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I did it!

Hiding under this blog: I have ten drafts.
TEN.

Things that have stopped me from posting any of them:
-dissatisfaction
-fear
-complacency
-neglect

I don’t really like seeing that stuff all up in my way.
Because writing is more to me, than something I can neglect.
When I keep my distance from it, there are personal consequences.
Here’s what I am trying to say:
Writing is me.
I am more — than something I can just neglect.
When I keep my distance from myself, there are personal consequences.

And hey, ain’t nobody got time for that.

I have come to the moment
where I choose
to buckle the heck down and just post something.
Just do it.

I just did it.

More to come.

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Six Steps.

1. I am listening to The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isokov over and over and over again. I can’t dissect all the lyrics in my mind, but somewhere beyond that, I feel exactly what he is trying to say.

2. Today Emily took me to playgroup at the pool so I could hang out with the Moms and their kids. I am not a Mom. Does that mean I am more a kid to them? I’m not sure, but I hope they want to be friends with me anyway. I watched them all try to discipline their kids quietly but effectively, while juggling the fragile feelings of other kids:

One tells Jill, “We need to ask Benny if it’s okay before we splash him. Do you understand?” Benny’s Mom pipes in “It’s okay Benny, Jill didn’t mean it. Did you find a new toy? Does that belong to Alison?” Alison’s Mom is next: “Alison, no yelling. We need to share. We are sharing with Benny now.”

3. I would really love to be a Mom, but I’m not ready to write to you about that yet. For now, I stand waist-deep in the water. I watch the other Moms.

4. Last night Ken walked to the paper store with me. Ken is my husband. I like to take him with me. I wanted to pick out an amazing piece of paper so I could make an amazing envelope for a letter I am sending soon. I am nervous about this letter and I must have been hoping that if I encased it in something beautiful and made with my own hands, the words inside would read just right. As soon as we got to the big glass door, the lady locked it and put up a CLOSED sign. I made a very sad face at her by accident. Ken said we could go get gelato instead. He even paid the way-too-much-price for a teeny cup of fancypants gelato. Thanks Ken.

5. We are sitting by the big glass wall with our gelato. I am in the middle of a chocolate cream bite when Ken tells me he will soon be gone underwater in an undisclosed part of the ocean. For a week. With The United States Navy. To all of my follow-up questions about the possibility of blowing-up or imminent death, he responds, “I can’t tell you.” It’s just testing…engineering…secret stuff, he says. No big deal. I shouldn’t worry. “This is not NBD.” I tell him. I stop tasting my gelato. I keep eating it, but I stop tasting it because my mouth is busy articulating a million hypotheticals. Ken smiles. He thinks it’s funny when I get worked up and worried and talk this fast. I think: How is this funny? Just then we see bunch of hip people with tattoos and neon clothing posing for a picture on the other side of the glass wall. We are in the background, so we make a photo-bomb face.

6. I feel like this a lot lately: there is me, there is glass, and there is something on the other side. I can make a sad face. I can make a photo bomb face. I can eat my gelato or I can keep walking, but I can’t quite be on the other side of that glass. All these transparent barriers, like water in the pool.

I sent the letter in a plain, white envelope.

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Thursday.

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There is a band called Fun.
Their words blare through my radio:
“WHAT DO I STAND FOR? WHAT DO I STAND FOR?”

Sometimes this question is exciting to me.
Sometimes this question is exhausting to me.

I stand for: Stop whining and just go love people. Everything will be okay.
I stand for: Eat butter.
I stand for: Make a choice. Be accountable.
I stand for being sincere.

Those are my first raw responses.
Notice that most of those are commands. I boss myself around a lot.
Notice that most of those have a hint of hurry. Go! Do! Be! Now!
In other words, they are both exciting and exhausting.

I would say the only one that doesn’t sound hurried or commanding is the last.
I stand for being sincere.
Sometimes I feel that’s the best I’ve got going for me.
I may not know what the answers are, but I sure won’t be fake about it.
I may not do the right thing, but you can safely assume I’m trying.

Lately I feel like there is so much clutter. Clutter in my schedule. Clutter in my living room. Clutter in my mind. Clutter in my kitchen sink. Cluttered-up closet. Cluttered-up heart. Cluttered-up conversations. I have this immense need to CLEAR OUT THE JUNK. I want to come home and feel fulfilled, regardless of whether or not my day was filled. I want to pursue things that matter to me.

Here some things that help me:
Talking with people helps me love.
Riding my bike helps me let go and see.
Yoga helps me balance and listen.
Writing helps me face myself.

Here are some songs that feel good:
The Stable Song; Gregory Alan Isokov
The House of God, Forever; Jon Foreman
Farmer Chords; Ben Gibbard

Here is some Thursday night free-verse:

All these things leak out of me. A slow drip backwards step by step.
No bucket to catch them and I don’t hear the splash.
They crowd together and come chasing me back.
Avalanche.
And I run for the hills.

On the back of a train to the horizontal clouds,
Like a woman ashamed of her own hands, I hold on.
If my body were a text it would say hold on hold on.
In my muscle’s memory there are tight tight grips.
They won’t forget.

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Lists of Things

Things I love but am not necessarily good at:

Modge Podge (I know it’s “Mod” Podge, but I like my way better.)
Volleyball
Singing my heart out
Painting
Yoga
Sign Language

Things I’m good at but do not necessarily love:

Cleaning.
Judging you for being a bad communicator.
Talking on the phone.
Feeling like I just personally experienced ALL the heartache in:
–that sad movie I just watched.
–the sad news article I just read.
–the sad story you just told me.

Things I just plain don’t love:

Speed Bumps
Sarcasm
Manually looking things up in the dictionary…
(I still have to sing my ABC’s in my head a billion times to find stuff.)

And finally, things I love:

Head lamps
Biscuits
Gravy
Ice Cream
Cheese
Mamaw
North Carolina
Porch Swings
Rockin Chairs
The Ocean
Campfires
Blueberries
Post-Slavery American Literature
Tomatoes
Any kind of cooked up fruit + the word “cobbler” or “crisp”
Hanging out with Lacey

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A bit of my brain today.

I really like to draw trees, eyes, hands, and the ocean. Sometimes I like to draw shapes that don’t make sense. Some people call that “abstract” or “modern” or something.

I don’t think it’s any less vain to get plastic surgery than it is to subscribe and religiously follow a blog that promises similar effects from “natural” remedies. I saw a post today called “Botox on a Plate!!” They may be vegetables, but you’re still eating them for your face. Same deal.

I really love cleaning white boards. When I have time at work, I jump for the janitorial closet. It is so freeing to wipe all that mess away.

I don’t understand how to have a “themed” blog. How can you only write about one thing– be it food, fashion, depression, religion … don’t you eventually just want to write about what you thought while you were walking down the sidewalk today? For this reason, I will probably never have a million snappy followers and cutesy give-aways on my blog. I’m not very hip– and I’m not sure how to be hip without squishing my voice.

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Winter?

You wouldn’t believe what’s all over my toes: SNOW.
How did snow get to my toes, you ask?
Have you been walkin barefoot again? 
Have you been too stubborn to put my flip flops away… again?
Nope. That’s not how snow got on my toes.
Today it came straight through my boots and my socks, my extra thick fluffy socks.

Okay, but are you wearing your coat?
…we know how you are about forgetting your coat.
Well yes, I am wearing my coat.
Except my coat is a thin zipped-up sweatshirt cause that’s all I’ve got!
Don’t worry, husband gave me his fleece and his rain jacket.
I’ve got those on top of “my coat.”
And my husband’s coats, by the way, are incredibly souped-up boy scout coats.
Seriously, I could go camping in Siberia with these things.

They’ve been my coats everyday on account of all my good coats were wasted and worn out in the service of the Lord… and besides,  that went down in Southern California where snow never gets on your toes anyway. Nope. Never.

So, I’ve resorted to man coats.
The thing about man coats is: They’re just so EFFECTIVE.
The other thing is: They’re not very pretty.

Can you be both pretty and warm at the same time?
I subject that it is impossible for girls like me.
I mean it. I am freezing and cute or I’m a big, boxy, man-looking warm girl.
And really, I like that second one better.
It’s tough to be a woman in the winter time.

Don’t let these girls fool you. They’re freezing.
Oh, how our generation has been deceived!
In other eras, one might see these girls and say,
“Oh my dear, where are your pants?”
Today we say, “Why you see, these ARE my pants!”
But what are leggings, really? Leggings are like naked legs in pretty colors.
That means they’re not that warm, and they’re not the same as pants.
But have I run around my living room dancing and yelling and doing handstands in them?
Oh yeah, yeah I have.
But there isn’t any snow in my living room.

And what about this number?
Who needs to be warm beneath the rib cage anyway?

Until I find a good coat and some boots, I’ll be missing the 90’s when I was warm AND stylish.

That’s what I’m talkin about ladies.

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Morning Word Practice.

Just a note: I married a fantastic cook. Memphis bbq chicken and mashed potatoes and zucchini and squash with bread crumbs. Was that my real dinner yesterday? That was my real dinner yesterday.

Another note: I love The Weepies.

I love the slow soulfulness of women in folk music like this: Big Strong Girl by Deb Talan.
They make me feel old fashioned and alive.

Ken and I have been grocery shopping two official times as an official married couple.

Trip #1: We stare at the huge barrels of on-sale watermelon. We agree. We just cannot conquer that much watermelon alone. But maybe we’ll have some friends over on the fourth of July and buy a big watermelon and share it with them! This was a great experience because we both love fantasizing about the idea of “having people over” i.e. having friends. Even new friends! We love making new friends. And you know, we get kinda lonely over here sometimes…

Trip #2. After we get home from this trip I notice a HUGE watermelon on the counter. Did I put that in the cart? How did I miss Ken putting that in the cart? That Sunday afternoon I am making some salsa dip and he is going to town on the watermelon with a real big knife. We eat that mess with our dinner and seal-up the left overs in a glass bowl in the fridge.

This morning: I sat down with that glass bowl to accompany me as I wrote the feelings of my heart. I wrote on this blog. I wrote in my google doc journ. I wrote to all of my mission companions that are still out there servin the good lord. There is nothing like the texture of a good watermelon as you type type type out your words. How is it so soft and so crunchy at once? I love watermelon. I love the 4th of July. And we’re gonna need another one of these on that great day. Or maybe 3 of them. Because hey, I finished the leftovers. All of them. I conquered the watermelon.
B E A S T .
Can your wife eat this much? Probs not. I bet she saves you lots of money.

Speaking of eating, I miss butter.
I’ve been using healthy-girl alternatives like… olive oil.
Because, well because me and Ken are trying to eat healthier.
WHY do I feel like I’m sinning when I say that?
That statement is nigh unto “Me and Ken are trying to take the fun out of life.”
Sometimes it feels that way. But don’t we want to be healthy? Yes!
But don’t we want to eat butter? MORE Yes!
Maybe I will use A LOT when our hypothetical friends come over on the 4th of July.

Time to brush my teeth and make the bed and organize the bathroom or something. Maybe it will look like I did more than write and eat and listen to folk music all day. Husband home in 2 hours. Work in 3 hours. Goal: Life life life during all of those hours.