Updates and Downbeats

One week and two days after I burst a blood vessel in my eye (or maybe EVERY blood vessel in my eye?), I am looking a little less like a vampire and a little more like a hepatitis patient. Originally the entire white area of my eye was blood red. And when I say entire, I mean ENTIRE. And when I say blood red, I mean no areas of sorta, kinda red were mixed in. It was shocking. BLOOD RED. My youngest daughter couldn’t even look at me without getting visibly nauseous. Today, there are still two little blood red dots close to the center and the rest of the white area is now a milky yellow-y, orange-y color.

I guess the doctor at the CareNow clinic was right when she said it could take up to two weeks to go away.

One day last week when I was driving home, I saw a sight that I have never before seen in my entire life. Right in the middle of rush hour traffic, headed due east on the freeway, about 5 miles away from my home, the moon began to rise. It rose directly in front of me, where the freeway disappeared over the ridge, into the horizon. I kid you not when I say that moon was the width of the entire five lanes of freeway traffic. It was like another planet was about to come crashing into us. Every crater was as big as my car and clearer than I have ever seen. I was literally driving with my jaw dropped open, staring at all the other people in all the other cars beside me, screaming at them and pointing, “Do you SEE that?!!!!?” Nobody looked at me or answered me. Nobody even had their mouth open. We just got invaded by another planet and nobody except me seemed to notice.

Five minutes later, I ran into my house and grabbed my camera off the countertop, screaming “Callie, Sadie, Grace!!!! You have to come with me NOWWWWWWW,” as I raced back out the door to the car that I had left running on the curb. Two of the girls made it out the door in time to join me as I drove like mad to a nearby field where I thought we might still be able to see it rising.

But we were too late. Only ten minutes at the most had passed and it was already high in the twilight sky. Looking beautiful, yes, but just looking like your average full moon. Neither Sadie nor Grace would let me take their picture in front of it, hiding their faces and running away and whining about how they didn’t have time to get “ready.”

So Grace took a picture of me. This is the best we could get. Me and the blurry moon that ten minutes earlier had been as big as the gas station on the corner.


I tried taking my camera to work the next day, hoping against hope that the rising would be in roughly the same place and time during the drive home and I could capture it. (No, I don’t text while driving but yes, I do photography while driving.) But alas, the day was cloudy and I saw no moon at all. None at all. Only clouds. But I did get some pictures at work that day, and I have to admit that it feels kind of good to finally have a record of the place where I spend most of my days.

Here I am at my desk.


And yes, I photoshopped my eye. No way I’m putting a picture of that ugly thing on here. No way, Jose.

And this is the view over the top of my desk.


And here I am with my cute friends I work with (or worked with). One is finishing up her temporary assignment this week, most likely, and one is having a baby this week, most likely. Can you tell which is which? Sniff. I’m going to miss them.


And my husband finished his exam he’s been working on for six months.

And I cut my hair all short this weekend.

And my daughters have all worked hard in school, and helped out around the house, and played music, and made laughter, and entered into family prayer with clear, loud voices, and kissed me goodnight before going to bed this week. And well, I really love them.

But I can’t stop biting the inside of my cheek, no matter how many deals I make with myself.

And I can’t get my iTunes store to open and I have an iTunes gift card burning a hole in my heart. And I really, really, really want to spend it. I sure wish I had a technical advisor like the olden days.

And that’s enough for today.

Unexpected Grace

Every beat of my heart pumps the desperate plea of escapism through my blood. And every vein carrying the blood through my body just presses back toward home. The need to escape and the burning homesickness flowing firmly together. Not gently, but like a raging river. Coursing on to battle.

The sun rises unexpectedly in my rear view mirror. A ball of flame, glowing red hot and orange, sitting there as though it’s normal for fireballs to sit there, in between sky scrapers, as wide as each of them and a million times more beautiful than either. The imposing architecture of these majestic structures reduced to objects that merely frame the only object around that’s suddenly worthy of any admiration; their stunning, mirrored glass paling in comparison to this thing from outer space, making it’s own light (with no need for mirrors to reflect some other light), invading our world with a magnificent display of power each and every morning.

My sixteen year old daughter leans over unexpectedly during church, puts her arm around my neck and kisses my cheek affectionately.

My priest gives me an unexpected birthday blessing at the communion rail, after placing the body of Christ in my hand, waiting to be consumed. “Watch over thy child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she fall; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Then he makes the sign of the cross, firmly upon my forehead. And I know that I am covered. I am covered, I am loved and I am filled as I eat the bread and am nourished and drink His precious blood and am enveloped in His grace.

Sometimes I cry so hard I pop blood vessels in my eye. Sometimes that happens on my birthday. Sometimes it can take a week or longer for the bright, red, bloody eye to go back to it’s normal white. So I remember the blood that covers me and I try not to care that people cringe when they look me in the eye. Here I am in all my glory, paling in comparison to the glory I reflect.

I have so very much to be thankful for.

Every beat of my heart longs for tenderness. And every vein in my body courses firmly on.