Sunday, August 18, 2013

fall already

photo source
What is it about this week -- muggy, hot, rushed -- that makes me feel as though summer is over, and fall is already here. Maybe I know this could be the last hot week. Most likely, as often happens, I feel like summer just started, so there's a bit of shock when I look at the date. Dear Calendar: why must you insist on surprising me with your quickness? I would love you even more if you slowed.

Anticipation rises, though, because crisp air, soft scarves and tall boots are about to make their yearly comeback. I soon get to make apple pie and butternut squash soup and wrap myself in blankets while I eat them. Fireplaces stand at the ready, waiting to lose the dust of a busy summer. Mittens wait to placed on hands held by other hands. Our furniture is hopeful: we might actually sit down.

In a way, fall always brings some sort of resolution, doesn't it?  Leaves are lost to the ground as old growth gives way to the clean slate. The trees become our echo as we look forward to our own turning.

So gather your love around you, rake it up; get cozy with the hurts you put on hold, too. Let each falling leaf remind you of your own, varied, colored bits of life. Make a pile, and be sure to get every last one in there (every bit of pain, every bit of joy, every hope, every dream deferred). And then, as we did when we were children: fall into it. Find your soft landing and spend time there. It's what this season is for.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

somewhere in the jumble


Something's eating me. I can tell, because I've spent the majority of my day trying to un-fidget my hands.

I have started another book. It's a children's book, or could be, but it's hard to tell. Mostly, the story has become my therapy. I'm writing about this girl because in many ways, this girl is me. The Big Questions she has asked so far are analogous versions of the questions I'm asking. I make the girl do it because it's so much easier that way, and maybe God will show up on the pages and talk to the character for me. Or maybe She won't. I haven't quite seen the ending.

I keep coming across writers who have finished their books, posted smiling profile-pictures-of-success, and handed out newly minted copies. My fingers line themselves up along the keys, hold the pen, turn the page, and don't get there (newly minted, full-paged, success). Next move: I hold my hand overtop of the beating organ in my chest, and make a vow: that, one day, will be me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

of ceilings, not stars

 Lately, I've been thinking about space: what it takes to make a good one. What is a room, what are walls? Can we moralize a building? And, does it matter where I put my desk? Time will tell, I suppose. Re-do the floors and paint the tired ceiling, but this is still home. Or is it? Here, on this matter, I am split.

If two roads diverge in a shadowed heart, home can not be, if the heart is not in one place. So maybe home is the spot where our roads meet; all those tumbling hills and murky ditches, steep valleys, mountains, and persistently gracious resting places. Any path we walk (or tumbling hill or windy plain) becomes our own. We always belong where we are now, and where we will be tomorrow.

Ah, but what of these walls? What of these windows? The sky looks in, taunting bigger rooms, better views and quieter neighbors. The breeze believes me when I say I might be finished, but my heart....ah, my heart is a shadowed wood, full of confusing faces, telling me to stay and go. Though I know which road will win (and happily so), I still walk with hesitation; I know the other road lingers, full of the well-meaning anti-gracious.

I have been thinking lately about space, and what it takes to make a good one. The more I look, the more I find the best spaces are the ones we carve out for ourselves. If we can both work, and unwind, then the walls are rightly placed. They may not fit the onlookers, but they fit the innards, and are home.