My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for December 2008

I just spent an hour practicing on the bowed psaltery I was (re)given for Christmas by my mother. It was my grandmother’s and after she died, it was given to me.  I was in high school and though I played the piano and sang in choirs, I had little interest in playing it, so it sat in my room, unfortunately beside my floor vent. The strings on the bow frayed and broke, so when I got married and moved out, I left it.

In the past few years, during our trips to the mountains, I have mentioned that I’d like to be able to have the instrument back and be able to play it (we assume my grandmother bought it in the mountains as she traveled there a lot and it’s a folk instrument). so my mom ordered me a bow, and here I am, on the floor in my computer room sorting through old sheet music trying to find something I could use with it.  I found a couple pieces, worked through them a little, as well as the beginning of “ode to joy” that I’ve had memorized since I began piano (which I no longer play, mainly for lack of having one at this point, though I had a keyboard I never played, but that was a different me…)

I need some rosin and I’m sure it needs to be tuned (I don’t know how, though I have the tuning tool) but it’s nice to just sit down to play just to do it (and it’s nice to refresh myself on reading music, as I’ve been out of chorus since I graduated college 3 years ago : (

You know, so much of what I did as a kid and teenager and even young adult has been driven by performance. Do this well so you can do [   ] with it…not to mention my desire to excel at everything (preferably with little effort) and this is different, this is just to do. If I do it well, great, if I do it not so well – oh well.

bowed psaltery

bowed psaltery

I have a list I started of things I’d like to do this year, and another of things I’d like to do sometime in my life and this is one of those things, and several other things run in the same vein. Paint just to paint, learn to dance just to learn to dance, study a language just to study it – no destination, no performance, just the experience, just the learning.

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I think, when identifying blessings, we shouldn’t tack on any “ifs, ands, buts  or even thoughs”. Just the blessing, not the rest. The rest is a different kind of list.

-a warm home

-a caring family

-a healthy child

-a husband who works, doesn’t abuse drugs, alcohol or others, and who loves his daughter

-a job

-a promotion to salaried position at said job

-a job I would do aspects of for free if I didn’t need to work

-a job I feel benefits others and betters me as a person

-a job with flexible hours

-friends going back as far as kindergarten and as recent as the ladies in book club

-book club

-financial provision; no matter how many times we have got to less than 10 dollars in the bank, we have made it, there is always provision

-my grandmother’s journals

-my family legacies

-food in my home

-clothes that fit and are clean and fairly current

-childcare I trust and can afford

-coffee

-coffee houses

-the people I’ve met at caribou

-my daughter picking out presents for family members and helping wrap them

-my daughter saying thank you emphatically when given a gift or surprise

-my daughter telling me things like “Jesus is still a baby, I’m going to play with him”

-internet access in my home

-cell phone

-satellite tv (not so much having it, but the actual luxury of having it)

-the mint melon sugar body scrub I just found in my cabinet

-classical music

-beautiful expanses of sky

-our christmas tree

-apple cider

-christmas candles

-gingerbread cookies

-homemade chocolate truffles

-my soft warm bed with it’s pretty comforter

-my car

-my husband’s truck

-that we could buy gifts to share in celebration and appreciation with the ones we love

-pictures

-digital camera

-photo storage online

-online social networks allowing connection to people I may not otherwise have connection with

-music

-poetry

-magazines

-novels

-my name is earl, will and grace,  and the office – they always make me laugh

-God

-roots

-wings

-shoes that fit and look nice

-coats, socks, underwear, scarves

-cheap gas

-people who send christmas cards

-family close by

-my sister

-the ability to see colors and people and everything else, to taste food and drink, to smell, to feel things, to walk, to talk, to sing, to laugh, to hear

-working appliances

-health insurance

-running water, heated, drinkable

-good memories

-angels

-a neighborhood I feel safe in

-possibility

-the promise of big love from a big God

-rest

-days off with pay to celebrate the holiday

-writing, reading

-time alone

-hot showers

-lotion -japanese cherry blossom

-lipgloss

-moisturizer

-concealer

-mascara

-literacy

-the opportunities I’ve had (and taken) for education

-people who reach out, people who accept being reached out to, and being on both ends

-my parents

-all the pets I’ve had

-the opportunity to share

-the ability to learn

-wine

-chocolate

-cheese

-italian food

-fruit

-broccoli and corn on the cob

-trips i’ve gone on

-hope; and all it implies and opens up for me

-insight

-the movement, power, whisper, and calm of the Holy Spirit

-words

-the use of my fingers to type and write with

-honest interactions

-grace

So much of our life is about perception. How we perceive someone affects our interactions and our expectations. How we perceive someone changes them and their possibilities and places in our lives. I believe it is mostly the same with God. How we perceive God matters in how we talk to (or don’t talk to) God.

I believe God is the same, always. An unchanged being. Complete in all ways.

When God is small, when God is punishing, when God is vengeful, when God is abandoning, when God is limited, when God is no longer magnificent and loving and graceful and magical and majestic and caring and powerful and a worker of miracles, it is because we have perceived God as such. It doesn’t mean any of those things are God, it just means that is what we have decided God is, and so, for us, that’s what God is.

When God is timeless and present and kind and understanding, it is because we believe God is so. When God is magnificent and loving and graceful and magical and majestic and caring and powerful and the worker of miracles, it is because we allow God to be these things in our lives, because we perceive God to be these things and with this perception, we bust the doors of our souls wide open and anything is possible.

I believe God is God without us, with out our perceptions. I do not believe that if God spoke in a forest and no one was around to hear it, God didn’t make a sound. If you see what I’m getting at with that. I believe though God transcends our humanity, God is not beyond our humanity. Or more so, that our humanity can be transformed so that we have a connectedness with God, so that we share and commune with God, in belief, and love.

And it all comes down to belief and love (I really think it always does). What are we willing to believe, and in belief, what will we allow God to be in our lives, in our selves?

God with us, in us, for us? God as companion, God as love, God as compassion, God as service, God as an artist, God as in control, God as beauty, God as powerful, God as present, God as supernatural?

or God as disciplinarian, God as puppeteer, God as a judge, God as a scorekeeper, God as ego, God as cold, God as distant, God as cruel, God in a box, God as someone who, for no good reason, rejects prayers?

Be careful little self what you perceive, what you perceive, is what God will be. If you put God in a box, then in your life, God will be in a box. That doesn’t change God, God will be moving all around you, but you, having put God in a box, won’t know it’s God.

I truly believe we find what we seek, not we we demand, not what we wish, but what we seek, actively seek. Knees on the ground, hands in the dirt seek. It’s a conversation with God, seeking. In conversations, we often find things we wouldn’t find on our own. Conversations take time, take willingness to speak and listen.

I believe when you see God as the fullness that God is, you begin to see God everywhere. You begin to see beauty in places and people you haven’t before, you begin to see the movement of the holy spirit all around. You begin to see, because you are looking. It’s an old concept, but God is the same, and it always requires the same to see God as it always has: look.

If you haven’t seen God lately, haven’t heard God, or felt God, and you thought you were looking, maybe there’s something to let go of. God is not going to be found in a box. If you try to set parameters for God to fit into, God is probably standing right outside the line shaking his head and waving at you like “I’m right here, right outside the box, come on, I’ve been wanting to hang out with you!”

I’m so grateful that God Is, regardless of where I am in the forest to hear God or not. Because sometimes, my perception is off, sometimes instead of letting God be the artist of my life and shape the pottery, or spin the loom, or arrange the mural, or piece the quilt, I run off with my lump of clay, and my spools of thread, and my shards of glass, and my cups of paint, and my scraps of cloth all in a messy, painful bunch. And I find a little place to sit and look at the materials that I have no design for, and I try so hard to make something work, make something manage, make something presentable, until I can’t, I give up, I declare it all a waste, a ruin. And I throw it back at God, or leave it there and run, or bundle it up and lay it at Gods feet (all depending upon my demeanor at the given time).

I’m so glad I believe, I percieve, my God as an artist, with an ultimate design. Sculpt me, weave me, tint me, move me, peice me. I am heart and soul open wide. God is big.

– named her toy frog “Freddy Boosy”

– randomly started singing “that’s what you get when you let your heart win woah-aoh” (paramore)

-other current favorite songs include: love story by taylor swift, womanizer by britney spears, already gone by sugarland, little things by colbie calliat, whatever you like by t.i., this is my jam by flo rida, i wanna make love right now now now (i’m sure that whole thing’s not the title)  by akon (yea, we totally need to censor her music more, since she’s singing all the words)

i’ve noticed she likes upbeat ballads sung by female artists, anything  repetitive, and anything someone else she likes says they like.

-said “Oh Thank You!” when I showed her her presents under the tree and then asked if she could look at it and wrap it again (where does she get this? she’s a toddler!) and then proceeded to one day open one of them and calmly sit in her Dora chair reading Dr. Seuss as I was getting ready for work.

-has stated that she likes to be shy with her friends

-is not at all afraid of Santa

-wrote a (fill in the blank) letter to Santa at preschool where she stated that she was going to leave him a sandwich in the bathroom

-says she wants everything she sees on tv for christmas including a star wars video game and herbal essences shampoo

-painted her nails purple tonight (totally unbeknownst to me) and managed not to get any on the carpet (thank you)

-was a cow carrying a pink blanket in the Christmas play

-talks about her cousins ALL THE TIME

-recognizes emotions in others a lot,especially on tv or movies; while watching Muppet Christmas tonight, she kept saying “oh he’s sad”, or “they’re scared”, or “they like to be silly” and will ask you if you’re happy if she thinks you’re mad and will then want to see your happy face if you say you’re happy

-was excited about rearranging her room, so much so that we couldn’t back out of it after we decided we were too tired

-helped me wrap presents this year by adding extra tape and stickers as well as by spilling 1/2 a bottle of reel magic on herself, and rolling herself up in wrapping paper stating she was my present

-gets excited every morning about opening the day’s window and reading the scripture in the the advent calender i have from when i was little and the one i bought at the grocery store that has a little piece of chocolate for each day.

-calls anything before this day yesterday

-always asks for “something else” even if she actually wants what you offered

-has said “what you say?” so much that now I can’t say “what’d you say?” without feeling like i’m imitating her

-likes to go to book club with me

-randomly asks me about my friends “hey, where alicia live?” “where you’re friend megan?” “what carol dog name?”

-asks me when i get home from school at night if i had fun with my friends at school and if i played and ate lunch, because that’s what i ask her

-stays up way too late because i let her so i can not feel like i have no time with her and like someone else is raising her more than me

-wakes up much earlier than i’d prefer

-loves the songs on sid the science kid, and some actual kid songs like working on the railroad and old macdonald

-puts on makeup with me sometimes when i’m getting ready

-destroys something sometimes when i’m getting ready

-actually just plays or watches tv other times when i’m getting ready (getting ready is tricky with a toddler, is that obvious yet?)

Sometimes, I want to just disappear. To just fold up within myself and vanish completely. I can’t even write the thoughts that go with the rest of this. I mean, I can, I’m capable, I just won’t. I don’t like how it sounds.

I am heavy. I am tired. I am always confused. My mind won’t stop. I have so much in me and I mean that in a good way. So much. And it’s too much. It gets lost, I can’t get there, I can’t get it formed, I can’t get it out, I can’t get it to completion, I can’t do anything with it except think it and want it.

It concerns me as a parent.

I know actions I can do. I just hate the little hurt that fails to cease. Except a few times since it began. It was more than a few but now, in the ocean of time that’s developed, it’s just a few, just a few reprieves. And that is almost worse than none. None allows you to believe they don’t exist.

What to eat when you get home from school at night and have nothing meal worthy that doesn’t require way too much effort? Wine and cheese! Now, before you get an impression of me that may not be accurate, you should know this is twist top wine ($4.49 stuff again) and good old Food Lion brand cheddar. Followed by pizza rolls and a fudge round. So there.

I got a text from my husband tonight asking where Natalie’s pull ups are ( I had moved them over the weekend). I don’t have service in class so I didn’t get it till about 30 min after he sent it. I called after class to make sure he found them (he hadn’t). I told him where they were. He said he would be so glad when my class was over. I said grow the fuck up. Too bad I said it after he hung up. By the way, she was still not wearing a pull up when I got home. Though she was bathed, unlike last week, so that’s something. I am 99% sure he won’t read this because he never read the poetry blog I had on myspace (which he has an account with) and I asked him if he had gone to my new poetry blog and he said “what, you have a new blog?”  So yea.  And I’ve had this blog for months.

I’m 3 glasses of wine in. I haven’t had time to myself since sometime last week. It drives me insane. I need hours at a time.

I don’t know what to do about school. I love school. I love going to class. I love discussions. I love learning.  I love the people I was in class with this semester, and the professor. I just don’t know if I can do the work. I mean, I know I am capable, I just don’t know if I can do the work considering everything else. I was walking to my car tonight and I just kept thinking how I don’t want to give this up.  I know I could just take writing classes at CP if that’s all I wanted, but I think I really want more. It’s just not fair to the professors or my dad (who is paying for this) if I’m not going to be able to do the work outside of class.  It doesn’t help that I had to make such little out of class effort in high school and undergrad. My mom said that things were too easy for me in the past, and even though I didn’t think so, maybe they were.

I filled out and turned in an internal application today to move up at work. I hope this eases some things, but I know for a while it won’t, for a while it will be crazier.

I am so thankful for so many things. I am trying to just not give a shit about the rest. It’s easy right now, but it’s hard in the morning. Like my body is used to waking up with knots and hiding in the covers. Meanwhile my little sweetheart is telling me she’s hungry and that “it’s goodmorningtime!”. Sometimes I think I am not a good mom at all and she would really be better off with someone else, but then I think of what I would tell someone I work with if they said that and I would say that maybe she would be best with you if you work on being the best you can, that your love is irreplaceable.

I have yet to decide if this job has saved me thousands of therapy sessions or set me up for thousands. Pretty sure it’s saved me, but I’m not there yet. Is anybody? Ever? Not really. There’s always something. And that’s okay. But how do you get to the place where you start thinking you are living and you aren’t “in recovery” or  “sick” or just generally messed up?  Or is it like addiction, where you are always in recovery?

Isn’t everybody part of one place or the other, in some way? No one gets out of this untouched, unmarked, even if the marks aren’t visible to everyone else. Our lives and our landscapes are changed all the time. And sometimes that really throws us. Sometimes that breaks us. And it’s okay to be broken. I really believe that, because I am so broken all the time. And the only time I thought I wasn’t broken was the time I was most broken but too numb to know.  Broken is open and open is able so the broken are able. But this is part of something bigger, something our world of systems and institutions neither recognizes or honors. We are supposed to be prepared and right and we are supposed to subscribe to and play these games that go along with these systems and institutions. We are supposed to look over the rule books and act accordingly. And more and more, I can’t. I just want to live. I just don’t care about so much of that stuff. I just can’t even make myself.

It’s a certain kind of high, not caring. Sometimes I don’t even get it – the world. And I wake up so confused and don’t know what I’m supposed to do between what I feel is best and necessary and right and what I’m told is expected of me and necessary. I said before that sometimes every act of “normal” life feels like treason against my spirit and it still does…sometimes I just don’ t understand how to live in this world. And really, if it weren’t for Natalie, I would check out of this place, I would just live in and out of  my head.

But she deserves my presence. So how do I honor my daughter, my self, my faith, my community of family, friends, colleagues, fellow citizens, etc simultaneously? Or is just that something’s always going to get the short end of the stick?

There’s so much I want to write about right now, so so much and so little time.

I heard this today, over and over while worrying about how the bills are going to work out (or not work out) this month- it was: I’ve got this under control, stop worrying, let me do this, let it go, believe me, believe me. I almost felt like I was being told repeatedly like a child who’s not listening. I guess I was. I guess I am.

I’m happy about my poetry blog. I decided it needed it’s own site. I decided I’m just gonna post as I want, there’s really no reason to limit it to once a week. I need it. I was having a hard time today and I kept going back to it (the poetry, not the site) I kept thinking, if I could just be with the poetry it (I) would be okay. I have said this to myself before, but writing has probably saved my life over and over, time and again. Not just the writing, but what happens when I write, what I find, what I hear, what I uncover, what I create, what I say, everything, all of it. Saves me. And I think that matters, if something is enough to save someone, then it’s enough. And I need to feel like it’s enough. It’s enough to write it, to type it, to create it. That in itself is enough, how it changes me is enough.

Belief: I’m considering permanantley marking my body with belief…somewhere discreet and small. It is so hard earned, I want to commemorate the battle. Not because it’s over but because it’s never over.

I’m trying to focus on now. I wasn’t raised with now, I was raised with always. We are always this way. We always live here, we always work here, we always go to church here, we always go to school here, we always have, we always will, we always do. Other things change around us, but we always do these things. And my life is not always, that is no one’s life anymore. So now, now I live here, now I work here, now I do these things and later I will do other things and work other places and live other places and that’s okay. That’s fine. There is something within that can hold steady while everything else changes. I just have to figure out how to do that so it will be okay.