Archive for August, 2015

Living in Eternity

A little over a year ago, back when I wished I had more time for writing, I wrote this:

When morning comes glistening
And the man in the beat-up Ford rides with his windows down in the steamy summer morning
And on his back bumper are stickers of guns and “repent….Jesus is coming soon” right next to each other
And he turns on his signal and eases over in front of me, his arm that has been hanging out his window waves at me, slowly, in a way that suggests we’re somewhere on a back country road in Iowa rather than the mix-master over Dallas, Texas at rush hour on a Thursday morning…

…all things are possible in the glistening morning

My imagination lives in eternity

Now I find myself, a little over one year later, in a place my imagination could not have dreamed up in all the eternities it had ever known.

I sit on the back step of a little house on the central coast of California, facing east. Somewhere, a few miles behind me is the great Pacific Ocean. Directly in front of me, I watch the pre-dawn hours turn into a new glistening morning, as the golden sun rises behind the palm trees that continually lift their arms heavenward. I watch my beautiful orange cat, who has now become fully Californian, jump up on the fence next to me, trying to get a glimpse of his slightly less orange buddy who lives next door. He never really knows what to do once he catches that glimpse though. His back arches slightly and his tail bushes out in anticipation while he waits. I hear a bird calling out in a long, flutish whooooo, as he gently circles, wings spread wide, before landing on the uppermost branch of the tallest tree around. It sways slightly under his weight while he sits there, taking in the view of this glistening morning. I sense my family, sleeping peacefully in the tiny house behind me and my heart longs for the fullness of all that has been and all that is to come for each of them.

I did not know that we would be here, a little over one year ago. I did not know that we would find men in beat-up Fords, with their arms hanging out of their windows, driving their trucks directly onto the powdery sand of the beach, with gigantic two-sided flags waving off the back of their tailgates: one side American and one side Confederate. I did not know how difficult it would be to find a place of our own to live. I did not know how amazing it would feel to sit out here, in layers of clothing, wrapped in a big blanket, drinking my coffee and taking the time to write, while watching the eastern sky turn from deepness to rose-streaked to golden.

Eternity can be challenging to the imagination.

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Gone On the Rising Tide

California
Then we sail into the shiny sea
The weight that drags your heart down
Well, that’s what took me where I need to be

~ U2

And so we have arrived.

As I begin to get my bearings, I am coming closer and closer to acknowledging that this is indeed a huge, huge thing that we have done. I’m not totally there yet, because there is still way too much surrealness to allow for true acknowledgement. But I’m coming close. And maybe it’s not something we have done at all. Or a-tall, as one of my favorite priests likes to say. I mean, obviously, we have done a lot. We sold our house, packed everything up, shipped it somewhere (not to our new house because we don’t have one yet! Ha! Our stuff currently resides some three hours south of us while we try to find a place of our own…), and then we made the drive out here with two kids and a cat. But this whole thing; this whole huge, huge thing; this thing was outside of us. We have been propelled here, and we did what we could do make the flight fun. But we were definitely flung, with limbs all akimbo and voices raised in that anticipatory joy that comes awfully close to terror. And somehow we have now landed in this beautiful place with these beautiful people and we keep flipping around, like a dog looking for that elusive tail, wondering if this is really real and if that tail is even catchable a-tall.

And so while I try to catch my breath, I share with you these pictures from our last week in Dallas. From the birth of our newest godson, to the music and the laughter and the tears and the goodbyes. And I know that I am full to the brim with love and for that I am very, very thankful.

Me, with two of my godchildren, while we await the birth of their baby brother:
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All of us, after the baptism of little Athanasius, three days later:
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The final day of music at my mom and dad’s, with many friends and family:
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There really was a lot of love and laughter:
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And then my dad gathered everyone together for a prayer for our family:
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Which led to an impromptu singing of Van Diemen’s Land:

Which made some tears come:
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And then more came the next day, at church, right before we got in the car to drive out of town:
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And then we drove out of the driveway:
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And said goodbye to Dallas:
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And took a long, long, long road trip:
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And now we are here:
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And it’s pretty much amazing:
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Now, if we could only catch our breath (and possibly that tail); maybe then we could just float for awhile on this tide that’s bound to go down again any day now…

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