Friday, December 26, 2008
after a very long hiatus
. . . my Nana
i sure miss her
she's been gone for, hmmm. . for . . .
over a dozen years now
I've had many dreams about her,
dreams too of my grandfather,
but mostly of Nana
Nana had a bad leg.
It couldn't bend and was shorter than her good leg.
It gave her quite a pronounced limp.
When she was 16, she was walking down the street,
a drunk driver jumped the curb and plowed her through a basement apartment window, leaving her hanging from that windowframe with a shattered limb.
The doctors did their best. . they put in pins and rods, which were attached to external fixation. This remained in place for I don't know how long.
They would turn these pins to lengthen the leg, to try to match the other.
but the doctors said she'd never walk again
never have children.
She would not listen
and she did and she did!
She was feisty and tenacious
someone i greatly admired
and sorely miss
When i dream of her, she's perfect.
No limp, no shortened leg
no rheumatoid arthritis crippling her hands
no dense stroke or inability to speak
In one of my early dreams after her death.
She was fresh and young
sitting cross legged on the floor,
telling me: "God wants us to be like little children, Kathie."
She was so 'light' and joyful. . not serious
I could not believe that she could do that. .
sit like that.
It made me so happy.
Her message to me was perfect at a time when things felt so complicated.
I always go there, to her house, in my dreams.
I miss it.
University students live there now.
They nuke popcorn in the kitchen where my sisters and i jumped on
all the black tiles,
then switched to the white ones. .
where the cuckoo clock delighted us,
with its chirpy occupant
and its interesting pine cone weights, hanging..
They sleep in my grandfather's study. .
where his books lined the back wall from floor to ceiling,
where we typed notes on his ancient black Remington-Rand manual typewriter
and sat at his desk, in his big chair
They neglect the backyard gardens that were my grandparents' pride and passion,
where memories of clematis vines climbed ghost trellises and white nicotinas and pale nasturtiums hugged the foundation walls.
They sit and watch DVDs in the front room we Christmased in. .
where the Christmas tree, complete with spun glass 'angel hair' stood.
the front room in which my grandpa would bounce us on his knee and give us
sandpapery 'whisker rubs' on our cheeks.
The room in which they kept a bowl of candies for us to eat. .
licorice babies, satin mix hard candies, humbugs.
They Macbook in the room i've hidden from my sisters in, while playing. .
in the room i threw up in on sleepovers
They store their beer in the place where i sat and watched Nana
shake Fells Naptha soap powder into the round tub of her turquoise wringer washer
and push the clothes through the ringer with the end of a wooden spoon
They store boxes in the area where the "Rogues gallery" picture wall displayed black and whites of our baby Uncle Vic with his rosy coloured in cheeks, our child mother walking downtown with our young grandfather, our Nana, dressed like a 'flapper', and various unsmiling 'strangers',greats and great greats. . old fashionedly dressed trunks of the family tree. .
I never have a dream where I am not in that house. .
Whenever we have occasion to drive to my birth city
The van will end up on their street
and I will sit and look at that house. .
and it will always be theirs
and I will always have crawled across its floors with chubby knees and learned to talk in it
and sat on my orange stool at the counter and watched Nana cook
and ate fine meals in it
and climbed its stout maple on the front lawn
and been a granddaughter in it
and been loved. .
Nana introduced me to my grandfather's father the other night
She told me to be mindful not to
I've never seen a photograph of him,
i don't know what he looks like
he drowned in the Grand River and left his wife and children alone
in a new country *they had come here from England*
He sat at my Nana's kitchen table
He was slim,
with dark, wavy hair
and a moustache
He was dressed in antiquated clothing
He didn't speak to me
but he looked at me
and i looked at him
and then they were gone
and i was back home
i looked over at my sleeping husband
and thought "Wow, what was that about?"
I have strange dreams
but often they are
significant to me.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
my grocery store receipt from today. . . 90 cm long
I'm 2 of today's grocery receipts tall (minus 5 cm)
a grocery receipt 90 cm long??
.5 inches shy of 3 feet.
i know. .
here come the reasons:
we were quite depleted
hadn't been for a full order in 2 weeks
not all of it was 'feast' shopping. .
there were a few stocking stuffers
a small gift *we shop in one of those lovely, palatial almost-everything-you-could-need stores*
there were 2 x 40 kg softener salt bags thrown in
there were staple items in the cart. . .
We could have purchased an organic, free range turkey. . for $55
Our bill would have come to
we paid $29 for one instead.
it costs to put on a holiday meal
we all expect that
but it never fails to shock
Christmas Day trifle ingredients
Christmas Eve pavlova ingredients
egg bread for the stuffing
stock for the gravy *there's no time for home made*
pop - Canada Dry gingerale
We won't even itemize the baking ingredients I've bought in the past month and a half
I would estimate that cost to be . . .
everything costs so much lately
but we must
"There'll be turkeys for basting and stuffing for tasting
and giblets and gravy will flow. . .
there'll be cookies that mom baked and leftover fruitcake
from a Christmas a long time ago. . ." (excerpted from "Its the Most Fattening Time of the Year" )
but its also kinda
is that the word?
Maybe. . or not.
I was trying so hard to stay
buggies closing in behind me
holding up 'traffic' in front of me
massive checkout lines
left me all nerve jangled
Because of God's tender mercy, the light from Heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. Luke 1:78/79
how easily i lose sight
of the beautiful truth.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
but sometimes i just don't see very well.
faces, objects, locations, my eyes view them and my brain processes the images
there is seeing
and then there's vision
i pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened, in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you Eph 1:18
i don't ever just want to look
eyesight is great
but i want heartsight
and this comes
not without cost
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tonight I went to the "you're not allowed to leave until you spend at least $150" store.
I bought several gigantic things. See?!
Yes, that's 2 kilograms of chocolate chips
and the same amount of coconut
What will I do with 8.8 pounds of chocolate and coconut?
I will singlehandedly make it all disappear!
shocking but true.
yeah. . its that time,
Christmas baking time!!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Usually when there's a big event at concert halls, arenas, etc. you'll see the homeless or the desperate for money.
Last night was no exception.
The crowd was streaming outdoors. . we were in it, doing the 'shuffle', you know that one we all do when in a big pack of people trying to funnel out too few exits?
We finally got out the door and turned right to go towards the underground parking.
That's when I saw him.
Sitting on the freezing cold, snowy sidewalk.
Dirty and thin.
Grimy khaki ballcap on his head.
Dressed in not warm enough layers.
cardboard sign in his lap:
"Cold, hungry. . please help me. God Bless."
People passed him, laughing and talking, buzzing from the concert.
He sat invisibly on the sidewalk
nobody noticed him,
he looked at no one.
My heart felt a stab, but i walked past with the crowd.
My head started with the rationalization - 'he's just working the situation'
'he's probably gonna spend any money he gets on something he shouldn't'
'you don't have any cash on you'.
Heart prevailed, foolish maybe, there are always maybes that come to mind. . but i pushed them away.
Rob gave me a few bucks, cuz I had no money.
I walked up to him. He looked up at me with dark eyes and said hello.
He looked tired.
I handed him the money and said that I hope it helps a little bit.
I asked him where he was living.
He told me "Under the bridge".
hard, frozen ground and snow.
I don't even know.
I asked him if there was any place he could go to get out of the weather.
He shook his head no. . and looked up at me and said: "Last night was hard. . it was so cold."
He held up his palm with the money in it and said "God bless you, thank you. "
I could only blurt out "God bless you too. .I hope you can find some shelter."
My words seemed all stupid and useless.
That piddling token will disappear with one trip to the coffee shop.
I know he's out under that bridge right now in this -5 degree night.
". . .is anybody listening...?
love is kneeling - above the broken body the ever-upturned face
love is missing - all the words are broken, help me, i cannot find my way,
no i can't
love is streaming - streaming with the tears that we cannot seem to shed
love is frozen - frozen in the figure they just pulled from the subway grate
love is burning - burning with the anger that we all feel, against which we
our faces pressed into the lap of loneliness, come on love
will you sail 'cross the water and lay your wisdom down?"
Jane Sibbery -- "Sail Across the Water"
Sunday, November 16, 2008
we're born weak and usually die the same way.
We begin with weakness, utter dependence, we build and build our strength, independence. We grow. We may experience many dips and climb back up out of them somewhere in the middle there. . but finally we taper off once more, declining,waning,losing all that we had worked had to gain,
making it all seem like an illusion
which in a big way it is.
I remember back, feeling so proud to be a 'big girl'... riding a two wheeler, swimming and skating on my own, crossing the street without an adult. I was so impatient to grow up, be older and stronger, be taken seriously. I have this memory of flexing my bicep to my dad, saying "Look how strong I am, Daddy!". He poked the muscle and jokingly said: "That's just a sparrow's kneecap, kiddo." I remember being mightily offended. I thought I was so strong. He knew otherwise. As life progressed i went on to bigger and better things like having my own library card, taking the bus, using the stove by myself *and setting the oven mitts on fire*!getting my first babysitting job, my first Royal Bank of Canada, "Leo the Lion" account, learning to drive, choosing courses at school. .
We all feel that same hurry to grow up, be older, be independent, live on our own. Proper thing too. The alternative is unnatural. To stay dependent is not right. Independence is our much desired goal. . and well along on the way to meeting that goal, most of us easily fall prey to the notion that we have accumulated lots of knowledge. This exposes us to the danger of unteachability. We set up like cement. We've arrived. We're strong. We have a stockpile of mantras and dictums and we believe most of them... make it happen, believe and achieve, good better best, never let it rest, upwardly mobile, only the strong survive, what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. .these help us to climb. . but just when you think we've arrived, there's a sudden encounter with weakness.
You're very sick.
You've had surgery.
You've received terrible news.
Your health is under attack.
You've lost your job.
Your marriage is on the ropes.
Your best friend is dying.
All your strength. Where is it?
You feel as weak as a kitten.
You are weak.
But you're supposed to be strong. This wasn't in the plan.
This is too much.
Can't do it. .
faced with weakness,
the illusion of control is gone
your strength had convinced you that you strength was all
but weakness is here to teach you that your strength is not all.
Not even close.
When weakness comes to you, it is very often your maker telling you:
"My gracious favour is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."
I think the only times he can get our attention is when we are helpless,
We've all been conditioned in order to survive. . get strength, be strong, keep strength.
Like a child who tells their grown up: "No! I want to do it myself!"
Like we tell each other "Thank you, but no, I can manage."
Like we tell him, "I've got this."
When we really don't and we can't.
This is why weakness comes, to punch holes in our resolve and stoicism.
and let us feel vulnerable.
and let us rely on someone.
our cleverness is a trap
our bravado is a cloak full of holes
and friends may pull away,
then we are privileged to know
that there is but one to rely on,
who helps us gain knowledge,
paradoxical knowledge of the purest kind.
that our strength is an illusion
that punched full of enough holes, and empty of our reserve,
we are finally able to receive the pure light of his strength.
It exceeds our capacity to contain it.
Here, in abject weakness, full of holes,
the paradox is revealed
and we understand just a little bit
that living on his borrowed strength
is how we are healed
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I'm sitting in the front room on the couch, lights out - ipod screen glowing.
I'm looking out the picture window. . .and i'm seeing a falling star! its flaring all silver, streaking downwards, making me feel more alive as it dies. . . i feel like a kid! Its like God is saying "Look!". I know the scientific explanation for this phenomenon, but i prefer to see it with awe. Awe is so undervalued, underexperienced.
Each day this week i have wanted so much to escape the confines of hallways, fluorescent lighting and offices.
Weather has been glorious and warm for November, such a beautiful aberration.
Remaining inside and at the desk felt almost impossible. . . the river was calling to be canoed and my bike spoke to me from the shed at home, i heard it say it was lonely.
My fading tan was whispering: "Sun, i need it, i'm dying."
The ringing phone, the crowded task bar on my computer and all things tediously urgent and pressing held me fast and nearly against my will.
I've been so restless.
In the hospital halls where for a quarter century i have walked and worked and tried to keep the balance as a community member, an employee, a some time patient, a co-worker, being taught, teaching, feeling inadequate,capable, hassled, humbled. I have met and gotten to know and said goodbye to so many people - but i feel the imprint of them all within myself and this presses and holds me equally fast and in total willingness to stay, to do more than just ricochet off of each other. . to see each other. Restless to go past the surface.
I've realized that much of living is about feeling restless in some way or another. .
Restless for change. . (but afraid of how it might look or feel)
Restless for honesty - but if everyone was honest, could i handle that?
More often for me I feel restless in my spirit. . i don't mean my soul. . my emotions and will, they're so contrary, I can't go by them.
Sometimes I think i had a little flash of insight, i see that there's more, I know that I'm not made to be shallow. . and I long for the depths,
i can almost hear him say to me: "You're so close, don't be satisfied with less. . come on!"
but just as quickly, like a little child looking at something else that catches her fancy, i turn and break the connection, never completely because I'm drawn, always.
". . .And it burns me down to the core because I know there's so much more, its just a pale reflection. And it keeps me wanting that mysterious thing,like an outcast waiting to be loved." Thanx, downhere, your words always strike a chord. . no pun intended.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths and superficial relationships
so that you will live deep in your heart
May the Spirit
Bless you with anger
at injustice and oppression,
and exploitation of people and the earth
so that you will work for justice, equality and peace.
May the Spirit
Bless you with tears to shed
for those who suffer
so that you will
reach out your hand
to comfort them.
And may the Spirit
Bless you with the foolishness
to think you can make a difference
in the world,
so you will do the things
which others say cannot be done.
-- source unknown --
(wherever this came from, its magic)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Rob mentioned the other day about going, I was definitely down with that.
When we got home from work yesterday, Rob went to the computer to check the movie listings. . . "Its playing at the Galaxy at 6:20". . .i thought that sounded great. "Oh, wait, its also playing at Empire at 6:50". This second bit of news perked me up. . I said, "How about we go to Empire, then i can make a quick trip to Chapters before the movie!!"
Rob indulges me every time I suggest going there. Its not his favourite place, but he knows i love it and I love him for that and a million other reasons. I had to reign myself in once we got there. . we didn't have too long to wait. I stayed just long enough to use my 'loyal member' extra discount coupon, which i got to use on top of my normal 10% member discount.. so sweet.
I bought a couple of books: "The White Rose, Munich 1942-1943" by Inge Scholl. . This one is a true story of two university students, a brother and sister, who were decapitated by court order for their involvement in the White Rose movement. This movement produced anti-Nazi propaganda and provided material assistance to victims of national socialism. It sounds intense. I suppose i will cry with this one, or feel a 60 years on rage, which i won't know what to do with.
I also bought "Seeing" by Nobel prize winning author Jose Saramago. . I've never heard of him, but the jacket praised him out of the stratosphere, so I thought i'd take a chance. Besides. . it was a hard cover for $7!!! I started into this one first. . and I'm going to have to stick it out -- maybe. He's got a really bizarre style, all run on and on sentences, over description to the point where I'm impatient for him to just cut the crap. get rid of the too numerous adjectives, clunky phrases and thoughts stretched into thoughtlessness and just get to the bloody point! He's strangely sparing with his punctuation. Everything runs together in a 'stream of consciousness' way. I'm not averse to that kind of storytelling, but this is almost dizzying, reading on and on, without anything stopping my eye or my brain. It feels almost appropriate to take a small breather after each megasentence.
The story sounded timely and interesting. . voting day in a democractic 'capital'. . voters aren't coming out because of severe weather - then turn out en mass when it clears. 70% of the ballots cast were blank. The citizens rebel, state of emergency is declared as a revolution erupts. When i read the liner note I'm told, "What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister." So far reading this book has almost maddened me and set my teeth on edge. I don't want to 'see' the effort in a book. I don't want to be aware of flaws and be unable to get past them when i read a story. I want it to feel natural and seamless. I want to be transported, not derailed. "Another invaluable gift from a matchless writer." ? That's what Kirkus reviews had to say about this book. Geesh. Nobel Prize award? glowing reviews from every American newspaper? I'm wondering now if i kept my receipt. Do you think they refund on marked down items?
Passchendaele could almost be another post. . perhaps soon with remembrance day upon us. The movie was so good, if that's the right word to use for anything about war? We eat up war movies, which seems odd for peace loving Canadians. I think its just our age. We were raised by families whose lives were refined in the crucible of war. . and this affected us too. Every war movie we watch may be our attempt to identify with and try to understand our loved ones. I've seen a documentary entirely about the battle of Passchendale and was so wrenched by it and so proud of our Canadian soldiers. What a bloody mess it all was. What torture, what loss and what 'victory' (however temporary). Aggression, killing, fighting. . its just hard to stomach. I find it odd to think that in 'peace' time people are punished for killing, fighting and in 'war' time they are given medals and promotions. I know it doesn't boil down just like that. Courage, patriotism, bravery, unity of purpose all mix in with the horror and chaos. Freedom of the millions weighs on the tired shoulders of men. What a paradox is war.
Why is it that we never value anything unless we're in danger of losing it?
Why does it take danger, suffering and grief to birth gratitude in us?
And why does that gratitude so quickly dissipate into a sickly, anemic sense of entitlement?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"11" by Leonard Sweet (11 indispensible relationships you can't be without)
Almost done this one. Here is an excerpt taken from the jacket:
"We all need some friends for the journey. . friends like Barnabas, Nathan, Rhoda, Zacchaeus just to name a few. Eleven of them to be exact. Without these people in your life, you'll miss out on the person you could have been. And without you in their lives, they'll miss out as well."
This book takes people from the Bible and puts them forth as embodied examples of positive character traits. E.g., Jethro was a motivator, Jonathan a true friend, Timothy an heir, Deborah was someone who had your back, etc.
I have eaten this book up. Its really causing me to think about just what kind of friend i am/have been to others. . and conversely, what kind of friends i have. Of course I sadly see deficiencies on both sides. Len Sweet was one of the keynote speakers at a conference I had the privilege to attend last weekend. I like how he thinks, outside of the box, unconventional yet gracious and godly. I really recommend this one.
Another one i have begun:
"A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle
A friend loaned this to me. She wanted to see what i thought of it. We've been talking about 'purpose', etc. I'm not too sure about this guy. . he's a "spiritual teacher" who dips into various pools of 'spirituality'. hinduism, buddhism, Christianity, zen, etc. The result is a kind of quasispiritual smorgasboard. A little bit of this and a little taste of that.For me, it can never satisfy. I'm in the 'ego' chapters now and they're actually quite interesting. The author talks about the arising new consciousness, meditation, enlightenment and so on, none of which seems particularly 'new'. . but rather ancient.
I follow Jesus himself. He's very much alive. This distinction puts him in his own category, light years from all other contenders. Other 'teachings' are words left behind, dried up on parchment,stone, manuscript. They can be 'good' but they can never be God. Having THE spiritual master to live with and be in relationship with, I'm not particularly interested in any kind of inferior counsel, but I am interested in dialogue with my friends, so I keep reading. Mr. Tolle does extensively quote and reference Christ. I'm not sure if he does so to have higher sales or because he respects Christ. Regardless, I'll finish it and hopefully my friend and i can have some good discussion at the end. She's been teasing me, saying "I want a book report!"
Monday, October 20, 2008
yep, that must be it.
After working on computers all day long at the hospital, checking email and Facebook when i come home . . . i'm pretty much tired of sitting, staring at a terminal and/or keyboarding.
poor excuses allfor not blogging,
i'm fighting off a cold and have been plagued with all of its yucky, attendant symptoms.
who doesn't hate catching a cold??
I fell right off the good nutrition wagon today.
it was ridiculous
and i had been doing so well.
i mean i was in such a mood after supper, i could have just kept shoving in all kinds of junk. I had 3 sqares of chocolate but that did nothing to stop me. I had pretzel sticks, (did i mention 2 cupcakes? i didn't? um, yeah i ate those too - they were small, but covered in twice their weight in ahem, buttercream) I didn't eat much at breakfast or lunch. . which i'm sure is what triggered this crazed feeling of binge-iness this evening. I even ate POTATO CHIPS and i NEVER eat those things!
I blame Rob for the chips.
He bought the stupid bag of "reduced fat" Cape Cods.
I think that was the first bag of those things we've had in this house in YEARS.
geesh. . . i ate some sour jujubes at work this afternoon because they were there. . pathetic.
i go to 'endless buffet land' in Mexico and LOSE weight, thank you, traveler's "indigestion" and now that i'm getting over that finally, i act like i've never seen food before. what is that about??
Deep breath. . .
Its done, and tomorrow's a new day, right?
the jujubes are gone
the cupcakes too
the chips? I'll leave the rest for Rob
the chocolate? maybe padlock the cupboard??
ask mom to stop buying us chocolate. . .
when i was a teenager i looked like a stick version of myself and ate Wunderbars, Harvey's burgers and fries at midnight, McDonald's hot apple pies, Laura Secord mint chocolate bars, banana splits - come to think of it though, i walked everywhere, rollerskated, swam and rode my bike. .
grrrr. . . i'm mad at myself. . I need to evaluate some things. .
Saturday, September 20, 2008
here's a list of some of my favourites:
woofer (must include tweeter)
Monday, September 08, 2008
sometimes lots of things happen but i don't know how to say them
do you know what i mean?
i feel kind of cut off from my ability to put any words together
sometimes we all get so busy living life, we may not take the time to document the details of the living
I've just eaten a peach and some fresh strawberries. . what a treat.
i'm trying to steer clear of unhealthy choices and enjoy the good for you stuff.
I'm reading a fantastic new book "10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman's Diet". Not the 'die with T' kind of diet, but just what kind of foods you eat, diet. I find it inspiring at this moment in my life, as i contemplate being middle aged and trying to do the best i can to avoid unnecessary negative side effects of aging. . it starts now, baby.. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
I was talking to a friend tonight over tea and we talked briefly about getting all our news from the computer home page, just reading the headlines and skimming them in order to stay current, without the daily depressing broadcasted details. However, the home page 'news' is often a ridiculous assortment of stuff that passes for news. Pseudo news.
I'm not sure. . maybe the 'public' keeps this stuff circulating by eating it up with a spoon?
Why do i want to know that Lindsay Lohan kissed a girl and she liked it? is she a lesbian? who cares?!!
Brad and Angelina's twins have colic. . if that is actually true. . this needs world attention? pfftt! my babies both had colic. . big whoop
Baby bump watch - so yeah, apparently celebrities are always getting pregnant!!!
that means they're human, just like us!!!!OMG!! Sure. . we're just like them, with our nannies, chefs, personal trainers and stylists. AND we also go back to spinning and capoeira classes the day after giving birth.
Britney Spears' mother sold our her daughter by writing a tell all? This is unfortunate, not to mention low, but its just one more BS 'news' item, isn't it?
I thought after a bit of a break from the constant BS coverage that maybe they'd just stop. . . now they're off and running with more stuff - sales must need boosting.
Lily Allen told Sir Elton to eff off?! Is it treason to cuss out a knight? I'm not entirely sure who Lily Allen is. .
sigh. . 'news' should be new, none of this crap is new. .
sometimes it seems like there are only these celebrity people in the world and we real people are bombarded by often dubious details of the minutiae of their lives. It would seem that we exist just to be witness to their 'glorious' existence?
anyway, i think i'm gonna go read for a bit. . it wasn't a bad Monday, really. My lack of sleep last night after another ridiculous bout of insomnia is beginning to tell at this point in the evening. . so, rest well, children.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
feelings run the show for me
i don't always like it
but i can't seem to escape it
they ARE the boss of me!
feelings are bossy things.
they're not very rational
they're fiercely strong
sometimes completely out of control
dragging me along underneath
stinging, smarting and paining
sometimes they fly on notion and impulse
and i hold on for the ride
if they could be embodied, there are days i would hug, kiss and thank them
and days i could scold, smack and even drop kick them.
they take me off course, they waylay and even strand me
they bring me to wonderful emotional places i never want to leave
but they can just as easily leave me in flat desolation and take off without me
and i wonder when they'll come back and make me feel like me again?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
i don't think there is anything that can eclipse love
this force to be reckoned with
but who can reckon with, work out, calculate, think, estimate, or to take it into account?
the whole world runs on love
not commodities. .
i think love wrecks you in the best possible way
wrecks your ego and your selfishness
wrecks your plans
wrecks you for settling for substitutes
substitution leaves a trail of broken souls
we wrestle with love
and we mistreat and misname love
and we shame love
and we blame love
love is more than we understand
more than we can process with grey matter
more than us
and our travails and our pursuits.
more than our fairy tale notions of what it feels like
looks like, acts like
and more than the roles we assign ourselves in the grand story
there are so many things that its not
and only one that it is . . .
love is bigger than our attempts to contain it
as if we could stop the tides
or embrace the sun.
why do we think we can harness love and
assign it, dispense it like a controlled substance?
to those we deem deserving. . .
like we can handle purity with our filthy paws
and our grimy hearts and not understand that this isn't how love is
love is not a thing to had
love is a being, love is God.
i believe in love because i believe in him.
belief, disbelief? our certainty either way
doesn't change that love is him. . he is it
and he gives it and we take it
and don't see him in the gift
and we manhandle it and pass it around
but we don't give it back to him
and love suffers
cut off from the source
love deteriorates and we don't realize it
or do we?
i think we do.
i live with this longing to know love
to know God
i've squelched this yearning at times on purpose, or simply set it aside
it was like i was wearing blinders or my heart was frozen
where was he? where was i?
nothing made sense.
when i fell in love with my husband, i thought "this is real love" and it really is. but i used to feel like i was living the love songs, the chick flicks, the princess stories. . and i ate it all up and wanted more.
i had tacked this foolish and incomplete notion of love onto my heart
and wondered why it kept falling off and getting all dirty and trampled whenever i felt let down or unappreciated, or when grief or hardship came along
i soon realized that i didn't really have a clue what love was
love is not about gathering beautiful feelings or contentment or warm fuzzies into myself
love is pouring myself out. . not only to those who i know and hold in my heart,
but especially to those i know and don't hold dear. .
and this pains and smarts to do this and it works against my inclinations
i don't really like this
but this is love too
love comes from its source
there is no love apart from him
i have struggled to have this make sense sometimes,
so much talk of love, love, love, love all the time, everywhere, but
what is it really???? certainly not the conditional variety we seem to prefer.
certainly not the insulated, cozy coccoon in which to settle and enjoy, cherishing our tightly-woven relational circles
love is being angry with injustice
love is hurting for those who feel pain
love is seeing into people and appreciating their worth
what would this planet be like if all love was sucked out of the population?
what would happen?
what would emerge to fill the huge vacuum?
i'm not sure why its easy to be blithe,
feeling entitled to love?
i've seldom thought so much about it
but as i do lately, i lose my footing and fall out of the notion(s) of what i thought it was and sink into the reality of who love really is
and here i find myself wanting to let go of false and take in true
Monday, July 07, 2008
not because i'm averse to the commonly held notion of intimacy
not that its wrong
intimate is good. . but its more than
we think it is.
I want to expand that concept to be
i want to push out that 'personal space' to make some room
i don't want to shrink from
i want to reorder my thoughts, my heart
i want to be new
with old wisdom
that leads me
to the place of intimacy
like its meant to be
not how its always been perceived or practiced
i think 'intimacy' is misunderstood, even misrepresented.
people can be intimate, close, even adoring
but always there will be
some sort of division
some sort of withholding
no matter how 'big' we say we love
there is always a smallness to it
and a taint of self.
the things love requires,
we don't have the stomach for.
we can warm up to the perverse interpretations
we give those two words
that just comes naturally.
but i'm thinking of the deeper, spiritual surrender and submission
of coming to know how to
and be given over to the one,
and there is only one and no other,
who knew your name before your parents conceived you
who saw your forming body
who gave you unique fingerprints
who set your heart muscle into life-giving rhythm
who numbered the hairs on your head
who remembers every moment you don't
who knows the pre-formed words in your mind before they are spoken
who knows all that lives within even the darkest recesses of your heart
and who doesn't push back and turn his head?
what lovers' kiss could be more intimate
than God breathing life into your unseeable and untouchable inner self?
can there be more intimate connection than being loved by someone without reservation
or cut off point?
this is what i want
human intimacy waxes and wanes
it runs hot and cold
lacking, even in its glory,
for it often is glorious --
it blanches and pales
when held up to the light of Him
so leery of letting down our guard
people don't like to be vulnerable
harm comes to the weak
and weakness can feel shameful to us
Intimacy brings us to
But we can appear vulnerable and not be.
sometimes we want to hide from being intimate
i guess its the risk
it can be too costly.
We may play games with each other,
but how can we escape intimacy
from the one who can't be played?
how can we lie to one who can't be duped?
even the illusion
of trying is pointless
that's life without true intimacy.. .
the illusion of pointlessly trying to evade and
run away from the kind of intimacy we crave
the position of
having no position, no defense --
that's real intimacy.
in the searchlight of God
with no leg to stand on,
flattened in surrender
knowing you deserve the worst
and being embraced
to be intimate is to choose to be.
choose the degree.
choose the intensity.
choose illusion or truth
If intimacy was your home
who would be left on the step and who would be let in?
and how 'in' are they allowed?
are there bars on the windows?
a sawed off hockey stick in the sliding door?
Saturday, June 21, 2008
adults have a much harder job of it
there's a lot we have to unlearn in order to learn
there are obstacles that must be removed
we've worked so hard to get here -
the place of knowing
we've have had decades to become set,
nothing sinks in.
nothing short of a jackhammer can break up that concrete
removal of what was known
being in the place of unknown
feeling unwise, humble and small
Sunday, June 08, 2008
without ever seeing anything truly fantastic
and i also suppose it depends entirely upon your definition of 'fantastic'
i'm inclined to think that there is so much fantastic going through us
and past and around us every day
and we are unaware
i often fail to notice the spectacular, especially when daily routine throws a cloaking device
over marvels and mysteries.
i miss things
when i take so much for granted the way i do
simple things that used to boggle my mind, but no longer seem to. . .
what is grass made of? i don't mean the breakdown of elements and such
but i want to know where did the elements come from? and how, together, do they make a blade of grass?
how is a grouping of rapidly dividing cells able to form a person?
i've read all about the particulars of cellular mitosis and division
and time tables of when and how and amniotic fluid and blood supply
but how are the cells given their widsom to do these things?
how does the soul/spirit permeate a developing human?
and how does it separate from the body with that last breath?
these things are fantastic.
but somehow, i can only see grass and babies
these are miracles
they are things we could never replicate
computers are intricate servants
we have created
with chips and glass and wires
running the world now.
how fantastically frightening and thrilling
and yet sometimes all i see is keyboards and monitors
i hear about RAM and bits and bites and binary code
and i'm not amazed
am i crazy?
once we become familiar with something
we lose our wonder
looking for the bigger fix
i watched a movie last night
amazing natural wonders
far-fetched and extreme situations
and i thought to myself:
"When have i ever seen or experienced anything so colossal?"
and i answered myself. . . "never"
and i'm sure everyone else in that theatre would say the same
which is why we were all there
drinking in stories, true or not
with endless thirst for more
to escape reality?
or to point to our destiny?
do you ever wish to be amazed?
astounded? shaken from the mundane?
i do. .
but i've begun to realize that perhaps i have been
and didn't even know it
Monday, June 02, 2008
i've been making a mental list and it goes like this:
processed 'cheese food' / aka 'heart attack in a jar' WHY?! (goopy garbage!)
ditto for 'pork rinds'. . . yuck. What area of the 'rind' do these come from?? snout? 'nether regions'? gah.
back hair -- strange phenomenon, that is
centipedes -- these are not only crawly and gross to look at, but they're lightning fast and that makes them even scarier. . I cannot help screaming every time i see one
pale blue eyeshadow (this doesn't look very good on anyone)
pleather - sausage casing for humans,
vegemite??? spreadable brewing byproduct. .brown, yeasty and certainly nasty
plumber's butt?! ugh, this is gross
unsynchronized traffic lights -- stop, start. . drive one block, stop again and repeat and repeat
chocolate-flavoured 'baking chips'?! these are an abomination
right up there with artificial flavour extracts. .
'greenlawn' services calling our house every night at supper (thank God for call display!!) wouldn't they get the hint after several months of no one answering their call?
tapered leg, light denim 'mom' jeans??!! i'm seeing too many of these out there, people.
President's Choice "Chipotle Smokies Sausages" with 22 grams of fat per 100 gram sausage (BAD things come in small packages) boourns to Galen Weston for that craptastic fat content
"Just One Drop" 'bathroom product'.. "Just a drop before you 'go' eliminates embarrassing odour." Now there will be potentially millions of people out there whose 'sh#$ don't stink', literally. This seems oddly pleasing, doesn't it?
So this one doesn't really count.
shorts -- knobby knees, white skin, bandy legs and a whole lotta skin surface area that usually doesn't need to be shown - maybe they should only be worn by athletes and people with fantastic legs? (shorts frighten me!)
"Kraft Dinner". . . this stuff bites. Tiny, little insignificant tubes of pasta with that little sachet of freeze dried, powdered 'cheesy dust' your pour into the pot along with milk and butter. How do i hate thee, KD? let me count the ways. . to infinity and way beyond.
canned beets -- i have distant, childhood memories of these stinkers. I've never tried anything beety since.. can't seem to work up the courage
toilet paper rolls that won't 'start'. . . i've fought too many battles with these things, ended up with strips and shreds instead of squares.
shiny, shampoo add hair. . why don't i see this on anybody except the shampoo commercial models? Are they all wearing glossy wigs???! where can i get one?!!!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
everything and everyone makes me mad
i don't understand it
but i think i'm having a meltdown
i don't want to go back to work after being on holiday for a week and a half
i told Rob i wish i could call in sick for the rest of my life
i wish i could have a personality transplant
i wish i was mellow and easygoing
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
i don't often have cavities, so its not like its painful
i still always find myself gripping the arms of the chair with whitish knuckles
and leaving the office with a tension headache.
don't you find it funny that when hygienists or dentists have every tool in their tool box crammed into your mouth, then want to carry on a conversation with you?
and all you can do is reply "mmmmffff"
can't even really nod your head or one of those sickle-like tartar scrapers might jog over and pierce your gums
i hate that scraping sound
also hate how it feels like they're scraping them within an inch of their enamel. . ugh
doesn't take long,
but its not the most pleasant thing, is it?
i had the drool bib chained to my neck like always
and that always makes me feel like a doofus.
There's not much to look at, the ceiling, the masked face of the person working in your mouth, the little stuffed creature was on top of the lamp,
a small grey mouse wearing a blue hardhat, a little bizarre, yes.
not the usual bunnies or chickies that are in the other treatment rooms.
Then came the brand new thing in the check up routine
The hygienist said: "Now, Kathy, you can put on these glasses,
to prevent glare from the lamp." I took them and put them on.
I said to her: "I feel strangely like Bono". . which she thought was hilarious.
Felt kinda odd, reclining with my spit bib on, looking like Bono, while having my teeth scraped.
The girl said "Well, wouldn't it be nice to have his money?"
and of course i said : "Mfff hmmfff", mouth full of pokey, steel instruments
and of course 'we' talked more about gardening and crappy weather, vacation bargains and such.. . . she talked, i mumbled unintelligibly. . but the strangest thing
is all these dental people seem to understand you perfectly!
its like they've all taken a course or something
i don't know if have any cavities, the dentist wasn't there today
but i was assured they would call me if the x-rays showed anything
i'm crossing my fingers, don't want to break my lucky streak i have going
Sunday, May 18, 2008
there's something so gross about aging
i have a real problem with it, always have
wrinkling and sagging,
shuffling and stooping
i find it all so distasteful
senior's moments, dentures, white hair
debility and weakness
i seems like such a cruel way to end up
after experiencing the excitement of childhood, the vigor of youth
and the productivity of the middle years
to end curled up and dried up
i had a grandmother who always looked 'old' to me
but she didn't live 'old'
she was kickin' and spittin'
compassionate in her actions
and amazing in the kitchen
for a time in my youth i had this notion that she'd never die
i thought of my grandfather in the same unrealistically immortal way - forever in his study, reading, writing for various publications, wearing his pile-lined slippers, eating his licorice
they seemed ageless to me
but time was not kind to them
strokes, bypasses, cancer
time is that way with all of us
its like a double-edged sword, it can by its passage, bring promise and maturity, assuage grief, impart fantastic memories,
but it turns to cut us right in half in a matter of just decades
reducing us to mere shadows of our former selves
i know its all bravado to make claim that i will not succumb
i am fiercely determined to stay vital
still i feel the claws of age sinking in to my bones, wearing them away
so i take calcium and magnesium, i lift weights, i dance, eat good food
to keep the monster at bay
i think about my heart valves
i wonder about the condition of my arteries
i think about my liver and my lungs
i think of my muscles - i don't want to lose strength
who wants to be weak?
I wear my garlic necklace for the vampire of old age
but i don't think its working
I know decline is inevitable
i know i can't stave it off forever.
i can't read small print without my glasses
i hate this
my optometrist calls it 'middle aged focus'
I buy skin creams and treatments,
but still i see small lines on my face where none existed
i have 'white roots' which i battle to smother in colour
i have pain daily which grumbles on a good day
and roars on a bad one.
the 'circle of life' (sorry for the unfortunate Lion King association here)
is what it is
the part where you start off in diapers and eat baby food is adorable
the part where you end up in the same state,
well there's just nothing cute about that now,
Thursday, May 15, 2008
i write enough about my 'feelings'
and God knows i think enough about them!
sometimes i get sick and tired of my angsty thought processes and i just wanna
yell to my own brain:
SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!
the more self runs the show,
the more spirit gasps and weakens
the natural dichotomy, summed up
but i don't want to be 'natural'
its hard to live with major issues that remain unresolved
in a way i feel like the Queen of the Crowded Heart
adaptation is an interesting phenomenon
adapt to loss
adapt to struggle
but no protection is completely impervious
there are chinks in the armor if you look closely
usually though, people don't have time to come in for a close look
someone did this morning
and it surprised me, i didn't see it coming
a friend at work asked me "How are you doing?"
of course i said 'fine'
She challenged me to stop lying. .
and it jarred me
in a good way
i guess she could see through me?
and she was right
most of the people i work with think that the sun shines out of my ass
and this, they say in lunch table joking, bugs them.
i always tell them that if i was transparent
they'd probably all wanna find another table across the room!
even though i feel the sturm und drang within
i compress it and force it down
this may not be not great,
but it feels better to live above that stuff
anyway, i really appreciated the reality check
she's been anything but 'fine' lately herself
and i think is trying to make sense of all that she's experienced.
i said to her: "You know, you're right. . we shouldn't be afraid to be authentic, with each other . .what are we so afraid of?"
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
can you relate?
work is well, the 'b' word. . i hate that word cuz it is THE default response to every "How are you" query.
"How have you been?" "Oh, bu@y"
"How was your weekend?" "It was so bu@y. . i need an extra day to recover"
crazy bu@y. .
i don't like to say that i hate a word, but i am very loathe to even mention it or THINK it, cuz it gives me heart palpitations.
However, i'm not so hypocritical that i don't admit to dwelling in the very state i despise - the state of bu@y. . bu@y state (b.s. for short)
Rob's mom has been so ill. . and now has come here and is staying in our spare room
until she recuperates a bit more. She's had quite a bad winter, and now this badness is extending into spring for her.
We sure hope she turns a corner VERY soon.
Rob and i are entering the demographic called the "sandwich generation". . .
new phase, next wave. .
life is interesting folks
not to mention perplexing
Friday, April 25, 2008
but i've really had such a dearth of sayable things lately
its a mystery to me why sometimes words flow out of me like a swollen spring river
and other times they're dried up, dessicated
and i feel so out of control in that whole process
never have been in control
and now i'm tired
and i'm in a funny mood
and its a work night
and i haven't made my lunch yet
and i should be in bed
i hope you're well?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
i found that exciting because
i love words, vocabulary
love the sound of them
love using them
love reading them
but i do love words for more than function
i'm fascinated by the power they contain
and yet terrified. .
i don't think we understand words in this context. . .
sometimes i think we humans talk too much
sometimes i think we don't talk enough
fail to communciate
the weight of words, their power
their link to action
what we say has a direct effect on what happens
speak too soon and it can be diastrous
speak too late and its the same thing
speak too much and the overflow of words spills away like run off
speak too little and the words dry up along with your ability to have a say
speak without action. . .
blah, blah, blah
act first, speak after = regrets, damage
speak lies = destruction
speak love = restoration
does that happen often?
i think too little
and what can stop words?
awe -- is that something humanity is still capable of feeling? dropped jaw, dumbfounded
disaster -- often snatches the words from our mouths
sorrow -- smothers words, makes us put our hands over our mouths, physically showing that we have none
realization -- running smack into the brick wall of undisputed truth -- open mouthed, no sound
i think the trick is balance and wisdom
knowing when to speak and what to say
controlling the flow of words so there's no waste
but making sure to speak when its called for
understanding how your words affect others
knowing that from the overflow of your heart, your mouth speaks
what's in the heart?
whatever comes out of our mouth.
f bombs and talk of excrement
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Driving along on my patented 'short cut' route for the impatient and speedy,
I made a left turn, rounded the corner and accelerated. That's when it happened.
You know how birds fly in small groups and they do that swoop, then rise thing of theirs?
Well, the front of my van met one bird still in the swoop.
I looked in my rearview and didn't see it pull up at the last minute.
I have a feeling it ended up on the grassy boulevard.
It was a plump, little robin -- harbinger of spring.
That's right, i killed spring, which is why the day started off kind of warm, then got considerably colder. . its all my fault!
I feel bad.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
my lovely place of employment
i walked through the "A" wing, swung around the bend in the hall and took the furthest stairwell down to the basement level (this is part of my 'i can't stand sitting on my butt any more and i must get up' daily ritual).
On the landing of the stairwell sat this huge, random chair!
i realize this is not terribly exciting,
but there's never a chair there, it was so random
i don't know why but i love to see random things in places where they don't belong!
we have a running joke in our family. .
say we're driving along. .driving.. suddenly there's a shoe sitting in the middle of the road. One of us will say: "Random shoe". Then we laugh. ha ha ha haha. .we find this funny.
last spring i happened to look out the front room window and saw a woman walking a small horse. Random!! The whole family was here, having family lunch. We all went outside to talk to this woman and pet the pony.
i was in the lunch room the other day, fishing a pear out of my lunch bag. Janey was also in there getting something. I looked in the bag and 'bing'. . sitting on top of my food sat a random white serviette with "I love you" written in pen (Rob made my lunch). Random surprise! Yeah, i got made fun of. those girls have no romance in their souls! i did get a few "awww's" though.
Speaking of lunch. . . today i was digging around in my lunch bag pocket to see if i had a knife to loan Louise. . i did!
in the pocket i found a random, yellow ju jube!
of course i ate it
it was a bit stale though.
for me, "random" almost seems magical -- i didn't see it get there, it doesn't belong there, but is suddenly just there. i like that. .
a little randomness punctuating the routine pattern of every day.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
It was a DREAM holiday and we LOVED every minute of our grand prize trip!!!
I was sitting on the couch the other morning, going through the grocery, store flyers and i saw a coupon/special offers booklet with a nice-sounding travel prize. .
I yelled out to Rob, who was in the dining room, "Robbie! We need to travel again. Look up the website www.cottonelle.ca!" He did and its one of those 1 entry per person per day. I like those. . the more entries the better. I guess it sounds lame that i think entering contests is our way of going on trips!? but it worked once. . it could happen again?!
The name of the contest campaign is a little unfortunate. . .
"Be Kind to Your Behind" sweepstakes. .
its sponsored by a manufacturer of toilet paper
i figure i can be kind to my behind by giving it another chance to sit in a 5-star beach chair! I wish!
and now for the random --
My granddaughter told me the other day: "Nana, I'm marrying Connor." I feigned surprise. . "Oh, really honey?!" Eri sounded nonchalant: "Yeah, i was going to marry Donovan, but he moved to Preston and I changed my mind." Oi! she's 4!!!!
An observation. ..
Canadians are crazy. . I say this with utmost love and all, being Canadian myself.
It can be fffreezing outside in this part of Canada in March, like it was today.
The sun shines and jazzes everyone. . and people start going outside with bare arms while there are still piles of snow everywhere?! It makes no sense. . but then again we're a desperate lot.
I watched a bit of a TLC show last night. . a thin British hypnotist was telling an audience of unthin people that they could control their impulses by tapping on their cheekbones, then collar bone, then cheekbone again, then the outside of their hand, while humming the first couple of bars of "the Birthday Song", looking down to the right, down to the left, around in circles one way, then the other -- don't stop tapping. . and voila, impulse is diminished? umm, yeeeah. Then came the call (host) and answer (audience) : "What should you do when you're hungry?" "EAT!" "What should you eat?" "WHAT WE WANT!" "How should you eat it?" "CONSCIOUSLY!" gosh. . i don't even know what kind of snappy, smart-ass comment to insert here!! If i consciously eat whatever garbage i want, every day will that do the trick? People are desperate? stupid? This guy's a sheister. . huckster, he's laughing all the way to BIG money, profiteering by making people tap themselves black and blue, rolling their eyes and singing Happy Birthday ?! BAH!!
Friday, March 21, 2008
day off work and school
everything is inconveniently shut down
less time to buy marshmallow bunnies and hoola hoops
does a massive hush spread over the globe in honour of the most pivotal moment in history?
hardly at all
the liquor store is closed and no one can buy their beer
some people don't know anything about Good Friday
why is it called good?
what does that mean?
for me it means imaging what it would be like to be universally supreme
and amazingly not obliterating anyone who displeased me
even more amazingly, loving the ones who tested my love to the limits
it means agreeing then to be born into a mere body
growing up human, with all of those frustrations
still retaining my pure, uncompromised holiness
teaching and breathing reviving love
into the ones i created, who had died in their spirits. . . cut off from me
and having my heart wrenched and torn in the process and my body beaten and broken for them
it means bearing the collective tonnage of their sin, past, present and yet to be committed. . .. having it suffocate and invade my holiness. . .
genocides, homicides, wars, despair, grief, mental and physical disease of the billions, all manner of degredation, every heinous, vile act against every victim in the world's history piled high upon me, squeezing out my life, faces, voices, cries in my head, before my eyes
knowing that this was the only way to break sin's chokehold on them was the only thing that kept me strong enough to bear it
they were so worth every drop of blood,
not a drop was wasted. . . in my eyes their value is infinite
i could not leave them enslaved by independence,
shackled by pride
perishing and unaware
they needed me and i loved them deeply, to the death
for me this is the heart of Christ on Good Friday.
this is what the Bible tells me about Good Friday
this is what happened
this is good??
this sounds bad
this should be Black Friday
my daughter thinks 'murderous mob Friday' (all the ones shouting for his death)
you may say this is hard to believe
you may not be comfortable
you may think i'm crazy
you may not care
you may be in tears, thinking of him
you may want to kiss his feet
however you feel,
belief or disbelief,
nothing changes the truth
not rejecting it
not ignoring it
nothing diminishes Love
Today WalMart was not open
no cheap chocolate was bought
the grocery stores were dark
the dollar stores were empty
But the sacrifice of Christ was reflected upon and appreciated by many
and that is good but the joy of Easter isn't in the death
for there is nothing joyful in that.
its in celebrating the resurrection,
and that is really good.
Monday, March 17, 2008
When i was a young adult, all i ever thought of at St. Patrick's Day was the day i delivered our stillborn daughters.
Now, as a middle aged woman, I have discovered there is more to this day than what i associated it with or how i felt because of it
Patrick (Padraig) was captured as a teen, sold into slavery. He escaped after 6 years of slavery and made his way to France, where he became a monk and returned to Ireland in 432, as a missionary. He made many converts to Christ among the Irish tribes. This is only a bare bones summary of his life.
I love the prayer of "St. Patrick's Breastplate". . its lyrical and beautifully spiritually authentic. This is my prayer, i love it - I have excerpted it here . . its quite long.
I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the 3 in 1, the 1 in 3
i bind this day to me forever
by power of faith, Christ's incarnation
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on cross for my salvation
His bursting from the spiced tomb
His riding up the Heavenly way
His coming at the day of doom
i bind unto myself today
i bind unto myself today the virtue of the starlit Heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even
the flashing of the lightning free
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks
the stable earth, the deep salt sea around the old, eternal rocks
the power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay
His ear to harken to my need
The wisdom of my God to teach
His hand to guide, His shield to ward
The word of God to be my speech
His Heavenly host to be my guard
against all Satan's spells and wiles
against all false words and heresy
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart's idolatry
against the wizard's evil craft
against the death wound and the burning
the choking wave, the poisoned shaft
protect me, Christ till thy returning
Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger
I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same, the 3 in 1, the 1 in 3
by whom all nature hath creation
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word
Praise to the Lord of my salvation
Salvation is of Christ, the Lord
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
you'd think you'll be crushed
and in some ways you are
but paradoxically, you may feel as if you've never been stronger.
i've had occasion to step into another person's shoes literally for a week and a half.
i have 'become' her for all intents and purposes and i don't think i've ever had more respect for the myriad of things she does in her high pressure job. you know that old saying about never really knowing someone until you walk in their shoes. . . so true.
funny thing about being pressed to your limits,
you discover things about yourself that you would never know otherwise.
i can make it through this day
i can do this
one task at a time
prioritize or be paralyzed
call upon the knowledge you've taken in
don't be afraid to fail
if you do, get back up
learn from your mistakes
don't give up
as i've been thinking through what all of this is teaching me both professionally, emotionally and spiritually i feel depleted and worn, but at the same time, more vital and energized.
at some rock bottom moments, when panic tries to overtake me, boggles my mind and threatens to shut me down. . . i reach past it and i ask for help. . . on the job to others who can help me and in my spirit i reach to God who gladly gives me strength at my absolute weakest. . .
I'm still in a swirl of chaos, but in it i am changed and able. .
it feels nothing short of miraculous.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
i can't throw out greeting cards. . i have been saving cards since i was 15 -- people signed their names or wrote personal messages!
i accumulate huge amounts of paperwork in a pile on top of the filing bin and wait till the pile begins to tip before i file it.
i read several books at once
i have this thing for buying the latest fitness DVD - its like a fever. . must have them!!
i take my beverages with me throughout the house and absentmindedly leave them wherever i stop
i must smell the dishwasher soap tablet before it goes in the machine
i don't drink coffee, but i often take the lid off the coffee container, to smell it
i will leave a few spoonfuls of food on my plate and say i can't eat any more, which drives my husband crazy!
i get my knickers in a twist over misspellings and grammatical errors
i must do a spider check every night before going to sleep
i often have to leave the room when people eat with their mouths open or make 'smacky' noises with their lips
i leave unironed clothes in the utility closet, where they remain for many months
i always try to get out of cutting up the broccoli and lettuce on grocery day
i can't sleep if the closet door is ajar
if i hear a funny line, i find the need to repeat it out loud while laughing.
i don't like talking on the phone
conversations with and comments made by anyone on an average day remind me of songs lyrics
i can't walk slowly
i can't stand getting gas and always try to get out of it
i can never go to bed early - i seem to be incapable of turning in at a decent hour
most times when i go to hum a song, its "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt - i don't know why. . its a beautiful song, but there are many beautiful songs and you'd think once in a while the humming playlist in my brain would change?
Well i think that's enough of me.
How about you? wanna share some of yours???
Monday, February 18, 2008
winter doesn't agree with my psyche.
not that it ever has, but i notice it a lot more in the last decade or so.
maybe i need a head shake,
or maybe just a good, swift kick?
i hate when all the things i enjoy, i can't seem to enjoy
reading. . don't want to
baking. . no, not interested
dancing, didn't feel like it tonight. .
writing, not in this state of mind. . .
if i sit down and write something,
i just end up deleting it.
my words are all locked up in my head, i can feel them in there.
they're being unruly and they won't come out.
seems like too much effort.
these ones made it, but they're not 'writing', just complaining.
the weekend was busy and enjoyable.
i had goals and met them.
i was distracted from the blahs by having lots to do.
today, day off work - you'd think i'd be ecstatic?
woke up to a completely open day and i just wanted to crash and do
absolutely nothing. .
yeah, i think i do need that swift kick.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
i think every tooth in my mouth must be a sweet one!
potato chips don't tempt me
fries. . .i don't really care for them
nachos? they're okay
pizza? pleh. . its fine
meat is all right. .
cheese -- like, not love it
bread is nice,
rice and potatoes - kinda ho hum but do hit the spot
virtuous veggies, i like
sweets. . . i LOVE.
No, "love" is not too strong a word.
chocolate, pies, tarts, cake, fudgey brownies, caramel, squares, cookies, candies, whipped cream, maple syrup, honey, creme brulee -- gotta stop. . i feel faint.
i often wonder why i can't crave the things that are best for me.
i can't imagine myself having attacks where i would go mad for a hunk of cabbagewhere i would down a bag of baby-cut carrots like i pop back the 'sour patch kids' candies (if i let myself buy them).
i wouldn't daydream of opening a veggie stand the way i do of opening a baked goods shop.
i really doubt that i'd salivate over a piece of chicken the way i do over velvety, melt in your mouth chocolate.
If sweet things could impart top-notch nutrition i'd be the Queen of Health!
Instead, i fight against my baser food impulses and try to convince myself that a cuplet of yogurt is a suitable substitute for a gooey, warm chocolate lava cake. pffffft!!!!
Me? i would eat the stupid yogurt AND also have the lava cake later because the yogurt did nothing to assuage my longing for the bad/good stuff.
Instead, i talk myself out of innumerable purchases of naughty items.
but still cave at weak points and purchase enough to make dance classes and kick boxing DVDs a dire necessity.
Instead, i try to make healthier alternatives for the girdle-busting old school baddies. (they often don't cut it, sadly to the point i'd rather do without if i can't have the 'real thing')
Don't even ask me about the cake icing i made yesterday for my granddaughter's "pony" birthday cake! (gobs of soft butter and cups of icing sugar -- what?? did i say that??!!!)
I feel like a culinary jekyll and hyde. .
LOVE the bad
tolerate the good, while waiting to be bad again!!!
I can't remember not being this way.
I KNOW this sweet stuff does me no good, but its so wickedly delicious!!!
I've done 'kicking sugar' stints in the past. . which resulted in headaches, general grumpiness and the inevitable going back.
So now, i don't try to kick it.
I find ways to make peace with the constant tension of being a sweet-toothed person who has aspirations to live healthily.
Right now I have given up sweet snacks and excessive eating in general.
I get to have 1 measly dessert-type thing per week.
For me, its the equivalent of an Everest climb.
This world is not designed for virtue.
It is programmed for vice.
Discipline is hard going.
Watching food network shows is hazardous.
Makes me feel like a 'one eyed-cat peeping in a seafood store'
Baking is perilous.
But I don't feel like myself if i can't bake something.
I can't describe the calming effect it has on me.
My mind always goes to it.
My hands want to be mixing and beating and ladeling.
Whenever i travel, i want to and do hit the bakeries, where i will inevitably size up my goodies against theirs! and sometimes even think mine are better?!!
I want to visit the chocolate shop. the smells! the sights! decadent and dangerous!!
I'll whiz past that 'fry stand' to get some chocolate chip buns from Weil's bakery.
I'll forgo the fast food forever and make perpetual trips to the Cupcake Store.
I am a conflicted woman, but more happily than sadly so.
I continue to fight the good fight. . . trying to quash the desire for sinfully good treats while doing crunches and lunges and 'cardio' , exercising self control, baking less and giving away more, learning how not to eradicate the sweet tooth, but subdue it. . .letting it out of the cage once a week and promptly shoving it back in and barring the door! i had considerable trouble barring the door today after letting it out yesterday for the birthday cake! (confession time. . . i had a bit today after lunch but only a teeny bit). I have to be realistic. . i'm never going to swear off sweeties all together, but I am learning that they're not the boss of me. . . . most of the time!!
Friday, February 01, 2008
i hide them away when i feel like a coward
i confront, i get flak
i run and hide, no flak
i've been in an apathetic chapter for several years now.
hiding. .avoiding flak like the plague
hurts less but hurts more. .
confronting is risky, messy
its also tiring
giving up seems like a good thing?
guess my fear drives me to find ways to avoid dealing with things
sealing off the rage
eating the baking
listening instead of divulging
praying with avoidance
is that even praying?
i love being around people
i need to be alone
my heart feels full of compassion, love
it feels contracted and scarred
i feel like a reasonable facsimile of myself most times
other times, not so much
can i make up my friggin' mind?
its exhausting, sliding in and out of connection and disconnection.
each time it gives a jolt
there are some 'buttons', when pressed will release either:
1. a torrent of tears
2. a blast of anger
and afterwards. . a settling blankness of unresolution that sometimes lingers in a thick, clinging fog and other times blows away like morning mist.
but its never really gone
i'm pretty sure that most people, if they were honest, would confess to living with some degree of dysfunction.
i know there are too many people living with their own unresolved things
avoiding often messy reality
at an impasse
in a trance
no need to live like this
dysfunction in the long run, withers the spirit
weakens the body
and erodes the soul
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
i was beguiled by my senseless ego
someone sent me a facebook 'you're a hottie' invitation today
I do realize that it was a mass invite in order for them to see how hot they were!
Still, it flattered my ridiculous sense of curiosity.
just how 'hot' was i anyway?
curiosity killed the kat?
yes, i admit it -- i wanted to know!
but to find out just how flamin' hot i was *bah!* i had to invite 15 other people to discover how they fared on some arbitrary human judging or computer-generated list.
I even saw a 'top ten hot list' of FB friends to entice me to participate in the hotness ranking.
I thought: "Ooh, they must have been curious too!"
As the application loaded and told me i was in the 'top (#) hotties of (#)friends'
i started to feel uncomfortable
i didn't think i wanted to do this after all.
as i saw pictures of my friends, with numbers assigned to them and my 'hottie-list'-given ability to confer 'hotter' or 'cooler' status upon them,
i became angry
my stupid ego slunk away and my reason and sense came surging forth
geez. . .
who am i to 'rank' anybody's hotness?
why do i feel so insecure that i would even want others to rank my 'hotness'?
and how would i feel if i discovered that i was not perceived as hot?
Again, i think women are so beseiged by 'hotness pressure' everywhere in every way.
they may even feel like they're not proper women unless they are regarded as hot.
Oh, i can't go along with that.
I'm not going to belabour the point in a feminist-flavoured rant and
I realize that i'm not exploring new territory here. . lots of people have talked about this mass mania for thinness, desirability, 'hotness' and how such unbalanced fixation messes everyone up, skews thinking, damages bodies, minds, spirits, even takes lives -- dangerous obsession
I don't even like the term 'hot' in reference to people's looks.
Its not a very lovely or forgiving word.
In fact, its rather base.
It doesn't have noble connotations.
beautiful is a much more embracing word. . . it can stretch to fit the whole person and not just cover their epidermis.
"God doesn't make decisions the way you do. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person's heart and intentions." (1 Samuel 16:6)
my momentary lapse in judgement has passed.
the "you're a hottie" application has been deleted from my profile.
friends, men and women. . . i rank you all beautiful, without exception and without preference.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Our third grandchild, our granddaughter, Sadie Evangeline, was stillborn on December 10, 2007.
She was a beauty, a doll. We have all been walking through a veil of tears. Its has been unreal and horrible. Our grief has been intense.
Sadie will be laid to rest in the spring, alongside her great grandpa, and just down the way from her aunties, our twin girls, whose grave you see here. We will gather on that day and we will celebrate and remember Sadie's life.
I thought i had long worked through the grief of losing our girls. I have recently realized that this is not so. This gravestone is all we have. We have no footprints. No clothing. No bracelets. No photos. I have an old shoe box in my closet in which lay the ultrasound findings of their deaths and a yellow copy of my antenatal record on which my too large for my dates girth was circled on a graph. Also included in the box are various condolence cards and a cemetery record and map of the plot. I was only 5 1/2 months along when the first twin died. . another week passed at which time the second baby had died. . and another week still had gone by before i delivered them. The circumstances made for a great hesitance in looking and bonding. But in this past month and a half, as our daughter and her family have gone through the heart-wrenching loss of their little baby, and as we have walked alongside of them as parents, feeling for them and as grandparents feeling the loss of our grandbaby, the whole issue of closure has come up.
As painful as it is, it must come. As my daughter and her husband sort through what closure is for them, I realize that i have repressed a lot and have not had closure surrounding the stillbirths of my daughters, over 2 decades ago. In my own heart and its feelings of grief for Sadie and for my own babies, I have come to realize again how necessary it is to have symbolism, meaningful memory and identity. Those things are so helpful.
I had been able to see Sadie before she came out, growing under wraps as that adorable little bump, imaging what she'd look like and how it would be when she joined us. I finally got to meet her and touch her cheek and know her name and look at the clothing she wore on her first and only day here. As difficult as that was, i got to see her little face and bond with her. I see the teddy bear her mom bought. I see her foot prints on paper and it all helps me to know her and miss her. I miss her terribly.
Stillbirth is handled a lot differently now than it was 22 years ago. Back then it was thought best to hide everything away. . no pictures, no seeing, no touching, no foot or hand prints. Whisked away, just like it never happened. But it did. I didn't see their little faces. I didn't hold them.
It was too unreal.
My grief now for my granddaughter has brought me right back to my daughters and is triple in intensity. A measure of grief for each little girl. A measure of love, a big one. Still i am so grateful for each, as painful as their loss has been. Yes, I have shaken my fist at the sky and asked why, i have cursed the unfairness of it all, but as it settles in, i have learned once more about the deepening of love through suffering in the lives of those who have been refined by this intense sorrow.
With all the mingling of thoughts and love for each of these little ones. . . for Sadie whom i've seen and for her aunties, whom i've never seen, nor could bring myself to name them; i asked Rob what he thought about giving names to our twin girls after all these years. He thought it was a good idea. We asked our adult daughters what they thought. They said they'd always wanted their sisters to have names! I feel a settling peace. Little Sadie, who present absence has filled and sensitized our hearts, has been used by God to stir us, as a family, to name our daughters/sisters/aunts: Fiona Gillian Claire and Keely Madeleine Rachael