how time slips away? Wasn’t that a song somewhere? I looked at the blog yesterday and realized I had gone over a week with no real post, only a couple of self portraits. It’s not for lack of blog fodder, I tell you. It’s lack of time to write it all down, and also (for some of it) a lack of words. How do you explain a heart expanding like blown glass until it is so thin and fragile it looks like a child’s bubble, and then it fissures until it is completely crazed, but still holds together? Are there words for that? Maybe so.
How do you describe recoiling from physical contact, and then pivoting in place to embrace it? How do you find a way to heal from abuse when you have to deal with your abuser almost daily? And how do you describe realizing you invited your own abuse with just a little help from your friends and family? What about describing having a story to tell that it so important, vital even, and being afraid to share? And finally, how do you describe what it feels like to take a breath when your chest is compressed by emotion and you feel as small and insignificant and fragile as wet onion skin? When you feel like the very breath you crave will rip you apart?
Did you know that sometimes the events of a life are like fire? As we go though life, we pick up a lot of dirt. Living just piles up on us, and we, our true selves, get buried under the detritus of that living. Now and again, and I am finding out through talking to my friends that its around 40, its time for a purge, time to come face to face with who you are and who you were meant to be, and if you are blessed life begins to burn you up. In that fire, the yucky stuff can fall away, and you can find your real self again.
My real self is still a little girl in a whole lot of ways. She wants to feel her daddy hug her one more time. She wants to be safe. She wants to giggle in delight, and run and soar like a kite, but often, she sits in the corner and rocks herself because….no one else is doing it.
My real self is also 40something. WonderWoman, strong and sure and confident and capable. Mary Poppins, solving the problems of all my friends. Barbie, with a fake plastic smile. Energizer Bunny, with boundless energy. And also the little old lady who lived in a shoe. And the caretaker of that precious little girl rocking herself in the corner.
My real self is also a crone, looking out through eyes of age, recoiling from the pain in people and yet compelled to alleviate it. Wise from experience, but too weak to speak loud enough for her warnings to be heard. Moving through and touching this one and that one and giving comfort by the laying on of hands. Smiling and loving and holding and feeding and patpatrubbing all your troubles away. Little girl all grown up, giving what she didn’t get. Grandmother.
Eventually, maybe the three will merge in the fire. I’m thinking that would be an okay thing. I hope the crone can give the little old lady who lived in the shoe some good tips before my kids end up rocking themselves in the corner.
Maybe I should stick to describing sports gifts, it might be easier on all of us.
You may notice we missed a picture yesterday. Diva took her card out of the camera and all my cards are still in a bin from re-doing the living room. Guess I need to get on that. You may also notice that there may not be a starter in this picture. In truth, I have no idea where the starter in a vehicle might be. But I know it’s under the hood, so….ahem, there ya go.
There is a funny story behind this picture. Yesterday, I met Guitar Guy to pick up church keys, because I was the only member of the praise team who planned to be on time and could pick up the keys. But when I get ready to leave his work to head to the church, my van would not start. So much for being on time. We were both late, as he drove me to the parts store for two different starter relays, neither of which corrected the problem.
Why do I feel like such a constant pain in the butt? Seriously, seems like every time I turn around, I am needing someone to help me solve a problem. Pretty soon I’ll have to do like the lepers used to and go around chanting “unclean, unclean” only my words will be “pain in the a$$, pain in the a$$”. And how do you pronounce the dollar sign, anyway?
Today’s story is not about today, but rather about people in general, about human life as we live it. I happened to walk into my kitchen today to see the sun glinting off this set of handcuffs, and the image looked interesting so I grabbed the camera to capture it. While I was grabbing the camera, the wearer stood up and the sun went behind the clouds. This picture is as close as I could come to re-creating the moment, and it’s a fail. But when I was cropping it, which I usually don’t do to my Project 365 pics (oooh, did you catch that? We are 365ing again!!), I realized it was a great image to go with the post I warned you was coming a few days ago, the one about sinning and why we do it.
Recently, I had an intense experience with God’s mercy and grace. I’ve been saved a long time, since I was a young child, but I finally “got it”. I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to earn love. God’s love, men’s love, my parent’s love, people’s love. And I have failed, and failed miserably at it most of the time. The other night, I came face to face with God’s free grace and boundless love, a love that remains no matter what. I can’t earn it, because it’s already mine. It can’t be lessened by my actions because my actions have nothing to do with it. God loves me because I exist. He brought me into existence and He loves me. He loves me when I do what He wants me to do, and He loves me when I don’t. And nothing I do will ever change that. Do you realize how powerful that is?
Now, let’s explore that sin thing. I said the other day that we sin because we are sinners, and not the other way around. Mortal man can no more avoid sin that he can avoid breathing. Somehow, everyday, we will sin: we’ll become angry for no good reason, we’ll covet, we’ll think badly of someone, we’ll be selfish or unkind, we will do that which displeases God. Pastor has lately been saying that man could not keep the rules when there was only one (don’t eat from that tree), and how much less can we keep them now, when there are so many??? Now, that isn’t to say we should not try to avoid sin, but just that when we do fail, we don’t lose God’s love. Since we didn’t merit to begin with, we don’t lose it.
God’s free salvation is for everyone. Even for me, wretch that I am. Even for you. Free means free, even for me. He loves me. He loves me. He loves me. No matter what. As my bff Ang. said, think about that book that you read to your babies Love You Forever, and that’s how God feels about you. Right now. Yesterday. Tomorrow and all the tomorrows after that, forever and ever and ever. He loves you.
Now then, you probably noticed the list I mentioned way up there had a lot more than God’s love on it. I thought I was going to be able to tell that story today as part of this one, but I find I cannot yet do that. Those handcuffs really go with that other, still untold story, but I am leaving them because…I don’t have another picture for today, and because this one is a powerful reminder of where I have been.
Here I sit, early in the morning, blogging. That feels weird, LOL! Not used to being up quite this early, at least at a functional level. I thought I might share a picture and a story with you. Last Sunday night, our church had a baptism. Now, we don’t have a baptistry, and we practice full immersion, so we rent the YWCA pool every few months, and then we stay after and swim. The YWCA happens to be directly across from Krispy Kreme. Now, I love me some KK. When that hot sign is on, I could sit down with my own personal dozen, iykwim. Make them close. personal. friends. Love me some Krispy Kreme. Needless to say, I don’t go there very often, or I’d need a couple of moving trucks to haul my butt around. Just the butt, the rest of me would not fit, and I would have to make other arrangements.
Anyway, we came out of the Y after swimming last Sunday and the hot sign was on. We’d already planned to take the youth out for a snack, so…..
This is what the doughnuts look like coming down the conveyor after being glazed. I stopped at two and a half, mostly because
we ran out out of doughnuts I didn’t want to look like an absolute pig in front of my companions.
So, do you remember my posts whining about how my feet hurt? Yeah, so you might think that on my day off, when I was pretty sure I’d be on my feet for quite a bit of time anyway, I would wear nice, flat, sensible shoes, right? LIke maybe MBT shoes, or something?? Umm, no. I wore high heeled platform Mary Janes, the ones I showed you several months ago. And I rocked those shoes today. I also took them off several times, LOL! Interestingly enough, I wore them while I was actually working on the Seder stuff because I kept ramming stuff into my poor little uncovered toes! Not fun. Not fun at all.