Archive for January, 2009
Last weekend we were reunited with old friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. Old friends are great. And Mark and Kim are some of the greatest.
Sadie had the camera again for most of the evening, so lots of silly pictures got taken.
It’s time to chuck and hunker.
If I were being inaugurated as anything on this day, that would be my inauguration speech. Chuck everything I don’t need and hunker down with everything I do. And I’m actually having a hard time distinguishing between the two at times, which is driving me down a hole that I don’t want to be in. I mean, I’m pretty sure I don’t need new clothes, although I really, really want to go shopping. And I’m pretty sure it’s good for me to be here with my sick child, although I really, really want to get away. And I’m absolutely sure that I need to do something to get this body in motion rather than just sitting here, getting blobby, and sliding into a hole like a wad of slime. I think kickboxing sounds like a nice thing to hunker down with. I’m going to look into it.
Now, if anybody can tell me a way to get rid of 86 friends on Facebook without anyone noticing or caring, I’m all ears.
From Bean: Is it better to be content…or to dream big?
I am a tortured soul.
I know it.
For example, why is it that I really WANT to stay up late every night even though I just can’t keep my eyes open past ten most of the time? Here’s why: Because in the long run I’m happier when I stay up late. I find late nights to be the most peaceful and contented time that there is. When I don’t get to experience them, I don’t get to experience peacefulness and contentedness. But here’s another truth: I’m happier in the short term when I get up early and get much done in the morning. I tend to have better days, day by day, when I get up early. I tend to have a better life as a whole, when I stay up late. These two things that I long to do cannot coexist in this universe. Ah, blasted sleep! I wish I didn’t need it so!
So there’s my answer, Bean. It’s basically the same as my answer would be to your other question – Why do we look at that Kleenex after blowing our nose!!?
I don’t know. I just don’t know. But I think it has something to do with looking for happiness.
(The following questions were posed to me by the lovely – and pregnant – divinegrace.)
a) If you could go back to relive a certain year/age which would it be and why?
First of all, I need to change that word “could” to “had to.” I would not view it as an opportunity to go back, but as a damnation. Does anybody really, truly WANT to go back and relive anything? The thought makes me want to throw up. Literally. My stomach is churning just thinking about it. But if I HAD to, then I would definitely want to go back to a happy time. And the time I think I was the happiest was probably the year Callie was born. She was born at the end of 1994, so I would pick the year 1995. I was twenty-two. I was never happier than when I finally got to have that baby I’d been dreaming of my whole life, quit that legal secretary job that no person in their right mind would ever dream of, stay home, cook meals, do laundry, watch my baby be the cutest thing on earth and sing U2 songs with my husband when he came home from school, before he went off to work the graveyard shift. Relationships were good and whole then. Mothering was easy. And I finally felt comfortable in my role as a young wife.
b) Have you ever had your heart broken or broken someone else’s heart?
This is loaded. But yes and yes. One heartbreak that almost killed me. What is it that they say? What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? I don’t believe them. It made me different, yes. But not stronger. Perhaps even the opposite of stronger. Like tenderer. And then I met my husband, at just the right stage of my heart.
And I still have the notes from 1985, written to me by a broken-hearted eighth grade boy, begging me to reconsider. It’s heart-breaking to read them, actually. I’m close to tears just thinking about it.
The other day a random Amy Grant song came on the iPod in the car. Let me say once more that I love you…. A silly little song, really. But the heart is a funny thing. It doesn’t know the difference between silly and meaningful. From the first note, I was taken back to when I first heard that song. I was transported out of my Toyota Highlander, driving along I30 in Dallas and taken back to Salem, Oregon, 1989. Let me say one time, maybe two… I remember the weather that day, the smell in the air, the way the earth seemed to stop spinning and nothing could catch me, the way my broken heart was laid bare for anyone to step on. Tell me that time can’t erase this look of love on your face…. And then I looked over at my husband, driving the car, and remembered how I met him less than a month after I first heard the song. In fact, the song was still so new, it kind of became our song. It’s like it chose us. Just hearing it makes my heart break and become whole again, all at once.
c) If you could walk right into anybody’s job/profession what would that be?
I would be anything that involves passionate-less dictating. Like the person that handles the crisis situation by standing and thinking and quietly giving orders. Never losing composure, never actually having to DO any of the things I order those around me to do, and never messing up my hair. What is that job called?
I sometimes think that love gives me more physical sustenance than food and drink. Or maybe it’s the same thing. I’m trying to figure out how it works, exactly. It’s like I look at someone I love and I drink them in somehow. And it nourishes me. Then the love flows through my veins, in and back out of my heart, from toenail to hair follicle, from freckle to marrow, until every organ, every cell, every memory has been filled with evaporated love molecules that have somehow given me enough energy to carry me through one more day. Only I don’t actually have to look at the person, so it’s not like the love seeps in through my eyes. I can talk to, talk about or even think about them and the osmosis begins. It just seeps. I don’t even have to want it. It seeps regardless of want.
Today, Grace announced that she could do everything with her hands clasped together, fingers evenly interlaced, as in prayer. She then proceeded to show me how simple it was. She got a spoon, bowl, cereal and milk, poured it all into the bowl and began to eat without unclasping her hands even once.
And Sadie was pretty quiet at dinner, until she told us all she was pretty sure that pepper was made of salt. It couldn’t JUST be pepper in there.
The other day, Callie had her back turned to me and I gave her a little, high, side kick, just because it seemed like the thing to do at the moment. “Ugh!” she said. “Why do you and Dad always do that to me when I’m not looking?” “Well honey,” I replied, gently, after careful consideration. “Because that’s what we do in our family. We kick butts. When people ask you what kind of family we are, you can tell them proudly that we’re a family of butt-kickers.” Now, whenever we’re out somewhere, usually surrounded by people we don’t know very well, she’ll sidle up to me, raise her eyebrows and say, “Hey Mom, what kind of family are we?”
It’s not just my kids either, although they’re easy examples to give.
I sometimes feel like I’m on the verge of grasping true love…the love that lays down its life for its friends…the love that has given us a physical reminder of eating and drinking that which can’t really be eaten or drank…the body and the blood…
But that’s not an easy thing to grasp, so I remain on the verge.
This love surrounds me moment by moment. It’s not like I can touch it, but it’s deep and it’s thick. And I can drink it.
And it sustains me.