what websites are your favorites? do you have a daily routine of surfing? do tell.
i posted half a thought last night, one that still needs room and time to be interpreted. figured out. lived. my thoughts and ideas are scattered, and there is so much to think about the reality of joy.
all night, a worship song from my pentecostal days reverberated through my (now blond) head: the joy of the lord is our strength. as a good episcopalian anymore, selections from the hymnal never get stuck in my head. we don't sing songs like this. (as marlei always says, the episcopal church has not survived so long because of its music.) the songs of my youth, however, stick with me like family.
the joy of the lord is shaky ground for me. what does it mean? i've seen it stretched and bent into things it is not: a gimmick to save souls--jesus as the ultimate antidepressant. i've seen it as the plumb line against which faith is measured: are you happy? amen, sistah, you're on the right path! are you sad? melancholic? depressed? uhoh. your faith is obviously lacking. you don't have joy in the lord.
but. i am not this much of a cynic. i know that there are people all over the world who would not spend a second considering the joy of the lord to be something so formulaic. and i myself have seen evidence of what it must be (and yes, i've seen it within the episcopal church). there are broken, meek, and poor people who love their lives, who treasure their God. their eyes blink brightly, and i know they have something that i don't understand.
where is joy in my life? in yours? (this isn't a rhetorical question: comment! i want to know...) i think that i am in a place of redefining it all. joy has always been found in the peaceful security of easy days. i was blessed and lazy for a long time here in nashville, tennessee, with the world at my fingertips. and, of course, such calm days never stay. if you've been a faithful blog-reader, you know this to be obviously true--there have been far too many entries of damn near despair here, with just an ounce or two of hope (or grace).
the past two months have been nothing but relief over here. winter has passed, giving way to emotional tanktop weather. i've basked. and i've called it joy. i've committed myself to joy.
the honeymoon is passing, though. in its place are question marks. my post-graduation life is up in the air, with endless possibilities, save the not-so endless cashflow. every day feels a little more tentative, and it is easy to fall back into a half-lived life, i.e. sleep all day, work. have a beer. sleep. ugh.
i suppose that now, in the blah time, i need to be choosing a life of joy. how much of joy is a decision?
in light of all of these universal human experience questions, i'm going to spend the next while considering joy in bananieworld. i'm going to try to keep my eyes open over here. come with me?
it's funny how the words find you after long bouts of silence. i was sitting on the stoop just now, smoking as i do, and scratching at the rough skin around the new tattoo on my right shoulder. my shoulder blades both wear blue stars now. stars with names. hope on the left. joy on the right.
my joy star was tattooed a month ago, on a monday. tim, the taciturn tattoo man, inked a blue permanency over and over with a needle that made my shoulders and neck stiff. helen held my hand.
and my star arms are ever-reaching toward each other: hope reaching for joy. joy reaching for hope. i wear prayers and metaphors on my back--my body tells my story.
this new star has had a hard life so far. she bears the wear of scabs and a body rejecting new ink. she is splotchy and faded. she is not the face of joy. of course, i will have my new tattoo touched up, once maybe twice, and she will be fine and radiant like her sister on my left shoulder. but. it will hurt like hell; tim will have to take his needles to sensitive skin. again.
it is entirely too easy for me to claim joy like a wish for a whole life: like a perfectly painted bluestar. but she takes her time. so i'm guessing...
"so this is the day you graduated from college," sandy just said as we locked all the doors of the house to call it a night. "yes, i guess it is," i replied.
today, i actually received my diploma, with my mom in the grandstand taking pictures with a disposable camera. i could see marlei standing above the stage. and i knew that, somewhere amongst the crowd, jenna and trevor were there as well. pomp and circumstance played proudly and, after seven years of wondering if it would really ever happen, i graduated.
it's sunday night and i'm coughing and hacking, not because of all the nicotine, but due to my annual bout with bronchitis. (hack. cough.)
there is so much to say and it's been so long since i've updated anything (i.e. my journal, letters to friends, emails, phonecalls, etc), but please keep coming around, because there will be more. soon.
this is my graduation week. finally, after seven years as the non-traditional student, i am earning my sweet little BA. of course, being the procrastinating, perfectionistic girl that i am, these past few weeks have been nothing but catch-up time. papers. projects. portfolios. interviews. forms. finals. bill-paying (thank you mom). my world has been chaos, and my car is filled with more books and loose papers than usual. i am a mess.
and now i am a sick mess. with a sick turtle named myrtle who will not eat. sigh.
but i'm a happy cougher for the most part. my mother will come see me strut around in a black cap and gown in a few days, and my sister eileen is making her first nashville visit ever the following week. hoorah!
ok. to bed with this coffee-stankin' sickee.
i will update again soon.
[shameless pee ess for those who are not on my email list: if you are interested in contributing to the 'bananie desperately needs a new computer because hers is broken and to be a writer she needs one but since she works at starbucks she can't afford anything but free coffee' graduation fund, drop me an email at email@example.com. no donation will be refused.]