it's valentine's season these days. on december 26, walgreens thrashes its immaculate red and green christmas display (the one we're so used to; we've seen it since july. it's like family now, like home) for a new display of pink on red on pink. suddenly, we can get those christmas-foiled hershey's kisses for 75% off. but we don't care. we can now get really big bags of conversation hearts for $.99. and so, in the spirit of this festive, season of newest dulces, i'm sitting in christmas jammies on this used-to-be-morning, slowly wearing down my molars, chomping on messages of true love. i reach in the bag, hoping for a magic eightball kind of clarity: purple. amore. ah, nice. *chomp* i try again: green. dream girl. oh, i must be a dream girl. *chomp* i pick two this time: pink and green. get real. love her. hmm. i wasn't exactly looking for any sort of spiritual conviction today. and i don't even like the green conversation hearts all that much. but i'm staring at them (i've spared their lives momentarily) as i reach into the bag once again. pink. page me. white. vogue. who writes these things? *chomp*
anyway. i am a dogsitting bananie right now. (have an animal? live in the nashville area? i am your local saint francis.) it has been nice to not be in an all-too-familiar space for awhile, like the depression hanging in the air in my bedroom is confused, has no idea where i've gone. so i get a break.
yesterday was odd. woke up at 4:30 am and took the dog for a brisk walk on a cold, cold morning. on my way to work at 5:30, i realized about 10 miles away from home (and 10 miles away from starbucks) that my gas tank was on E. what was even better news was the fact that i had left my wallet at home. shit. (you're swearing with me here.) i crossed my fingers, bartered with God, and turned off the heat in my car. however, about 2 miles from work, on a steep upward hill, my poor car sputtered and clicked. exhaled and died. i pulled off onto the shoulder and begged her to resurrect. by Jove, she did...for about 30 seconds at a time. so i inched along the shoulder till i was about 1/2 mile from starbucks. then she sputtered her last. there was no turning her over. so i abandoned her with her flashers on and ran to the gas station with a fifty dollar bill in my pocket (don't ask, i just happened to have one, being the rich girl i am). i ran in the dark on the highway to the gas station. but. they wouldn't take my fifty. nope. so i had to run to work (which was not far at all). now i have a cold.
...but i did get my car filled up, once i broke the big bill down.
after work, i went to a new class--one of writing and faith. required reading includes etty hillesum and sue monk kidd's secret life of bees.
yesterday, we read rumi. circled words in his poetry that spoke to us, and then journaled about those words. honestly, this teeny little convoluted entry is the first bit of non-assigned, marketing-based writing i've done in a long, long time. a stab at being creative. a stab at reconnecting with myself. here it is:
[the words--crumbled, devastating, lance, sensual, spirit, expansive, windy, rind, tuft, repeatedly, spacious, river, wash, purify, radiant, cleaning, developing, beyond]
words of brokeness and restoration. small-eyed perspectives, refusing to budge, refusing to adjust to the possibility of light. where is choice? what is my responsibility in the realm of all-things-new perspective? i am afraid of the crumbling. the devastation. the lancing. i long to simply breathe expansive breaths and have that be transformation--restoration via subtle gestures of hope. a slight nudge of the knees instead of genuflection. but. i know the reality of ulcers being lanced--it's all so violent--and i am waiting, waiting, waiting for the washing, spacious rivers, the ones that purify. the words exist. the rivers must.
i am staring at the computer screen tonight: the proverbial blank page on the blank page day of the year. today is the day that we are all sharpening our pencils, about to christen the pages of a shiny new diary. we've got the plans, the resolutions, the hopes. and we are sure of the weight we want to shed. (by valentines day.)
i am not sure where the words are.
today is all things new and it has caught me off guard. instead of a clean slate day, a chance to start over, i simply feel the weight of what this year has been. and therein lies the irony: i have lost 40 lbs this year, but not out of resolution. the weight of the year took the pounds.
i sound so serious.
but i'm serious about this.
twothousandthree was a year of rare firm footing. a year ago, i was arriving home to nashville after three months in ireland, hopeful for change. what came instead was winter and the existential questions that most 24 year old dramatic, writing types undoubtedly wrestle with (via blogs anymore).
ultimately, this year has been one of lines drawn in the sand regarding belief. do i believe in a God who loves without condition? or am i an unlucky girl who carries a nullifying condition, leaving me in the unfortunate position of being possibly plucked from God's hand at any given moment, without notice? i've cowered outside door number two for months.
i cannot tell you what kind of anguish in which a girl lives when she begins to doubt the love or presence of her God. everything becomes insanely hollow. everything meaningless. a chase after the wind.
perfect love casts out all fear, i still believe, and it is no longer twothousandthree. instead, it is an unabashedly stormy night outside, sixty degrees and thundering. windy. it sounds nothing like january. but then again, this feels nothing like new years day. so. i'll take the night like a metaphor:
my dark year of the soul is happening outside right now. my tears are rain pelting the roof. my anger is the thunder. fear is lightning. all the drama, all the restlessness is the wind whooping it up, beating against bare trees. the presence of God is not the storm. it never was. the presence of God is the stars singing behind the obscuring clouds. it is the star on my shoulder. it is the promise of morning and the ceasing of rain.
my resolution, therefore: i will wait for the morning.