Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We've got to start at the bottom of something. The place where our settling sounds like a bell toll is as good a place as any. Where our habits defy us into corners dark. Well intentions that none of us could carry anymore. This winter light brings wishes back to itself giving a respect for our hopeful, deep-lying selves.

Here is the place where the seeping out gets old. I see it for what it is but it seeps and sings and summons something I'm trying to get away from. Persisting with teeth of hell, back to itself. LOOK AT ME! And so I look long reassured that communications with reflections are no way to spend myself and so I forget. And on and on and on and so the command goes, and so the sin. Forgetting becomes a triumph of carrying on as it becomes the Achilles heel. And it's just me being me and me being good and on and on and on.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Broken, band-aiding fractures with good remedies. She remained unaware that the buoyancy of these breaks only repelled remedies. Salves don't multiply or last so she lasted there without a balm, cliff teetering, until the bottom broke out.

Tired of teetering she walked out on the self, of herself. She initiated a descent with her insistence of being on solid ground. Fleeting and falling into something other than self, other than other. She didn't see the shattering. Her convincing was too sure. Her persuasions too holistic but she couldn't seem to put herself back together and so she didn't. Brushing off and insisting upon peddling and paddling and moving forward she gave them what they wanted, said what they wanted to hear.

You've seen them. The injured who insist it was a bump and they'll just resume? A thorough disorientation mistaking up for down, and joy for immense sorrow and then that sorrow is mistaken for a foundation and it just wasn't true. There was nothing there on that shelf, nothing in that convincing but the work of convincing.

And when the bottom broke a scrambling began, instinctively wishing for fragments of foundations or pieces of goodness, swearing they were there. She swears they were there. Too many memories of it- right there, where you were sure there was something. Still. Something to slip a toe onto? Something to teeter on? Something solid to aid a throwing of diminished weight up and over into the safety that never was.

At last, it all ended with a hard, fast, and far fall that let out the hideous fluids. The murk that released soaked up the falling place and when the soaking was complete I got up and walked out with myself, walking into myself. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1st

Tonight, with my apartment home filled with pine and lights I feel proud and content.

As I gathered the kids next to me to open our first day of advent surprise I read a few verses from Luke 2. My littles listened. I told them what a manger was. I told them it was a dirty bowl that animals ate from. I explained the nudity of Jesus, comforted with nothing but swaddling, which I used their swaddling blankets to explain.

I told them why we celebrate Jesus. That He was the best human who ever lived! He came to make change possible. I asked them if they ever do bad things. If they ever make bad choices and I assured them that I do. That daddy does and that everyone we love or ever loved makes mistakes and they want and need to change. Jesus makes that possible! Dotter reminded me that Christ also, "has a body again!" making the permanence of death quieted. As I told them I hoped for it to be true and there, in the artificial glow of plugged in strands I remembered that this is just a twinkle of truth and it feels good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heirloomed Books

The Road- Cormac McCarthy
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything is Illuminated- Jonathan Safran Foer
The Secret Life of Bees- Sue Monk Kid
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- Jean Dominique Bauby
The Prophet- Kalil Gibran
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius- Dave Eggers
My Name is Asher Lev- Chaim Potak
The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter- Carson McCullers
Peace Like a River- Leif Enger
So Young Brave and Handsome- Leif Enger
Crossing to Safety- Leif Enger
Animal Vegetable Miracle- Barbara Kingsolver
The History of Love- Nicole Krauss
Rain of Gold - Victor Villasenor
Siddhartha- Herman Hesse

What are some of your favorite books? Books that you could read over and over.

I could read the books on the list above over and over. I'm currently reading Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath and I'm loving it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Definition: Heirloom Friend

- those who punctuate themselves above the common grammar of kind and worn-out greetings. 
- shaker marker makers.
- hand holders, mirrored images, listening listeners.
- sister, brother, Godsends.


Heirlooming is the act of setting our soul in something, expecting it to come back bettered by the thing we set it in. In family, in relationships, design, music, films, friendly greetings, writing, travel, folded quilts, photographs. The fact is that our genealogical legacy teaches us that there are unintended consequences in everything we do. In whatever ways this manifests itself it is true- the reach is one thing that we have no control over. The only thing we are assured of in this life is the direction of our reach.

My Grandmother Ardell Marie Dean Zimmerman Adamson died last year. My grandmother wasn't my welcome mat grandma. She was not merely my maternal spoiler or advisor. She was my cheerleading chastising parent who loved me with a love so tangible, that even in the recounting of it I feel oriented and eternal. Eternal. Anyone who loves you that deeply leaves marks that make you. While discussing Grandma's death with my cousin Andrea last week, I realized that Grandma taught me to love everything I love. Food, health, hard work, friendship, visiting, music, art, travel, Jesus, stories. I am who I am because of her powerful push and embrace. I am, in all sincerity, hers. She used to joke that I ought to give her a birthday gift on my birthday for, without her, I would be nothing. She was right. 

Her death was expected and it came after a long deterioration. By all measures I am glad for her release. Her release. I am not glad, however for my own. There is something hollow here because she's gone on. Her death, and the absence that preceded it, hold feelings that I continue to come back to. These feelings are a mine filled with truths that orient me within her legacy. I am reminded of her reach, her doings, her directions and the consequences of her life. 

As I have mentioned before, I see regret as I see doubt. I don't feel it necessary to run away from the uncomfortable. I feel strong and sure about this now, but my confidence is a pendulum epiphany resulting from living in the opposite. Anxious to please and solve, fix and tidy, I often answered my dilemmas with idioms while remaining unsolved and uncomfortable inside. I do not relish in discomfort, but I have come to see emotional discomfort as a way to achieve greater emotional strength. This is true physically and is certainly true spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, etc. Regret is a deep seated stinging power that arrests us until we change course setting our souls in something different. Regret is a tool that holds us until we move in some forward freedom direction and being the obstruction that it is, once it lifts its purpose is revealed. 

I have regrets about my grandma's final years. I regret that despite my one-car-poor-husband-in-school-two-young-babies excuses I didn't go to her more. She wanted me there with her. To hold her hand and talk of her cat Raja, to rub her feet and flatter her. I regret that her decline caused me a discomfort and that I kept myself from feeling the relief that came in her company. I regret that my terror of loosing her reserved me in a way that I didn't think possible. But that's just it. I didn't understand the principal of sitting in discomfort. I only understood fighting it and getting a good trajectory. I couldn't conceal myself. I was struggling with sitting in it alone and sitting in it with the woman who gave you life didn't seem all that attractive. I feel ashamed of what I missed by not knowing these things, but what I've learned here extends her reach and makes things that are hollow closer to whole.