Unloved?

imageDo you ever feel unloved?

I do. I know that I am loved. I am loved by my mother, my father, my three children, my husband. But some days feel so heavy with expectations and thoughts of, “this person thinks I should be doing this or that…” And I then get focused on the wrong thing. You see, I start focusing on what the people around me need me to be to them. Until that’s all I am is who they need me to be. What’s left is an empty corpse, going through the motions for everyone else and it is so very tiring that I find I have trouble making or finding the time to search out my own soul. No one seems to notice. No one seems to ask how I really am.

Who am I really? Am I really loved or is it just my representative that I place at the forefront of relationship that is loved. Why do I care about being all things to all these different people? Why am I the only one with eyes wide open and seeing the paralyzed people in a trance? Why does it hurt me so deeply when I feel nobody, including those closest to me, will protect my mental and emotional state? Doesn’t anyone see the real me inside here? Am I so lost that I can’t even be recognized under all the pretend? Who will stop and look deep enough into me for more than a second to see me hiding? Who will give me more than just a glance before returning to scroll their phone? Have I been replaced by the phone? Who knew a phone could become such an intimate seducer. A mistress of obsession that no man seems aware of, much less sees as “error” and then changes his actions accordingly. Even for the sake of the ones closest to him. The damned phone. A source of such information. A constant irritation. An interruption of epic proportions. Ripping apart families. Blinded by the light. The light of dim words on a screen. Hypnotized by their love of manipulating something at their fingertips whenever they want to know, or inform, or escape.

Was I ever loved? I think I was once. Before the cell phone became such a distraction for everyone who held dear.  Can I find who I really am?  What if I am too boring? Interesting? Not patient or kind enough? What if they don’t like the real me and insist that this is the imposter, and not vice versa. What if I end up alone? What if everyone would rather the comfort of their phone instead of the gift of kindness and companionship? Why can’t we find ourselves again as a people who talk to one another? Being loved feels. And feeling is only evoked when another sees them, knows them, understands them. The phone is a divider. The device is a constant companion replacing me and many others with its constant awareness of what the person wants at their fingertips. An instant gratification. No human being can even pretend to know this kind of awareness in another, can they? Why choose it then? I’m afraid we already have. Indeed. We are locked inside a burning building and no one is looking up from their phones to see who needs rescued. There is too much they would miss if they do. And the missing of ones phone sends any man into quite a fright.

Getting through the Hard When your unprepared

I couldn’t have known. I guess in all honesty I wouldn’t have wanted too. But still. The level in which I was unprepared would be like a level one trillion on a scale of 1-10. I use to have a friend who no matter what happened in her life she was always able to find a way to put a positive spin on it. I have always found being positively charged all the time to be really challenging. Not because I don’t want to be positive, but mostly because I’m secretly afraid to be too positive. What if I’m positive and then I’m suddenly jolted into reality the minute I speak openly about my positive outlook and then my situation turns ten times worse? I know. Nobody does THAT, except me. But anyhow- I’ve never stayed friends with friends like that too long. I told myself it was because I wasn’t good for them but really it was because I was totally freaked out by people who could handle unexpected events or tragedy in their lives with coolness and ease AND a fucking positive attitude. I viewed them as alien life forms. They usually start out looking like everyone else and I am excited to have met someone new and interesting. We sit down and start talking about life and I always take it straight to the deep stuff without avail because I Don’t have time for bull shit and I think it a total waste of time. If we’re going to be friends, my theory is, go deep right away. Be real from the beginning. Be transparent. Let them see all of who I am. Then, if they can handle the embarrassing stories, listen to the seriously sad ones, and they don’t blink twice when I admit to the occasional desire of selling my children in a garage sale next week,  then maybe I feel I’ve got a real soul mate. On the other hand, I’ve tried the transparent thing with ladies who try their very best to “figure” me out. Put me in a nice, little category. They don’t know what to make of my life it seems. They respond with their best Sunday school answers and begin their best attempts at persuading me to “stay positive!” Or “keep a prayerful heart!” And they attempt to advance my attitude towards positivity and thinking positive instead of my usual, “keeping it real” strategy of not pretending I have anything figured out but admitting to the awkward and painful circumstances for what they are: a struggle. Life: and it’s Ugly, relentless attack on me during random times. Try as I may to force my will to be positive about my personal struggles; this does not bring me clarity. It only brings me confusion. I find it impossible, therefore, to be close friends with people who are more inclined to think this way. I don’t judge those who do, however. Some may work their own hardships out this way. In fact, I’m certain there are books written about the power of positive thinking in itself, but I do not buy any of those books. I simply can not agree that thinking positively about hard and painful tragic matters of the heart and soul can do the work that needs to be done for the heart to heal. Healing is such a delicate matter. Take my house burning down for instance, and escaping the flames with my children in our pajama’s in freezing weather. The isolating fear of those 5 minutes or less from the time my smoke alarm blared until we arrived at the neighbors house next door barefoot, is a fear I have trouble putting into words. Learning the fire was caused by some ashes that my husband had placed outside on the sunporch in a Rubbermaid after he cleaned the ashes out of our wood burning fireplace left me feeling angry. Why in the world did he not sprinkle them in the garden out back? Why would he leave them in a plastic Rubbermaid? I didn’t want to hold onto anger for long. It’s not as if he meant to burn the entire house down. But emotions alone after a tragedy can be a war in and of themself and this war can go on for years if left unguarded. Openness and Honesty is the only cure I have found so far.

Fighting the panic every night for months to come as the nightmares came  reminding me of the fire, only playing out the scenario slightly differently each time. This time I couldn’t wake up my oldest son downstairs, he’d inhaled too much smoke already. And I spent so much time trying to awaken him that the fire advanced more quickly trapping all of us in the upstairs of the house and I had to jump out the window with all my babies. Another nightmare, showed my oldest son locked in the burning house, he was in his room and I was somehow outside the house just outside his bedroom window with the other two children and I couldn’t get to him. I could hear him calling my name, “momma!” But even as I tried breaking the window from the outside, it would not break. I wasn’t strong enough.

I wasn’t strong enough to save him.

The dreams worsened. The anxiety gripping me so tight I felt as if I couldn’t breathe as soon as the sun would go down. As darkness came and daylight faded, so faded my sense of strength. I had never fought something so strong as this fear based on a real life event. It crippled me. Haunted me. There was no hiding. No where to run. I prayed. I asked for anxiety meds from my doctor to help me sleep, I tried going to bed earlier. There was no way out. I told myself that, sometimes painful memories must work themselves out in the subconscious before real healing can begin. Although at the time, I thought I was fine. I had no idea I needed help processing this tragic event. Everyone around me knew it had been an unbelievable thing to have to experience-my husband even said, “I’m sorry you had to do that- get all the kids out of the house yourself, I’m so proud of you. Your amazing.” I felt nothing but amazing. I felt numb. Numb. Fear. Panic. Pain. Alone and incredibly sad. I wasn’t sad because the house had burnt down, I was sad that because our house had burnt down- our family would not have stability for awhile. I craved stability. Looking back, I think I grieved the loss of stability for myself more than anyone. For the next year, we would be uprooted. Living in hotels, and rental properties until our home could be rebuilt. All of which would take an enormous amount of time that we would have to be involved in. I was never one of those who wanted to build my own house. The numerous amounts of decisions that had to be made and decided gave me a headache just thinking about it. No Thank-you. I’ll just buy one already made, please. So, going through this project was not a “fun” experience for me. It was necissary, in order to get back home.

When hard, unexpected, painful life events happen, they don’t stop to ask our permission. They don’t check our calendar to see if it’s a good time for us.  We often have no idea what to do following there aftermath.  It becomes a day by day, breathe in-breathe out, step by step, sort of process. Uncertainty became something I grew very comfortable with. Tears were shed while washing my face every night. The sound of ANY and EVERY loud noise or horn or bell resembling any kind of an alarm would send my central nervous system into a complete sweat and every body part would  freeze until someone clarified where or what the noise was coming from. None of this feels controllable. It’s as if I’ve suddenly become another person somehow. Only that can’t be. That is ridiculous. And what a completely irrational thought even. The process of processing through “this” is so foreign unless you have gone through something similar, it is hard to find the words to help another one identify with what I’m trying to explain. The immediate stages of disbelief, and denial. All the phone calls and well meaning messages from friends and relatives. Having no emotional energy to return anyone’s calls. And yet, feeling rude and worrying they will think I’m unkind if I don’t respond back in a timely manner. This was all the beginning of “this”.

All of it. I Only hoped I could find some help before night came once again in a few short hours. Before shadows of fear and darkness once again tried to take over my sleep. When would help come?

 

 

Night

The smell was like burning plastic. It wasn’t something you mistake. Strong and chemical smelling, I wondered if one of my impulsive sons had thrown one of his Legos into the fireplace without me noticing the night before.

It was 4:30am. My husband had already left for work. He left early some mornings to get a head start before the noise of the day started. My son woke me up complaining of a stomach ache and asked me to sit with him in the bathroom and rub his back. It was then that I noticed the smell. But after consoling my 5 year old son and finally settling him back into bed with me upstairs I forgot about the odor.

It wasn’t 5 minutes later- the hall smoke alarm went off just outside my bedroom door. I jolted up, awoken once more. Reassuring my son again, I got up to quickly find out the problem and a solution so that the smoke alarm wouldn’t wake the rest of my children! But as I turned to go down the stairs I saw quickly that I had a bigger problem. The entire lower level of my home was already filled with smoke. The cloudy toxin was making its way upstairs quickly. An uninvited guest, an intruder in my home.

In disbelief I ran down the stairs to look further. Turning towards the left at the bottom of the staircase I could see just outside our living room onto our attached sunporch, the flames flying high towards the sides of the sunporch and the fire moving inside rapidly. For a split second I actually  thought, “Can I do something about that?” And then came another thought immediately behind that one from early grade school somewhere- If your ever in a house and there is a fire, don’t ever stop to think about what to do or what to save. Just get out and get everyone else out quickly. Fire isn’t usually the cause of death for people in house fires, smoke is. Smoke is a quick and even silent killer. And once a fire starts-it moves quicker than anyone expects.

Adrenaline kicked in. I ran into my son’s room, with my T-shirt over my nose to breathe.  Jack was only seven years old. Thankfully, he woke easily and hadn’t inhaled too much smoke. I opened the front door of the house and told him to wait here while I go and get his brother and sister. I can not explain the feeling of leaving one child even if for a brief moment during such a situation. The fear in my mother heart was tremendous.  I ran as fast as I could, skipping every other stair, first grabbing my three year old daughter in her room and then right back into my room to get my other son who still rested in my bed. Somehow I managed to think to grab my cell phone in my haste.  I can still hear their little scared voices asking questions as I pounded down the stairs in the smoke filled haze and me trying to answer back  reassuringly as I moved faster than they’d ever seen their momma move before. I carried both of them, one on  each hip, as we all four fled barefoot outside and into the cold wind.  It was -10 below and snow and ice covered the ground.  I didn’t want my children to get frost bite so I carried the two littlest ones.   We were all still in our pajama’s as we ran to the neighbor’s house and I managed to call 911 and report the fire while running. Arriving at the neighbors porch I pounded on the front door as hard as I could with my elbows since I was carrying two frightened children in both arms. My oldest son was walking barefoot, without a shirt on and only wearing his pajama pants. He was so cold, he kept saying, “we’re gona die. We’re gona die.” Under his breath. “Jack, we are not going to die.” I said.

We had only lived in our new house for six months. We barely knew our neighbors, least of all wanted to pay them an emergency visit so soon. I was afraid they wouldn’t answer the door. I didn’t even know what time it was. It was still dark. It was still very early. Maybe 5:00am? The door opened a crack. “Help! Our house next door is on fire!” I managed to say. A grey haired woman still in her housecoat who looked to be in her early 70’s opened her door.

“I need blankets for my children, please.” I asked. “I’ve already called the fire department.”

The woman looked stunned and in shock by my words. She shook her head in a yes motion but didn’t say anything. She disappeared down the hall. I managed to get all the kids onto a small sofa that was crowded with magazines and clothes, home care equipment, and health care supplies. I moved the clutter aside and made room for my children in this strange and foreign place. I kneeled down onto the floor wrapping all three children with my arms while they sat on the couch. The only warmth I had to offer their shoeless little feet and shirtless bodies was my own.

“Mom, if our house burns down we won’t have a place to live. We won’t have a home. We’ll be homeless.” My oldest son said with tears in his eyes. The other children began to cry too.

“Oh my dears,” I could tell my voice was shaking from adrenaline and I was trying so very hard to stay strong for them. I prayed for the right words to comfort their little hearts.  “We may be without a roof over our heads yes- but I am your home. And you are my home. And that is ALL that matters. That house can burn for all I care! None of it is important. A house isn’t what makes our home a home. We are. As long as we have each other, we are home. But you- you-and you…you are irreplaceable. You are my home and I am yours. We will never be homeless love, Understand?” they seemed too understand, at least enough to quiet down. I could hear the fire trucks coming from outside the window. They sounded only a few minutes away. My neighbor returned with two large blankets and I immediately covered them around the children until they all looked like three little peas in a pod. I thanked her. Introduced myself, and found that her name was Shelda. She apparently likes cats, They were meowing everywhere. “Excuse the mess,” she said “I’ve been organizing things.” 

I explained to her that I still needed to call my husband. I phoned Lance next and he answered after the second ring.  “Babe, don’t worry- we are all safe- BUT our house is on fire and you need to come home.” I tried to sound calm and reassuring but I was pretty sure I had used up all my extra calm reserve. He showed up in 5 minutes. The kids were so happy to see him. “Daddy! Our house is on fire!” One of them said. As if it were normal for 6 fire trucks to be parked outside. The firemen were so kind. I remember that. They were the real kind of calm. The kind I imagine you always need in a time like that but never know you need it until something devastating happens and it happens to you. These gentlemen felt like angels. They were patient, reassuring, and even asked me about my feet. “My feet?” I asked

“Yes, you said you ran over here to the neighbors and I see your not wearing any shoes.”

“Oh, yes. Well, they hurt. But I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

“You could easily have frostbite, miss. We should have someone look at them from the medic ambulance.”

My husband glanced at me from the other side of the room. “I’m sure she’s fine.” He said. I wasn’t sure but I thought he might be worried they would charge us. In a month we’d get a bill from the county ambulance for $860 just because someone looked at my feet to assess frostbite. “I really think I’m okay.” I agreed.

It took 6 fire trucks that morning: January 6 2013 to put out the flames that engulfed what I had finally come to know as home. The water kept freezing in the hoses because of the cold. Despite the layers and layers of clothing and uniforms the firemen had to take shifts of 15 minutes each and then return to their trucks and let another man go in their place while the previous man warmed up. It took close to 3 hours before the house was declared “clear”.  The fire chief came to the neighbors house and told us if there was anything we needed to try to retrieve now would be the time too. Shelda gave me a pair of her sneakers to borrow so I could walk back over to my house. A new face showed up and said he was with our insurance company. He was also kind and walked us through what to do next. He told me to get some clothes for all the children if there was salvageable clothing and he would send it away to be cleaned professionally so they didn’t smell like smoke. I understood. He helped me walk over to my house since the driveways and streets were now covered in ice. Arm in arm I walked with a stranger. When I walked into my once charming home nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. It was like something out of a movie. The walls of my home were all covered in a thick black film. Some of it was streaking down the wall from the water they had used to put the fire out. I broke into tears. All of my belongings that existed in the back living room nearest to the sunporch were black and charred and most items I couldn’t even make out what they once were. My paintings that hung on the walls were gone. Things were tossed about as if a tornado had come through- a very hot tornado. The insurance man tried to keep me on task while at the same time compassionately listening when I spoke of something that was gone, or how eery the whole house felt, how cold it was now that there was a giant hole in it. The fire had largely taken the back of our 1700 sq ft house. Leaving the upstairs severely smoke damaged. Our basement was in ruins from the water used to put the fire out. It felt surreal. I was freezing. I felt like I needed to stay with the house, like I had let her down in some way. And yet- all I wanted to do was leave and find a refuge. A place to be warm. Craving A certain level of normality. The sun was coming up. My children were beginning to voice their concerns of being hungry. When did I become the grown up? The one everyone looked too for the next thing. The person who they can always count on. It was an honor, but today I felt like a cowardly lion. All I wanted to do was cry out, “Abort! Abort! I’m done! Stop the madness. I don’t know what to do next!”

I slowly picked up the bag of clothes I had thrown into a garbage bag for all of us. Trying to think of everything we’d need. So much harder than you think when your doing it for five people. I found my way back to the neighbors. My husband had heated up the car. I gave the clothes to the insurance man and gave him my contact information. We put the children in the car. We put the car in reverse. The kids were talking, constantly asking questions and asking for things. Now that daylight had come they were worried about their Christmas presents they had most recently been given only days before and wanted my reassurance that it had not gotten destroyed. I had no answers. My husband looked at me. “Where too?” He asked.

We have to feed the kids breakfast. “McDonald’s” I said. And the kids cheered. I stared blankly out the window. I could feel my husband put his hand on my knee. “We’ll get through this.” He said. I didn’t reply. I had no idea how long “this” would actually turn out to be.

 

Wanting…

image

Things are sweeter when there still being wanted for. I know. I wanted something so badly, and when I got it, it turned to ashes in my hands.

We had owned a house, actually we had owned many houses. My husband was one of business and a carpenter at heart so when I married him in 2001 it wasn’t long before he started buying up a property or two. He’d hoped to have a whole neighborhood of properties to rent out as we got older as a kind of retirement on top of retirement. It wasn’t long though before we got into years of buying houses and fixing them up that we realized either we were buying the wrong houses, or this is really harder than it looks.

I remember one house we bought down in the heart of Kansas City on Cambell Street. She was a real beauty. An old gem that stood tall in her day sitting in the historic downtown district of what use to be, the rich parts. The way they use to build them back then. Stone basements and hardwood floors over 2 inches thick that covered the entirety of the home. Stone and brick fireplaces in the center of all the action built with such craftsmanship and ornate detail that if you really loved houses, you’d stand and stare at those fireplaces for long moments just pensively musing about the hands that lay the stone and mortar and etched the wood carvings into the mantel piece to give it it’s own distinct place in time itself.

The house had good bones but it needed a lot of work. Of course this would make our 3rd house that we were trying to “fix up” so I believe there may have been a sense of “we got this” hinging in the air. I however always felt like I might throw up everytime we ventured into buying yet another property to fix up and eventually, hope to rent to a respectable tenant who paid on time. I never thought of myself as conservative but these houses we were buying began to take up a lot of our free time as a couple and so as any young married wife would do who wants her husband to be proud and feel supported, I would often “help” on the cleaning, and renovations. I remember this house on Campbell particularly well because I had shown up early one Saturday and my husband had rounded up a few friends who were planning on helping him for a few hours, to put on a new roof for the house. Why is it that even grown men when asking for help from other grown men act as if they have super hero powers? When I showed up that morning the young men (all 4 of them super hero caped aiming at finishing this roof before lunch)  were all standing on the sidewalk with some tools and looking up towards the roof line of the house. One was nodding his head in agreement with the other, and I saw my husband looking very focused and then saying something that made all the other guys laugh. I walked up to them, coffee in hand and work clothes on, to let my know I had arrived, “You boys planning on getting this here house roofed in a day?” I joked.

My husband smiled. “We’re thinking about it!” He hollered back at me with a flirtatious grin. “We actually don’t think it’s going to take too long.” He continued.  I smiled. I’d learned by now not to squash a man’s pride in front of his buddies. Especially those who planned on roofing a house in less than 4 hours. If they wanted to tell themselves that in order to get enough stamina to just get up there and get started, then I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to break it to them. I climbed the massively wide steps and entered the large foyer of the home. My mother in law had already beat me there and she was already cleaning in the kitchen.

“HELLO?” I said As I entered, hearing my voice echo off the tall 10 foot walls and high mounted ceilings. My mother in law came out of the kitchen, all smiles. “Isn’t she just so grand?” She said obviously already enraptured by the house. “She is.” I stammered back turning around several times slowly admiring the crown molding and enchanting staircase that led to the upstairs.

I don’t remember everything gross I had to clean that day. I do however remember that we had to clean out all of the insulation that lined the attic in the roof because it was all going to need replacing. I had not calculated in however that while I would be doing this, the roof would be coming off above my head and large pieces of roof that had been layered upon layered for decades were falling onto me as I tried to pack the insulation into trash bags. It was rather dark up in the attic for much of the time I was working, except for the occasionally breaks of sunlight that would stream through when someone above me finally cut through the final layer of roofing. I was beginning to feel like a bad ass woman when suddenly a large patch of light opened up and one of the men tore the roof and tar paper right off. Not a bad thing since it was all being replaced anyway, but it was what the light brought to my attention. I noticed all throughout the insulation there were all these patches of piles of ashes or large clumps of this brownish peach colored powder. I knew immediately what it was. Feces. From what kind of animal I did not know, but not a small one to produce those size of piles.  I made a very girlish scream. The kind you make that sounds like your freaked out and simultaneously about to throw up. I could hear my husband just above me, “you alright?” Even though he couldn’t see me, nor could he see what I had discovered or worse yet- was the animal still up here?  “Fine. I’m fine.” I called back trying to sound more controlled. Was it a raccoon? A really fat squirrel? How long had this dank been rotting away up here? By the looks of it, the stuff was decomposing already so the animal, whatever it was, was probably gone. But it left its own mark all over the insulation in that attic. In fact, I’m quite sure that by the time we bought that abandoned house it was being insulated more by some animal’s old ,putrid, disintegrating shit then it was by any amount of insulation.  The things we do. I never ran into an embarrassed animal that day. All I remember is thinking, “I never want to do this again, until we at least have our own home.” We had worked on so many houses now and we ourselves were still living in a small two bedroom townhouse. The same one we’d lived in since we were newlyweds. It had been nearly 4 years already, and I ached for home. I wanted my own home. A charming place I could be as loud as I wanted and not have to worry about waking the baby who lived next to us. The next time I cleaned out an attic, I wanted it to be where I knew my high school memorabilia would be stored. My husband told me it would happen in good time, but I was becoming angry. I was working as a nurse at the time, I made a great salary and I wanted my own home. I wanted a place that looked like we had it together. Not like we weren’t going anyplace. I had earned it. I was better than townhouse living. The townhouse was only suppose to be temporary anyway. It was a five year plan, and the five years was almost up. So I dug my heels into the dirt. I began to talk to my husband a lot about my desire for a house. My longing for a place that’s our own. At least that’s what I said. Looking back now I wonder at my longing. What was it really for? A house? Or self acceptance? The desire, the want- for something can become so large, so real, so relentless that we simply become incapable of halting the momentum of what we ourselves end up justifying. I want to share my own journey of what I call, “the wanting”. The never ending, always hungry, hole I have built myself with my own hands. A mechanism built so slowly over time that if you don’t look deeply, enter slowly, and often- it will trick you into believing it isn’t actually there. It is designed by us so it knows how we think. It operates in accordance with my own desires and knows exactly what makes me want. Want for everything. Want for more. Want for the perfect Christmas. Want for the house I’ve always dreamed of, want for the family I have to just get it right for Gods sake. The wanting is a relentless pursuit towards emptiness. My wanting led me to where I am today. I paved a way quite willingly, and although some of life’s happenings occurred outside of my wanting….I believe a lot of my life has been determined by wanting. If I really looked close at my motives and my heart. Let me tell you a story…

The sea

i painted on Sunday.  An enormous canvas textured and ready. Staring back at me blankly. For weeks the large piece sat by my bed and greeted me every morning. Unfinished. I was suppose to be finishing it up for my dearest friend who I’ve also helped with decorating her house in other various ways. So why then, did this painting feel any different?

I knew the answer. It was going to be a painting of the sea. The ocean and I have what I would call a love-hate relationship. I lose myself in how much I long for her when I haven’t been near her for a time. A long time.

I live in Kansas, where there is no sea, only land, for miles and miles. I miss the smell of her salt, the cool, yet vastness of her wind that gently wraps around me but secretly we both know she still encompasses the power to sweep me away in a meer drift. She doesn’t though. I have lost myself on the Eastern Coasts of Rhode Island on the beaches of Jamestown, and the Northern waters of the Pacific Northwest. The ocean is a mighty force. Holy. I am almost terrified to get out too far in it. The tide could take me. I can’t see the bottom of the ocean depths. What lurks there? What is hiding? Will it bite? Will it sting? Are the myths of Odyssey really true? Is there a sea monster waiting for just the right moment to tear me apart? The sea is, to say the least, unknown. I wish the fear away.  Most  times I’ve been able to spend days near it but it is still fear that keeps me from going out too far from shore.

And so it was with my painting. I was afraid to begin. I was afraid to search the depths. Intimidated by my own set of brushes, sitting my bedside.

Until, something struck. Passion. Pain. Words that broke me open. A fight.

Pain. Hard and fast like a thunderbolt and my environment went from calm to storm and insults flew like fury and I couldn’t get my head around what was real and what was being said  intentionally to hurt me, or confuse me. The cuts from the relationship began to bleed and old wounds felt bruised and sore and everything hurt. I stayed home from church and he took the kids. I ran upstairs in a hot mess of emotions. Painful emotions. Every step excruciating. I picked up all my paint brushes, my bag of paints, and the  3ft x 2.5ft canvas and walked clumsily back down the stairs and out onto the back porch. The autumn air greeted me, seemed to agree with me. Consoled me. Sang words of love and tenderness to me as I propped up the canvas against the house between a table and chair so the wind wouldn’t interfere while I was painting. And I stepped back. Pensive. Why now? I don’t know- I heard myself reply and then agrivated by my own mind and its antagonizing questions- I dumped all my paints onto the table.

The Sea.image

The ocean and all its depths. All its colors of darkness and light. Deep calling to deep. All to bring together the waves at the very peaks that remind us to search our own depths just as we were made by the same God who made the sea.

Why I am writing now….


It’s a paradox….really.

writing has always been there inside me

the words floating;

all around me, helping me, watching over me

especially

during the dark and lonely times. Catching me when I feel I’ve fallen, picking me up when I’m broken into tiny pieces of glass, sharp and delicate and bleeding. Words have kept me alive. I wake thinking of words to write and breathe thinking of writing images I’ve seen or the way it feels to go to bed warm and full. The idea of it. So full of words. The sheer grace of it. Overflowing with words. And so I am here, now. In short. After a very long journey of sorts. I’ve decided to try my hand at this writing thing and see where it takes me. These words and all their weight. These words and all their beauty. All their being bottled up for years with nowhere to go…have finally been released onto a blank page. A scary thing for any writer. A blank page. But these words have been born with me. There were no books in my house growing up. So the idea that I have all these words and have always tried to read everything I can has always baffled me. There must be some sort of sense to it. Some making in the making of me…a curious purpose perhaps for the words following me? Studying them I have grown to understand more of their colors and importance. More of their choices and indifference. It is in this studying that I have chosen to write now. Maybe the miraculous power and depths of the words that have given me life, and meaning, and sorrow, sadness, fear, and immense joy can now have their way with me. Here. And now.