that was enough for me. that has always been enough for me.

though there are times i'd like to know. like today, there are a great many questions i'd like answers to for my own comfortsake. but He doesn't answer those demands, gratefully. He lets me learn trust.

when i wrote those words, i had no idea where my dog or cat would go. we had to move and had signed a lease on a two bedroom apartment with a no pets clause. i was to pull out of our driveway at 6am the next morning and i had no idea where my pets would go.

i kept trusting God. i'm not the most responsible person in the world. this felt a great deal like not dealing with the hard issues. but earlier in the week i had found a shelter for my dog, and when i arrived they refused him. i was relieved in a way, but grieved in another.

i couldn't keep him. and he knew it was doomtime. when i put him in the car beside me he was trembling. he wasn't wimpering but making a sound i've never heard him make before. i, you see, had owned him since he was six months old.

he loved me. and i loved him. i remember that day, i didn't want to think about him being taken away, after i found a rescue shelter that would pick him up. i wanted to hide from him because i felt so guilty.

but then i remembered a poem i wrote. when i am striken and marked for death will you gather me and hold me close until i quivering yield (or something like that, i write it now as prose, but you get the idea).

he was striken and marked, not for death, for i'd found a no kill shelter. but certainly for death to all he and i had known. and i had to let him go.

i sat in my garden with him for the last time. he sat at my feet as he always did and i sunk my toes into his abundant coat. and rubbed his chest and belly with my feet. he loved it. he rolled onto his back and let me rub him as i sat there writing and weeping.

my husband came home at that moment, and i had details, endless details to wrap up, so i went in the house. when the time came, i led oreo without a collar and leash, he never really needed them to the curb where the truck awaited.

i sat with him beside me and i held him close. i looked into his beautiful brown eyes and said,
i will see you again. we will be together soon.

and i cried.

my girl returned home just as he was being picked up and was allowed to say goodbye. she promptly threw up her lunch, as she also said goodbye to the last of her dear little girl friends.

my cat went to the home of my best friend. i got to say goodbye, and so did renee, late that night after the packing details were done for the evening. renee and i cried again.

we drove off, after my best friends hugged me and prayed for me. and i realized, the details were all handled. it was a bit surprising how it all worked out, but i trusted God then as i trust Him now. to work it all out.

yes, all details handled.

Friday, April 14, 2006

precious wound

before i left texas, my best friend and i pierced our left ears, high in the cartilage. i must clean that wound three times a day for three months. i am told not to remove the jewelry for a full year and a half, as the wound will close quickly.

each night when i sleep, i am reminded of this precious wound. each day when i rise, as i wash and towel dry my hair, i am reminded of this precious wound.

last night i went to the maundy thursday service at the small chapel i'm now attending. tradition and me don't usually go well together but this group of people make a point of being inclusive. i can be there and not be too uncomfortable.

i wept from nearly the moment i entered the sanctuary. using my hair as a veil, i hid myself from all but God.

before the service, i walked the gardens and picked up trash. sometimes i have to be drunk to do the Lord's bidding. such was the case last night. i needed a drink to help me do what need be done. so i did. i drank then picked up trash.

it occurred to me that He does not require any more than i am able to give. even when on trembling hands and knees i come.

i am a woman of no account

i said to Him

receive what i have to give

not much, i thought, but something. even an act of service is better than nothing. but as i write it, that is probably not true. i think God would rather have nothing from me than something given in obligation or to win favours.

i kept wondering as i was crawling under bushes, cedar, which i'm allergic to--why am i doing this? for a story? for cosmic points? because i want to sit in this garden and not see empty corona cases strewn about? maybe all.

even if it was an utterly selfish moment. a time when i had to choose between being selfish and being selfless--the one sometimes looks a lot like the other--it was what i was supposed to be doing at that moment with my life.

bags of trash filled, i made my way to the sanctuary and sat on the front steps and cried.

i kept laying my head on the pews in front of me and crying throughout the service. it was a tough time.

it occurred to me, this is the first easter season i've had death shroud completed. after spending a year contemplating the death of Christ, now i'm symbolically going to walk through it with these saints of God.

today i go to a monastery for good friday service. i have no idea what to expect. a blessing i hope. a kindred spirit or two who will find me and hold my hand. the breath of God quickening these dry bones.

all this i hope for because He too has a precious wound, me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

enamoured of strangers

i have long thought jealousy a sickness. it is not often i have much of anything to be jealous about. i just don't go there. but i went there yesterday. set off on my own little jealous rage and found myself mystified by it. though today i think i understand a bit more about what was happening.

i wandered through our little village with God, praying about my raging disease. uncertain of what in the world i have to be jealous about, yet feeling it pulse through my veins and despising it. a more lucid jealous fit i've never had.

it occurred to me, the way i write everything is experientially. this does not excuse my bad behaviour. this does not make allowance for foolishness. this is mere fact. that i do not understand a thing until i have wrestled it to the ground and stared in its eyes. that is how i'm wired.

i've a great many people who love me. i've a great many people whom i love. i've no claim on any of these people. they've no claim on me. but sometimes, yes, sometimes, i find myself wanting someone to be mine. yet as i am not theirs, they cannot be mine. it is simple childishness here i'm dealing with. but it is fierce.

i have realized i can pin a great many of my sins on the Lord's will. i can make a moral tale of just about anything, thereby redeeming it. i make no such excuse for my sickness of jealousy. it was wrong. utterly wrong. and would that i could undo it. unlive it. unfeel it. but i cannot. no more than i can catch wind in a bag for later use, i cannot undo what i have done only learn from it.

the thing that surprised me was learning about the perfect jealousy of the Lord.
You are Mine.
He says. and it is true. every word. i am His.

i have not been playing the part of His lately though. i have been playing the part of a woman enamored of a great many other things. fenelon says,
God does not want a bride enamoured of a stranger.
and i blush with guilt and understand completely.

you see, i want men, tangible flesh and bones men to hang my hopes upon. i want to hear my name fall from their lips. feel them embrace me and hold me close. i want to be loved tangibly. sometimes more than i want to be loved by the Divine.

this confession breaks my heart because it is utterly true. i have been enamoured of strangers. i have wanted things other than the Beloved. and He got jealous.

He will collapse any bridge, dash any vessel, remove any obstacle that keeps His bride from knowing Him. from longing for Him alone. it is in utter perfection He strikes at the very heart of what i love most. and i must watch it die. i must let it die and walk away.

yet my backward glances and lingering over tombs troubles me still. my hopes have died. but my Love lives. He has striken the dearest parts of my heart to eradicate what would defile our betrothal. He was simply jealous for me.

i understand this now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

fatal kisses

i have always wanted to be loved. i have always wanted to be convinced of my great worth. my value. the weight of the gold by which i'm wrought, or bought, or ransomed (is probably a better word).

i have looked often to men and every time, without fail, they have let me down. it is the one thing i can count on. this holy week, as i read again and again, of His silence before the shearers, His great service to His betrayer, i am humbled into silence of my own.

it has always struck me as odd that the Lord would wash judas' feet, then give him communion, ultimately blessing him beyond words and meaning, then release him to do what he must.

will i be the woman with precious nard or judas? do i have a choice or have i unwittingly made the choice all ready? is the silver jingling in my pocket now, or have i poured it all out on His feet?

my hair has passed my lower back and i feel the weight of it upon my shoulders, the curling tendrils would make an excellent towel. if i could abandon myself. i wonder how one knows if their service is sweet perfume or fatal kisses. how does one know any of these answers in this life when the goats think themselves sheep and the sheep goats?

i do not know, i do not know. we do the best we can i guess. we hope and pray. we forgive. we try to be true to men of flesh and blood, though they wound us. though we love them and they say they love us back, we try to believe them.

a poem i just wrote may say it better than this lumbering prose:

not so

will i betray you
with a kiss

will i misuse your

will i despise your

will i betray you
with a kiss

will i cast your
courage down

will i slake your
thirst with vinegar

will i betray you
with a kiss

will i condemn you
in silence

will my hand lead you
to slaughter

will i betray you
with a kiss


i am very sad today thinking about betrayals couched in kisses. friends thought friends who turned out to be enemies. how many times have i been thus, how many times have i been thus? too many to count, it seems. for i cannot look in a betrayer's eyes and see anyone but myself.

Monday, April 10, 2006

lost in new york

drove my husband to work today and had to find my way out of the labyrinth that is new york. i got lost.

the thing i kept telling myself was, technically, to be lost is to have no one know where you are. i kept reassuring myself, someone knows where i am. although i have not yet found that person.

the roads wound in and around mountainous type terrain, lovely trees. a migraine was setting in. the fun never ends. i kept driving. when i'd look at my map it had no application because the roads are not only named they are numbered. the map in my hand had only names, no numbers. i couldn't find up from down on the map. so i kept looping back around to where i felt least lost. and i prayed.

after one loop, i saw a man walking and asked how to get to the freeway. he sent me on a way i did not know. i passed signs i thought i recognized, but wasn't sure. so i decided to follow his directions.

they led me to a freeway i could not access. i had not specified north as my direction. and i could not find the road home.

so i kept going. i saw a sign that pointed to a town i knew was south of where i live.

i figured when i went to pick up my sister i'd go the most direct path (though it be a bit longer) so i could see what was there, towns and such. figuring this would be helpful information. i'm glad i did.

i headed toward mahwah, nj. ultimately overshooting my home and arriving from the south when we had departed from the north.

i guess it doesn't matter how you get home, just that you find your way home. eh? i am trying not to succumb to this impending migraine as i have to take my sister to the airport and find my way back to my husband's work. at least he can drive us home. and i can succumb to the migraine then. not now. then.

i think that is partly why i had such a hard time with the maps, impending migraine. not sure what it is that sets these off, but they suck.


there are times when i am utterly spineless. times when i tremble at being alive. this is one of those times.

i'm reading fenelon who says,
live in the present moment with God.
and i do try. i try to inhabit the now, aware of all the peculiarities and uncertainties, joys and pains, angers and frustrations. all of it. i try to attend to.

this moment is full of bittersweetness for my sister leaves today. she cannot stay with me forever, she has a family who needs her and they graciously let me have her near for four days. four glorious days of peace and comfort. yes, i shall miss her.

the thing about it is, i don't think she knows how magnificent a creature she is. she tells me all the time of her flaws and woes, her longings and her hopes. she cannot see her immense beauty.

i understand this. i've told you before, that i could not see my own worth, but slowly, ever so slowly that is beginning to change. i have only begun to believe it as i have willingly accepted the gracious love of others.

it is very difficult, letting others love me. i thought i knew how before, but when my husband goes left and i go right in terms of love, i know i am still very far from the ideal. from even the basic understanding of receiving love.

when my sister is around i laugh a lot. we have this shared pool of memory and often remind each other of where we've been. it has changed some since we've married, but largely, our collective recollection remains.

to be known, to have someone understand your wiring entirely and not hate you for it but love you is something i do not comprehend. it seems like just when i get that feeling that i am known we move. i move. unknownness shrouds me again.

so i keep the lines open with those who know me and whom i know. and i say to them often,
i know you.
and they say to me often,
i know you.
but with my sister it goes unsaid, because we know we know. we know we share many origins. we often discuss how differently we handle many things. i being second, she first.

she is a painter, a singer, an amazing mom. she is a beautiful woman of worth and i wish you could know her as i do. for she is priceless to me and i will miss her more than you can imagine or i can even understand when she leaves me today. but i will walk the streets of this town with the memory of her beside me and be just a little bit more brave. because she was here with me. and i needed her very much. love her well. as i do.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


today marks a week in the promised land. i finally found a grocery, with such an array of fresh flowers, it was utterly delightful. i also found a local open mic, and my first ny open mic will be april 20. huzzah. (there is a used section at this particular barnes and noble, and i found two merton books i've yet to read!)

my sister and i went to the mall, and when i go places i pray for parking spaces and say,
okay God, do Your thing.

i don't really grasp what i ask of God. this is true in every case.

so we walked from the parking space that opened and i was actually able to maneuver the dodge ram into--i've often given up in frustration and not parked in a space (twice yesterday i parked no problem)--and realized the parking lot was literally bumper to bumper cars waiting to get somewhere, looking for spaces. we literally pulled in and parked in under five minutes. we hadn't realized how blessed we were (this is also true in every case).

the mall was crammed with humanity. techno sounds blaring. people bustling by. it was lightly hailing when we set out that afternoon, and rained a bit, so i guess everyone had the same idea as us. check out the mall.

we killed a bit of time, had a few laughs, and found our car. but on the way, we noticed cars parked here and there behind the spaces with their hazards on. i stopped at one of these cars and there were three african american ladies. i said,
my truck is right there.
they said,
okay, we'll come around.
so we walked slowly through cars as not to be followed.

when i arrived at my truck with the ladies following immediately behind, a blazer of some sort pulled up and demanded the spot. i pointed to the ladies, but the blazer sat there blinker obstinate. i sauntered to the back of the car and spoke to the ladies who had placed their vehicle perpendicular to mine.

he wants the spot.
they said.

too bad.
i said. and struck a pose against the bed of my truck. eating my oreo blizzard. i casually put the red spoon in my mouth and smiled at the ladies who were still maneuvering their car into position.

the blazer sat there, blinking away.

i did not move.

he gave up and left.

i hopped in my car and pulled out so the ladies could pull in. we had no idea how to find the freeway again or if we'd get stuck in the lines of gridlock surrounding the mall, but i prayed, as i always pray.

i have no idea where i'm going Lord, help.

and He did, as He always does. Helped.

we ended up turning right on the road that we needed to. found the freeway no problem, and were headed in the right direction, again, in under five minutes.

so i get off the freeway, still uncertain of where the heck i am (remember, this is only the first time i've been out driving during the day). so i said,
Lord, give me a sign.

my sister said,
a zebra flag. there's your sign. keep going.

we drove a bit more.

the flag of mexico. keep going.

i found this funny, because she says all the time,
i don't hear from God.
yet tells me she doesn't need maps because she just "knows" where to go and how to get there.

maybe this mapless knowing is God speaking?
i asked her.

she said nothing.

we found the store. shopped and found home. it is the closest big store, which i now know how to get to. i'd been shopping in our village each day, walking down main street getting one or two things i need for dinner. we have NO storage space in this place. so i can't buy a lot because there is no where to put it. but this gatherer role i'm playing really suits me and it forces me to go out into the world.

that's really all. no thrilling punchline. just life. but God is faithful in the tiniest details, and that is plenty.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

something old.

a friend from high school found me and she sends me this:

i was probably 15 in this picture.

wild, eh? i still dress wierd.

sleep comes

i can't remember the last night i had a good long, restful sleep. but my sister is here with me and the comfort of her presence has allowed me to drift off in peaceful slumber. perhaps some rhythm is returning to my life. it is not just about work and unpacking, there is so much more.

i don't even recall my dreams, so heavily gone was i. it was all rest for me. and i could not ask for more.

i got my library card yesterday, and had a henri nouwen book in my hands when i went to check out.

i can't check that book out to you,
the librarian said.

of course you can't.
i smiled ear to ear.

it shouldn't even be here, it is supposed to be in transit to another library.

of course it is.

i am sorry. the computer won't let me do it.
she tried. i'll give her that. and she was wonderfully pleasant (so i was i, aren't you proud of me?).

it's just not time for me to read that book.
i said, and left the library laughing this time.

these little hurdles, these overwhelming obstacles, these daily burdens are nothing. but they had crippling power over me in my exhaustion. it is finally fading and i am looking forward to living again. to laughing again. to loving again.

i can't wait to find some real person here, to love.

yes, everything looks better after a goodnight's sleep.

Friday, April 07, 2006


so i'm walking to the library yesterday. i'm not entirely opposed to exercise. i like exercise to be meaningful/utilitarian in some way accomplishing something. working out in an air conditioned building, doing those machines and blaring my tunes straight into my head is always nice because i like loud music and if i have to sweat i'd like a climate controlled environ.

driving into new york we passed some gyms, and i could see rows of people running on treadmills, which is a peculiar sight. we do so much indoors. like exercise. i understand the oddity of this.

but i'm sucking fumes as i walk to the library yesterday, cars go by reeking of diesel and exhaust. so i'm wondering, yeah i'm out exercising but this can't be good on the lungs. there are so many cars everywhere and they simply reek.

i understand we have places to go and people to see, but walking is a very nice way to get about. and it is excersize with a purpose. my kind of exercise (apart from the gym).

monday while unpacking boxes i wore my karate gi because i needed to kick some butt. last night as i stood at newark airport waiting for my sister (who got beat to the curb by entire families, mind you. i could tell they were from the same area because they donned minney mouse ears and mickey mouse sweatshirts. whole families wearing this hideous garb. quite a sight).

i thought about doing some squats and kicks so no one would mess with me. but it weren't really the place, and i didn't want to look like a total buffoon.

so i stood there with my best LA face, staring down would be accosters. i was fine. wondered why i was all freaked out earlier in the week.

driving there, to newark airport, i could see the empire state building just across the state line and thought, i never imagined the beginning of this month, or this year that i'd be here. God is amazing.

the ride can be a rush. my major tradeoff these days is certainty for abandon. reckless abandon. i throw myself back into the arms of my waiting God. and He always catches me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

subduing giants

i forgot when the israelites made it into the promised land, they had to take possession of it. duh, i just thought someone would hand me the keys and say,
what a fool, what a fool i am.

so i'm at the library, nearly a mile from my home. we walked here. not a big deal if you have all the required paperwork to actually get a library card, big deal if you have to walk home and retrieve said paperwork to actually get that library card.

there are books on the shelves here i have not read, praise God. and many i want to read in the system. my mouth started watering when i searched merton and pulled up 64 titles, many of which i'd never even heard of. nouwen only 19 hits, but again, many unread.

the promised land is a good thing.

i just find myself so utterly frustrated by the little technicalities. no my name is not on the cable bill because (a) my husband get irked when everything is in my name (b) i try not to irk my husband unnecessarily. but then issues like this arise, and i'm stuck because they won't give me a library card.

somebody write me a letter! if you have my mailing address. although, i should be getting bills in the near future, the library card issue must be settled now. it really felt like one of those, damned if you are a woman moments. no, my name is not on the cable bill, i even told them they could call the church to verify i do in fact live with my husband (though my signature on the cable bill should verify that. the lady said,
i can't read your signature. and even if i could, your name is not on the bill)

my issue is, signatures are signatures. so WHAT if you can't actually read every letter of my name in my signature. who says you have to. the fact that my signature matches the cable bill and my state issued drivers license is not enough. she has to make the point that she cannot read my signature. which i found particularly vexing.

i'm trying not to make enemies here and find myself walking away in utter frustration. then, every computer i touched acts weird (until just now), why is it when i am livid things malfunction? like someone is out to get me or something.

but i didn't explode or bite anyone's heads off. like i said, i have to use this library and the last thing i need to do is be screaming at the ladies who are just doing their anal retentive best to do their anal retentive jobs. i'm a little pissed though.

so i finally sit down in front of plate glass windows and bury my head in my hands and just pray. HELP ME GOD.

then i remember the giants. too bad those damn giants reside in me. but at least they didn't act through me. they were somewhat subdued, i guess. i don't know.

it certainly doesn't feel victorious. i certainly don't feel like i'm taking possession of anything, but maybe i am. by just plugging along, maybe i am subduing something, even if only my will to ring the neck of the anal retentives in my path.


i hate to think about food. if you know me, you know this about me. it is my least favorite subject in the entire world. it is a necessary evil and i am a mom, so i am forced to talk about food.

my intolerant conversing about food has given way recently as i have realized how much condiments, and having the appropriate ones, means. perhaps becase we are in such dire need of drowning whatever it is i manage to muster in some saucy concoction to make it go down (not really, i can hear my friends say, it's not that bad suz. and they are right, but hyperbole is an artistic tool which i on occassion use).

hoisin sauce is just delicious, the tangy sweetness on rices and whatnots. yeum.

bleu cheese dressing, i had finally broken down and bought myself a yummy decadent bleu cheese dressing. i tend to buy the favorites of others because i don't really care if i get my preferred dressing. but this splurge was divine. biting down into those tangy chunks of bleu cheese. mmm.

soy sauce, not a dramatic flavoring in any way, but i like it immensely.

fish sauce, again, not really a condiment, although when i eat vietnamese i drown the stuff in it.

i can't really think of any more right now. and this will likely go down as one of my worst blogs of all time, but hey, i'm missing my condiments. so shoot me.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


i keep getting the willies. i hadn't realized how easy it is for one to settle in to a new place and bar doors and windows to keep the unknown out.

we have the nicest new neighbor downstairs and i keep thinking we're making him mad. he's not. he's nice. i've just got me a case of the willies.

i don't like feeling jittery. i don't like not knowing where the heck i am. sure when i'm in the comfort of texas (or wherever i know the terrain), i can say,
moving is an adventure.

but this side of moving, i find it daunting at times. i don't want to be afraid. i want to be done with being afraid. but the only way that can happen is if i abandon myself to the will of God. if i, once again, in this unfamiliar land, say,
God, hide me in the palm of Your hand and do not let me go.

He isn't usually the one who lets go, i typically jump in fear. but i'm not going to fear. when i feel that thing rise up inside of me, i am going to say,
yes i am afraid, but i trust God.

my sister arrives tomorrow in the middle of the night. i've never been to that particular airport and i'm praying i'll find my way, then home again. i know i will, it is just one of those things that must be done and sometimes is better done in day light. but that is not an option. i was feeling brave when i said,
sure, take a red eye.
but now i tremble.

so i'll rest and trust and abandon myself to the will of God today. this minute. it is all i know how to do. it is how i get from one moment of uncertainty to the next, hopefully, certain moment.

keeping my eyes fixed, that is the biggest battle i fight right now. i've not left the house all week and that is not a good way to start, but i trust God is in it. even when i don't understand. i trust God is in the very center of the mystery and abandon myself again to His will.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

the good dishes

my best friend said,
now suz, when it all starts falling apart. remember, we love you. it's going to be all right.

i didn't think it would fall apart (yes, i am THAT naive).

but here it goes, blow out a comin'. i am finally falling apart. we're here, i'm surrounded by towers of boxes and the tears have just begun.

meanwhile, i don't know up from down directionally and i want to nap for about a week.

i told a friend,
God did part the red sea but i think it got packed up and brought here with me.

i've learned the purging has got to continue. i have one dresser and no hanging space whatsoever. i've got to make the stuff go away.

the one thing that pleases me immensely is that we brought only the good dishes. i finally parted with the it's okay if we break them dishes and am using the dishes i picked out for our wedding.

it only took eleven years. what is the deal with that? why did i wait so long to start using something i love? but at least i'm not dead and can enjoy breaking these dishes and buying new ones.

i am determining to surround myself with only those things that bring me joy, that includes friends.

my sister reports she's got a plate and bowl she despises. (i think i bought them for her, but she doesn't remember that) and she can't wait for them to break. i told her,
your first act of kindness to yourself is to break those damn dishes. then report back.

that was our conversation last night. i hope she starts to use her good dishes.

signs along the way

it was dark, we were exhausted, then i saw it dimly and stared until i could make out the image. it was a clean line drawing of this image:

that is quite a sign, if you ask me: st. michael trampling satan. the freeway in tenessee was named st. michel (or michael, can't recall). and the picture was illuminated. it felt very much like my passing from death to life.

leaving a love's truckstop in wrytheville, tn, i spotted a copper. but not the kind of copper you're used to me spotting. this one was a small, snoutnosed butterfly. it was lying side down on the asphalt. i picked it up. a hitchhiker who rode on my shirt and died at 6:20 pm in my hand. he had been stepped on. his wings broken beyond repair, his proboscis permanently curled around bulbous eye.

so here we are, in the promised land. things still don't go together easily without directions (she said after taking apart and putting back together a kitchen cart no less than three times). terribly bad music here. i think someone stuck this city in a timewarp, 80s favorites are all that play, plus rap, to which i'm uninclined, and something else i wouldn't listen to.

a couple things i've learned: they didn't have many electronics or large beds/furniture in the 1940s when they built this house. the only outlet in the bathroom is in the cupboard (go figure). even in paradise, one needs friends. i am grateful for the send off my friends gave me. i've yet to truly grieve the removal from them. but i'm nearing the point where i can stop pushing to get this move accomplished and tending to endless details--though there a still a great many to deal with. my husband is pleased at his job, which is more of a blessing than you can imagine. there are lots of kids in the neighborhood. i've got a writing turret, like the great mary demuth. now if only i could get my computer hooked up in there. it overlooks the treelined street, has a door so i can shut out the world and write. and best of all, God is in this move. i can feel it. though i am too tired to do much right now, soon, my house will again be in order.

peace. thanks for coming with me on this adventure.