Sunday, January 26, 2014

cornerstone confidence

I have this image in my head. In it, I'm covered in cement dust, I've got sweat stains on my t-shirt, contentment on my face, and strength instead of muscle. It took awhile to balance, but it seems I finally have a grip on how to plant peace and reason in hardened hearts: don't.

For so long, I've tried to force opposition to quit. I grab my pick-axe and go to it; hitting ground that won't be broken, forcing the soil of my heart into cracks formed by the hatred and mockery of others. But my defenses are still a paste: malliable, dissolveable. I feel this makes me good. I feel the title of Peacemaker is earned by accomodation.

There was a shift last week. Actually, the shift (like all) started slowly, years ago. My years, and the aches that came with them, have led to that recent heel turn in my driveway. There had been another false encounter at my door. Again, I took a swing at my boundaries; I blamed them for caring. Again, I began to work out how to fix this one. What shape should I take? What approach is best here?

And then, mysteriously and on their own, the last bits of my trying gave way to something greater: release. I was merely getting something from the car, and then, without warning, my heart and sightlines were clear. I looked up at my house while I breathed fresh this new perspective, a little bewildered at how good it felt to let my pain go. I counted the souls under my roof, the love in those walls, stood humbly at the thought of it all, and left my pick-axe to the Hands that save me. On the walk back up my driveway, I found I'd been given something else. In place of all my lines: a smile. Contentment, it seems, comes fast. Peace can not be forced, no matter the intent. No matter how grand the opposition: You need to let it go.

The cornerstone of my home will not be anger, nor spite, nor reaction. We take those stones and set them in whatever cement we choose; you may throw them, but we will coat them in love and build with them. Other stones, we'll find. Some will be heavy: death or loss, grief or growing pains. Some will be light, like a giggle, adding interest, detail, rest. We'll set them all the same: together. We work not against the pain life causes, but from love. We are content here, we are at peace, we are at home.
Oxana Guryanova. Link.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I will never win an Oscar.

What shall we discuss

Today the petty matters at hand must be dictated
must be analyzed
written in full-sentenced six-paragraphed bold accusation;
must be hung askew and left dangling
on the flimsy rope of naive opinion.

Shall we talk about my hips? My love of woodland creatures?
Or the ever-rising price of hair elastics?

Or would it please you to dissect my roof, my attachment to it,
my desire to keep the garbage off doorsteps?

There's the way I park my car
(to avoid stepping in the garden),
my unbending big and little-people responsibility expectation,

there's the curve in my
spine toward amicability
(to avoid stepping in the dirt),
my preference toward adult maturity predication.

All these big words,
can they be referenced?

When the matters of today are me,
I will be a part of it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

duplicitous Stockholm

There is much to be said for the better half of me; it's motivated, friendly, and driven for the betterment of self & relationships. It sets goals, and meets those goals with a firm handshake and plenty of ideas. My internal better half is wonderful. Too bad it's only half.

I've always had an innate ability to approach life with diplomacy, because I am internally split.  I can not approach anything - not poverty, not schedules, not lunch - without seeing both sides and all their arguments. Decisions might take me awhile, but at least you can be assured that I've thought about them, a lot. Though this causes some conflict, it also keeps life interesting to be, as I am, a dichotemy of polar opposites. So far, each heart-space has voiced itself equally, and asserted itself when needed. When I need to run through a calendar, my brighter half picks up pace; when I need to rest, my soul's night keeps me quiet. But there's been this thing happening of late. It seems the happy shadow'd half has become a brood of fear and apathy, and is becoming the stronger arm in a match I haven't won yet.

screen shot: Emmylou, by First Aid Kit

I've been listening non-stop to Emmylou, by First Aid Kit. It's a song that crept up slowly, and then without warning, became my favorite, and now I can't stop listening. There's a line at the beginning: "Stockholm's cold, but I've been told I was born to endure this kind of weather." Every time I hear it, something resonates. There's a tension in the line I can relate to. I live here, I was born for this, but it's cold. The dichotemy here, for me, is that I have grown comfortable with the very state I can't get out of, like my very own (much dumbed-down) version of Stockholm syndrome. The odd thing is, I am my own captor.

In less foggy terms: I have begun to question my ability to tell stories, or my reason for wanting to tell them. Much of my blog the past 3 years has been the same thing over and over again: even this post will feel familiar, for those who've read their way along. My personal writing projects have remained as stagnant.  I used to cherish the quiet; now, I am uncomfortable with it, I don't know how to fill it with words anymore, and I run to distraction to get myself out of the way of potential productivity. This goes against everything I want, and yet, here I am by choice.

There's hope at the end of the song, and that might be why I keep listening. "I know that things just don't grow if you don't bless them with your patience." Maybe patience is the trick: for me, for my better half to stay awake long hours, for my focus to match my love of writing. "I've been here before, I've held up the door, for every stranger with a promise. But I'm holding back, that's the strength that I lack. Every morning keeps returning at my window." Like the girls in the song bellow: I am saying to each thing inside me: Be my Johnny & I'll be your June. The little darling of Self has got me tongue tied.

sing, little darling, sing with me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

from here

I've taken in as much air as my lungs can stand; I think I'm ready for it: another year, should I be so blessed to get to the end.

In truth, I've never been happier. This makes me nervous (because I've got roots made of faithless uncertainty, that's why). I'm also nervous about what's coming up: so much of what began in 2013 is going to deepen in 2014...all those lessons...oy. I stood up tall last year though, and at the end of December, danced and toasted and cheered, but this doesn't negate the weight of what I feel might be coming my way. Did I mention lessons?

I've actually got to be responsible with my money now, and my time - both run shorter than I'd like them to, and I'm feeling the crunch. Speaking of gym membership is up in June. I should probably use that.

Then there are the books I still haven't written, the parties I haven't yet planned. There are many milestones ahead, and they're all made up of details; lists are my new normal. I haven't journaled in six years, but I've blogged somewhat, though not as much as I should, so I hope to do that more. Cookbooks stand at the ready for trials and testing - both of the recipe, and the cook - and there are school lunches, social gatherings, kind gesture intentions, and quiet evenings to provide for.

Daily schedules are already lining themselves up. I can hear the Master Calendar shouting orders from his regimented-horse-top, square-shouldered, stiff-spined post already, as each task clicks their boots into place: alarm clocks practice their beeping, papers shuffle upon the desk. My running shoes are the first ones in line, whooping and hopping up and down in expectation. Meanwhile, soft clothes stretch their way off the hangers, tea brews, blankets yawn in invitation. Two lines form, then intermingle. The contrast is the balance, and both sides are needed. Maybe this year I'll remember the balance. My heart is the overseer here, listening in the buzz for overtones, warnings, sweet sighs and pockets of joy.

All of this has me wondering, not about specifics (surprise is the stuff of life), but whether or not I've got it. Can I do all of these things? And then some? And handle my humanity in the process? I'm feeling a little faltery. But I've got a strong set of hands, an even stronger set to hold, and a million reasons to be thankful. There is an entire horizon of good in front of me, and the most beautiful moments yet to unfold, and I can't quiet contain my excitement for any of it. My overseeing heart suggests: it'll be just fine.

From here I go; at rest, with much anticipation. There is a year to be had, and I intend to make it the best.

photo source unknown.