the snow clouds are moving into erie, pa. it's two days after thanksgiving and the lake was loud last night. i could hear it from my bed at my sister's: lake erie in the wind and the trains. a different kind of comfort food.
i'm listening to queen beatrice speaking in tongues behind me. a year old and walking these days. i turn around to look at her. she gives me a crazed smile and says "hiya".
i'm loving thanksgiving this year. loving all the moments with my fambly. and the food. and the spirits. even the hungover days feel like a good memory about to happen.
ok. the blogging must end. shannon has given me a cookie--with a hershey's kiss in it. in the battle between chocolate and writing, the former always wins.
i wrote this originally as an email, a little over a week ago, to my ya-ya sisters. most were blog words aching for a home, and so i want to share them here, in appropriately edited form, of course ;)
the day is impossibly grey, and cannot decide whether it is jacket or simply long sleeve weather. i've kept both in my car in case. the day is also not sure if it's a rainy kind of grey or drink-your-tea-on-the-porch grey. i don't care. i'll take it any way it sings.
i wrote in my iona journal last year that it's amazing how a little light can make blue out of grey. sometimes we force the light (which is why we created electricity in the first place, i think) when there is nothing to see by, and i'm doing that. screwing lightbulbs everywhere. lighting every candle.
i wrote a lot about the constancy of stars last year. the stars were my icons of the majesty and immanence of God. i needed the stars badly when living in depression and belfast, where clouds are everywhere and all the time, pervasive. clear-sky patches are promises that there is sky behind all these clouds.
i took to drawing stars on my hands, on my wrists, as reminders of this. of all of this. last fall, you could not see me without seeing smudged ink between my thumb and forefinger. red stars. green ones. blue. black. whatever pen i had. every day.
the icons became the prayers sometimes. when words failed me, i drew. when fear overcame me, i drew.
monday was impossible. i woke up afraid of my life. i sobbed. uncontrollably. with rage and fear and no release. i had dry heaves. my whole body shook. i felt like i was suffocating, that this season and all its pain was really, really going to kill me. i wanted to give up. let it all go. but i didn't know what that meant.
so i went to a coffee shop and drank a beer at 11 am. stared at the blue sky. drove aimlessly, still crying, for another hour. i went to a place called the cat shoppe and held a wayward kitty on my lap, as it purred and curled up close to my belly. and then i knew what i had to do to get through the afternoon: i needed the constancy of stars.
but i was so tired of drawing them over and over, only to have them washed off as soon as i wash my hands or shower. i needed CONSTANCY. i needed the God who NEVER leaves or forsakes. so i went to a tattoo shop, said i needed a blue star on my shoulder, and sat down and let it happen.
it didn't hurt. yes, there was pain, but it was release. like marlei told me later, the pain on the inside needed to be manifested somehow on the outside. after 20 minutes, a bright blue star sat on my left shoulder blade, a prayer that will be prayed on my body for as long as i'm alive.
i don't even know what the prayer is for, and maybe it's not FOR anything. maybe it's taking what little left i have of my own life and saying, my God, my God, this is all i have left. i never knew that being broken could mean being THIS broken, but i'm still alive. and i still believe. help my unbelief. i need.
my email ends with me in a tanktop now, raw blue prayer on my back, aching and itching, but permanent.
friends, romans, countrymen...
there will be words here. it's a new place, a new time. it's november and i can't believe i have not written in over a month. but. the blog was broken. and it was time to ultimately move house, start over, and there are still boxes everywhere. (please watch your step.) i'd offer you something to drink, but i'm not sure where i put the glasses.
there will be words here. many, and soon. this i can guarantee. because everything is changing, and though i have lived in a constantly shifting place recently, i'm beginning to feel firmer ground beneath my feet.
there will be words here.
welcome, friends. thank you for staying with me.