Saturday, September 29, 2007

Something More

I went to a concert at Southland last night. Only a handful of us were there as a band called Starlume played. We are good at having fun, and that's exactly what I needed. Going in, I prayed that God would make me laugh. I went in and met three or four new girls, talked to the bass player from the band, listened to bad karaoke performed by funny post college guys. I ended up "dancing" at the end of the night (think forty college students doing cupid's shuffle). My stomach hurt from laughing when all was said and done. And I drove away wishing it had all lasted a little longer.

I'm home now. Trying to think of the best way to put my emotions into words.

My thoughts, my beliefs, my perception.

Most of the time I know what it is I am looking for.

But tonight, none of that feels right.

It is almost three o'clock in the morning. And my head is spinning in a direction that really pisses me off. A head spin like this usually turns into a tail spin, which causes me to dive directly into some massive change. Some unreal amounts of discomfort and transformation. An unsettled dizziness, and I feel it tonight.

Some of you don't believe in soul mates. You believe in love. And you believe in destiny. But you don't believe the two are linked. The world has botched the true meaning of this phrase. Overused the expression "a match made in heaven". Circumstances have jaded us, twisted our concepts of love and forever and "meant to be" until we are not really sure what we believe about it anymore. If we believe anything about it at all.

I've wrestled with that. With setting my standards high, with knowing love and losing it, with wondering if, perhaps, I've gotten it all wrong. Again.

Maybe I have.

But tonight... I know that there must be something else. An essential factor. Something organic. Something chemical. Something spiritual. Something on a deeper level than physical attraction and "rightness".

I sat across from him tonight. He has a nice face, a good personality. He makes me laugh. He likes to travel. He wants a big family. He likes my music and my friends. He really likes me. I can tell. As far as relationship requirements go... he's passing the course. I left tonight and got this very clear sense that, if given the chance, he would be good to me.

But something is missing. And I wracked my brain as I talked with him, wondering what is wrong with me that I just cannot be pleased. Conclusion: there is nothing wrong with me. And nothing wrong with him. But that organic component, that connection between the souls, just does not exist there.


I don't really know what I want you to get out of this post. Something. If nothing else... remember that you can pray for laughter and He will send it. What I've taken away from writing this... from extracting these thoughts from my muddled mind is this:

It can be right. And he might be good to me until the day I died. He might pick up the tab and walk me to my car. It might make all the sense in the world. And maybe I'm risking it all by believing in something more...

But my whole heart tells me that it is out there. This something more is out there.

He is out there. And he is a man after God's own heart. Maybe he's an artist. Or just has an artist's soul. My heart will recognize him.

The ebb is low these days. Oh but my heart knows...

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Saturday, September 22, 2007


In lieu of a new season I deleted a phone number with a Georgia area code out of my phone. I don't need it anymore. Haven't needed it for ages. But I held onto it... if he called, at least I would know it was him. That eleven digit number kept him real, accessible.

So I deleted it.

It was almost ceremonious. And when I laid my phone down, I rejoiced in the fact that I did not mourn the loss. To be honest, I don't even remember what it was like to be with him anymore. I remember small things... every once in a while, another man will walk past me and smell like Armani or will be wearing Rainbow flip flops. It's not necessary to forget. At least I don't think so.

I know what she meant now, when she said a few years ago that she didn't know him anymore. I understand what it means to know someone so thoroughly... and then to look into their eyes and see a stranger.

I laid down on the couch and fell asleep last night. I woke up to a dream that cemented all my thoughts and emotions: I had needed to get in touch with him. I went to my phone and his number was gone. There was no other way to find him. He was gone.

And I woke up, knowing that was how I would have lived my life. When I needed him most, he would gone.

I am so very thankful that eighteen months ago yesterday God gave me the strength to do the very thing I feared the most. I look at myself and see that the scars have begun to smooth and fade. I know they'll never leave. But I'm all about the scars... they mean you've healed.

So one day I will be able to look at my own children, explain about my first love (because despite it all, I did love him as much as I knew how), and say, "but I've never loved anyone like I love your daddy."

I just don't know where that man is.
That man I will love the most.
The one who will make me laugh.

Friday, September 21, 2007

East Coast Swing

How is it that after all my talk, all my goal setting, all my nights of lying awake and praying for these opportunities... that after all that, I disregard them when they come along?

I spent the night at a home for teenage girls who are either pregnant, young mothers, or have been abused. We ate junk food, made scrapbooks, rocked their babies, and listened to the others tell us the gender and name and due dates for their unborn babies. I love going to see them. But every time I walk out of that house and into the parking lot... I want to cry. Most of those girls are 15 years old. And they have already been through more than most of the adults I know. I don't even want to know where the fathers are. Freshmen in highschool. They should be learning algebra. I just can't help but think how wrong it is that a 15 year old girl knows anything about breast feeding.

So after I left the Home, I decided to find Kat and Sarah who were downtown learning how to swing dance. I got into the parking lot as they were walking out of the building, and they did all but jump on me, telling me I should come to the studio with them to dance some more. Sully was walking sheepishly behind them... though I'm not sure he was as reluctant as he wanted to appear. Dancing. I suck at dancing. Two left feet. I have all the rhythm I could want, but when it comes to channeling it through my knees and my feet.... you might as give it up. What is sad, is I would give anything to be able to do it. You know what holds me back?

Do you know what always holds me back?

Maybe it's pride. Maybe it's embarrassment. Tonight, it was a total lack of self confidence. I stink (my deodorant, to be quite honest, wore off hours ago). My face is all broken out, my toenails are not painted, and my hair is flipping in ten different directions (I thank Phil's genes for that). I do not want to get up close and personal with any guy tonight.... I do not want to look like a fool with two left feet on top of feeling utterly unattractive. Being pushed around on the dance floor is the last thing I want. How superficial.

This makes me more sad than anything. Because I know that the problem lies within me... my perception is my reality and the mirror is just reflecting my thoughts. And my thoughts are causing others to see me differently as well. But my thoughts aren't always of this nature. In the words of Miss Archer, sometimes I think I'm amazing. Sometimes I can't fathom why no one seems to be interested in me... on some nights, it's their problem. Not tonight. Tonight... it's all mine. I'll own up to this one.

What I wouldn't give to be on the dance floor right now. East Coast Swing with Sam or Sully... listening to Kat and Sarah make fun of themselves. Getting to know the two girls who were riding with them who I'd never met before.

Instead, I am lying on my loft floor on a bean bag. Resenting my feet. Wishing to be a little bit more like my younger sister... You know it's not supposed to work that way. She is supposed to look up to me. She's supposed to think I hung the moon and am the smartest person in her world. Instead, I find myself watching her and being in awe. Of her beauty, of her confidence, of her awareness, of her quirkiness. She is as impossible as they come... but she is amazing. No one yells louder, cries harder, or laughs better than she does. Tonight, I feel like the younger sister.

I will learn how to east coast swing. Even if it means on my kitchen floor in my bare feet.

That, come to think of it, might be the best place to learn after all.
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A New Season

We are wrapping up summer.
Three more months under my belt... another season of sun on my skin.
Classes have started back and the mornings have cooled off.
Autumn is coming. It may not be a colorful one... the drought has taken its toll on us all.
But it is coming.
Officially, Sunday.

It's about time for a new season.
I'm done with this one.

Just the past week alone has been exhausting. Financial Aid is a battle I refuse to fight anymore... so I surrendered, waving a white flag, giving over a very long number, and they took an ungodly amount of money out of my checking account.

I failed my first biology test. I knew I would (which, I am sure, contributed to the following through). It was not all my fault... the average of the whole class was a 57%. Irene did something wrong. But that is not what she will tell me on Tuesday when I have to meet with her one on one. So far, the smartest thing she has told me is that I am "a genius, one definition at a time". One definition at a time. I am a genius. Yeah.

Then on Wednesday night I left photography class and found a citation on my windshield. A citation? What? A citation for parking without a pass. I paid $208 for a pass back in June. And have had it on my rearview mirror since August. Parking with out a pass? I took a look... and realized that my pass was gone. Gone. I threw a fit. A real live monkeyshine.

So I am ready for a new season. For this season to be in the past, to move forward. I took a few rolls of film the other night for class. Focus was lighting. Manipulating shadows, creating contrast. I came up with two pictures that made me smile. Both were of Katherine. One... a black silhouette. It wasn't until she wrote her own note that I was inspired by this photo. Silhouettes are created by the light source behind them. What light is behind me? Where does my light come from? "Though I am dark, I am lovely". Even when I am covered in shadows, wiped out by the darkness... the Light that is behind me will make me lovely again. The other photo was brighter. Katherine had thrown her arms out (at my instruction... but it seemed like wild abandon when captured by my lens). The sun was setting behind her and cast a radiant light on her body. She was outlined in bright light...

I wish I had something more poetic to write... something more inspiring. Something wise. But it is just not there. My soul is crying out. The words, the thoughts are all there. But my eyes won't cry the tears and my lips cannot form the words.

So with this new season I pray for new words, new experiences, new faces, new dreams. For brand new hope, fresh inspiration, and a genuine smile... to be reminded about the lilies. That in this wrestling match we call "life"... I would feel God's presence and know His love.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ebb and Flow

Sleep should have come already.

In six hours I will be on my way to the gym to work my last Saturday of the semester. A five hour shift spent watching little kids and the Vh1 video countdown, and hopefully get some studying done in between it all. Seven dollars an hour. I'd give anything to not have to go.

Tonight I met a dear friend and my sister downtown. We sat outside and talked and laughed and ate pizza from Joe Bologna's (thin crust, ranch sauce, chicken, broccoli, artichokes, and black olives. Best creation ever.). We talked about how stupid boys are. And about how amazing we are. About how if we would just say that enough, it would become true.

I sat there being ignored by someone who had been interested last week, watching the UofL fans being booed back to their campsites outside the stadium, watching the traffic lights turn yellow and red and green again. I am amazing, I told myself. Tonight I have a hard time buying it.

It's been a rough week. For some reasons quite clear, but also for a few I cannot explain.

I'm reading this book, Between the Tides (from where I learned about in medias res). "From the lowest ebb comes the highest tide." I sat on my lunch break and read those words, curious as to what they meant. The phrase "ebb and flow" have always intrigued me; the author goes on to explain that when the tide goes out, leaving all the shells and seaweed and exposed beach, eventually the tide will come back in again. Higher than ever. Full of more life, of more energy, than ever before. "From the lowest ebb..."

We've batted around calling my coffee shop Ebb and Flow. I need to come up with a design for a tattoo that symbolizes this; this ever changing, yet cyclical rhythm.

Everything dovetails together in the end. Being in the middle of a cycle of ebb and flow... territory forever foreign and familiar.

I am signing up for a retreat next month. Possibly by myself. The first retreat in years. A door to a whole new existence... a whole new experience.

I think I am going skydiving in a few weeks. Possibly. Kearney sings (his heart, I would bet, in medias res): "No parachutes or safety nets here. One foot in the water to face these fears. Coming out strong like I can't be wrong I said eh, I won't fall in the middle."

I have a test on Monday, that I might possibly pass if I would just study.

There is a story waiting for me in the gorilla gardens of Lexington, if Professor Benton will respond to my emails.

There are tickets to be bought for Nickel Creek and Dave Barnes. And a rivalry football game to be watched tomorrow night.

But first, as is the cycle, will come morning. And I will roll off the couch (tonight is the sort of night you fall asleep reading on the gently-worn sofa) and into the car and complain about it being too early. And then I will meet with my landlord. Some tears will be shed and I will be frustrated and something (at least one thing tomorrow) will be resolved.

At least one decision will be made and life will continue to flow.

"The lowest ebb brings the highest tide."

Here I am. The wet sand covers my feet, seeping in between my toes. Surrounded by seaweed and seashells. I can see the sky goes on forever, the water "chasing the horizon". My hair being whipped by a briny wind. Here I am, waiting. Waiting for the high tide.

But first will come morning.

Friday, September 14, 2007

God Wrestler

I sent them across the Jabbok.
I watched them ford the stream, but I stayed behind.

I had felt him following me.
I could see him out of the corner of my eye. All day I was haunted by him. Whoever he was, if he was even real. He vied for my attention, though he didn't demand it. But every time I turned to find his face, I lost sight of him.

As they reached the opposite side of the Jabbok, and my eyes strained to see them, I felt his presence again.

And I felt his arms around me. My lungs constricted and I resisted. I swung and groaned and kicked and twisted. I threw him to the ground and we fought. The mud of the Jabbok's bank slipped under my feet and splattered on my skin.

I expected to also feel blood on my skin. Or to feel my face begin to swell, my muscles pull. But I felt I felt no panic or injury. Instead, it was my heart that hurt; My soul that constricted and throbbed. I felt hot tears spill from my eyes. I used all my strength against him. He struggled against me, and I knew I had greater strength. And it wasn't until the man pulled my hip from it's joint that I felt any physical pain.

"Let me go, it is daybreak," the man said.

I groaned, my hands moving to where the pain shot from my waist. My chest heaved as I tried to breathe. On the horizon, the sky had begun to turn pink and the darkness had begun to peel away. As morning light shed on the man's face, I felt my heart break.

I suddenly knew what it was I fought for. He had the face of a man. But His eyes were infinite.

"I will not let you go until you bless me," I declared, wrapping my arms tightly around the man.

The man had ceased to struggle and asked me, as his face became illuminated with light, "What is your name?"

I blinked. The last time I had been asked this question... I had lied. I had deceived and gained what was not mine; stolen from my own brother. Everything in me knew, however, that this man would not be so easily fooled.


The name felt foreign on my lips as I spoke it.

The man said, "But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it's Israel; you've wrestled with God and you've come through."

"What is your name?" I asked him, wondering if he could possibly be who my heart knew he was.

"Why do you want to know my name?" The man then blessed me. And he was gone.

Even as I lay in the mire, I named the place "Peniel". For I knew... in my broken heart... that I had looked into the face of God.

I picked myself up as the sun rose high on the eastern horizon. My heart was new, I could feel it. My soul clinging to the realization that I had, as the Man had said, come through. For I walked away that morning without a scratch or drop of blood on my skin, not a muscle torn, or a bone broken.

But for the rest of my days I would walk with a limp because of my hip, the place my God had broken me.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fault Line

The earth beneath my feet is quaking.
I believe I have pitched my tent right on the fault line.

Who could have known the Latin I learned in middle school would save my life in college Biology? The only way I can wade through my notes is to know that a lysosome means "a broken body" (lysos- to break, think Lysol). My hippie professor has ceased to be the happy-go-lucky tree hugger I imagined. I keep waiting for her to laugh. But I think she's thinking too hard about neurons.

Who could have known that I would be such a nomad. Having to adjust to so many new bedrooms, addresses, and driveways? In two and a half months I will be moving again. Into an apartment. I haven't lived in an apartment since before the third daughter was born... when our neighbors had a German Shepherd and we would sled down the hill in a plastic swimming pool. This time around I'm going to get a cat. From the pound. I was fantasizing about buying cat food today...

Who could have known that finding money to pay for college could cause such panic and stress? I've never been in want. Not really. Last time I ran out of money and didn't have enough to buy food... a fifty dollar bill was mailed from Norway. Somehow, my education will get paid for. And when all is said and done, and I hold a diploma in my hand, it will be a double blessing. Not only will I have earned a degree, but I will have paid for it as well.

Who could have known that after all these years of declaring I would 'get out of Kentucky', God would have clearly told me to stay here. For now. As a business major. Instruction dropped so evidently in my lap I could not ignore it. Although I heaved an audible sigh just thinking about horses and bluegrass. But already He has done some things to alter my perception of this town... immersing the campus with a little bit of culture, helping me find a place to rest, to laugh.

Or that after years of being told to be a counselor, a journalist, an OT... I would be making plans to open a coffee shop?

Tuesday was September 11th. Six years ago the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed. Six years ago I was on my way to Shriner's Hospital. And the life I knew would fall around my feet. Surgery at thirteen years old... a blessing in disguise. A battle nonetheless. I still bear the scars. Who could have known that that day would change so many lives? That two stainless steel rods could eventually be a part of my testimony.

On nights like tonight the earth is rocking beneath my feet, and the light in my oil lamp is flickering.... the world is slipping, heaving, trying to throw me to my feet....

I know that the dust will settle. You see, it always does.

And for that I am thankful.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

You Are Here

Get a map.
Take your index finger and point to your country, your state, your city, you street...
A look at the solar system.
Point to your planet.
You are here.

I was opening mail at work. Occasionally with the private pay checks, patients will send tracts, or Bible verses. (Although, on Wednesday, I got a handwritten note from a thirty year old woman with Medicaid who called me a "fucking dumbass who did't do (my) job worth shit". Like everything else in this world, responses vary.) On Thursday there was a post card with a picture of the sun and the earth. An arrow pointed to earth and read, you are here.

Flip the postcard over. It goes on to read that we are all going to die someday. And wouldn't we rather spend eternity with a God who was big enough to create that sun than burn in hell? Fire and brimstone. Hellfire and damnation. The only sliver of hope was that we may be forgiven. But how? Read your Bible the postcard said. Daily. That is the answer.

I took the postcard home with me.

If only to remind me that I am here.

On this earth only the fraction of the size of the sun. Created by a God who (I can't imagine) dwells so much on Hell as He does loving us. That if we ask, we are forgiven. That these imperfections and sins and misdeeds and impurities are thrown as far as the east is from the west. Do you know how far that is? Go out tomorrow morning and start walking towards the sun. When you get there, let me know. That's how far.

I love a God who, when I ask Him how much He loves me, He stretches out His infinite arms. "I love you this much."

Is it really about burning in Hell? Is that the message we want to be sending through the USPS? For strangers to open, read, laugh at, and throw away? Maybe it has inspired a few. I pray it has done more good than harm. But in the world we live in... in the country, in the state, in the city, on the street.... it seems to me that love is what we need to hear.

You are here. You are loved.

And even on afternoons like this I feel it. Afternoons when another huge life decision is about to be made. I could be houseless in three weeks. I could have to pack up all my things for a third time... load them into the Corolla, and find a place to crash. A landing spot. A resting place. For two months and then I will load up again and get an apartment. And a cat. I will name him Solomon and I will have a key to the front door again. I'm not so much scared as I am in great anticipation.

I sat with my roommate late last night and watched as college students walked in and out of the lounge. People I knew. People I didn't. People I would meet in a matter of moments. Bob usually works in the back. He has a limp red afro and can't handle money very well. I like him. Tyler is leaving for Iraq in three weeks. He recognized my face... but didn't remember who I was until he saw my tattoo. My housemate and I talked about the next couple of weeks. The past few weeks. About our families and dates and our bitterness. And when I dropped her back off at her car...she climbed in and leaned out the window and yelled, "I'm going to miss you, Anna!"

I am on the edge.

Trying to be both good and lovely.

Breaking alabaster.

In the middle of it all.

Walking through a land unknown.

I am here. And I am loved.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

Things never work like we think they're going to.
I got to Winchester around noon. Held a baby, petted dogs, laughed at the boys, piled in the jeep and manuevered through Labor Day traffic.
The boys turned on rap music in the jeep and danced and laughed. The wind was in my face and the sun was shining and it felt good.
Today, I told Liza, might just be a good day.
We got to the Gorge and walked down a trail to what can only be called a watering hole. An embankment on one side, a large boulder on the other. I sat down on a log and pulled out my camera. Isaac headed straight for the rope swing. As we had walked up, we had seen another man swing into the water and land with a great whoop and a splash. So Isaac held onto the rope, pushed off the first tree...
I caught him mid-air with my lens. Hanging, suspended, horizontally above the water. Perfect shot.
But something had gone wrong. He had caught his foot as he pushed off the tree... this snag had sent him spinning. And before he could let go of the rope, his torso slammed against the second tree.
It sounded like a gunshot.
And he fell into the water.
We all paused.
He came up out of the water, heaving and spitting.
Liza and Kayla ran to him, while Caleb and I stood back... a little stunned.
Isaac's shoulder was bleeding. The breath had been knocked out of his lungs and he couldn't stand up. Everyone else at the watering hole had paused, holding their own breath. Then unwanted advice came tumbling out of their mouths. Caleb and I went down to the water's edge where Isaac sat.
Caleb started to get pissed.
He yelled at Liza.
He shot me a dirty look.
We picked up Isaac and his stuff, and began walking barefoot back to the car.
Five minutes in the Gorge.
Caleb cussed and fumed and barked.
Isaac nodded off in the front seat, muttering something about fluid in his lungs. Kayla tried to keep him awake as we made phone calls to Molly and Craig and Clark Regional.

Six hours later, Isaac has been transfered to UK for seven broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Caleb has continued to yell and blame.
Isaac is supposed to get married on Saturday and be deported for basic training in less than three weeks.
Liza called me later... amidst all the confusion and chaos.
I remembered my words. "This just might be a good day."

I am alone now. Everyone's out on a date, at their parents' house, or far far away. I went driving earlier and saw a fox. He stood in the middle of the road... tall and skinny and curious. I slowed my car down, wondering if somehow I could get a picture of him. He looked at me, cocked his head, and dashed for the brush on the side of the road. When I drove back later... he was there again. I pulled my car into neutral and sat in the road waiting for him to move. With a flick of his tail he was gone again...

The fox reminds me of Caleb.

Happy Labor Day.

a bird's eye view

I didn't get but maybe an hour of sleep last night.
The dogs kept licking my face. I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep.
It was cold.
I was lonely.
These were things I probably could have fixed.
Put the dogs in the crate. Suck it up and get into the bed instead of laying on the couch. Change the thermostat.

Yesterday was just a bad day.
It was a beautiful day. But it was a bad day.
But I've realized that having a dog is highly overrated (I like the idea of having a dog. But cats are sounded pretty appealing at this point).
It's frustrating when you have a vision... an artistic eye... and you can't quite get anything to manifest the way you'd like.
When you feel reprimanded.
When you go home alone.
When the neighbors downstairs scream and slam doors and the chain lock jangles... sending shivers up your spine.
To top it all... strange allergies have made my eyes swell and I can't quit sneezing.
Allergies? Seriously?

It is Monday and I have the day off work. What the hell am I complaining about?
As I said before, I am into the very middle of things.
Being in the middle of things means that it is real and true... sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes our visions flesh out. Sometimes they are crushed under the weight of reality.

I don't feel like I'm making much progress. Time is, certainly, not standing still. No, no. The neon lights are blurring and somebody has sent the hands of the clock spinning. Time's speeding by... I just don't feel like I'm progressing much. No evolving here.

I felt a little left behind last night.
She had somewhere to be. Someone to see. She checked out early... "looking for a back door". I was excited for her. Still am. Was at 2:30 AM when she called me.
But I felt a little left out.
My turn to feel that way, I guess. Is that karma? What goes around, comes around? It's been about three years. But I've checked out early before.
I don't feel like the older sister on nights like last night. Even though I got in a car and drove away and went home by myself and did laundry and washed dishes. It just didn't feel right. Or maybe it was right and I just didn't like it. Go figure.

Chris called me last night. The one who I saw at church a few weeks ago. He just spent twelve days in a hospital for an infection that only one in ten thousand people get. They thought he was going to die... now he's on dialisis and a very strict diet. He called me to tell me how he was doing and that he wanted to hang out. He needs to be around "good people"... because even one beer at this point might kill him. So the doctors say.

They diagnosed her with lupus. I saw her in Wendy's the other day. Actually, she saw me. When I looked up she was staring me down, waiting for me to pay attention. She grabbed me and hugged me. She's going back to school on Tuesday. The steroids have caused her to gain weight and retain water. But she told her mom that she has never been so happy... felt so loved. This will be a lifelong battle for her. But I see a light in her eyes that has never been there before. And she hugs me harder. And tells me she loves me. So if we can just find her some pants that fit... we'll be doing good.

I'm headed to the gorge today. A bigger deal was made about it than I would have liked. I just need to go and be out in the world. I have a photography assignment to complete. I need to spend some time with someone who is struggling to fit together the pieces of dreams and reality. They are connected, aren't they? Are we fooling ourselves? We'll find out. The sun is shining. Maybe today will be a good day.

These are the days we wish we had wings.
Maybe above it all... soaring over everyone's heads... it might make more sense. A quick look at the big picture. A bird's eye view.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

In Medias Res

I'm reading a book.
A book my Mom handed me saying, "I don't know if you'll have time to read this or not..."
I think I responded with, "I will make time to read it."
It's just a novel.
Not a self-help, inspirational, or even "Christian" book.
Just a novel.
And I don't know if it will end well.

But it is from this book that I learned the phrase: in medias res.
Into the middle of things.
A literary and artistic phrase, used to explain the style of jumping into the middle of the story (or starting at the end and working backwards) opposed to starting from the beginning and working foward (Ab ovo. From the egg. Or, from the beginning.)

I am in medias res.
No doubt about it.
There are years of life behind me, and possibly decades ahead of me.
Every day I learn something new, meet new people, try new things... sometimes I recognize it for what it is. Sometimes I mourn a stagnant existence.
I am in the middle of it all.
My life might not be so interesting if I told you the story ab ovo.
But if I started in medias res it might make more sense.
Hindsight is 20/20 after all.
Looking back we see all the serendipity, the miracles. We can recognize the growth and the progress... the sweet moments we might not acknowledge as they happen.

More thoughts on that later.

We are, after all, into the very middle of things.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I don't know what to write.
But I know I want to.
I can feel that I have something to say to you...
but the words aren't coming.

I left work today. Finally Friday. Two weeks of school, two tests, a pop quiz down... three months to go. I think financial aid might be the death of me. I headed to campus today to take care of some more of the deadly stuff, only to find out that it would take four more weeks to see any amount of money. I wonder how I will manage to come up with tuition in three weeks? I'm trying not to think about it. Things always have a way of working themselves out. Why do I worry?

I found myself frustrated this afternoon. I went to Wal-Mart to check out their paltry selection of film (in a digital world... 400 speed Kodak film is a rarity). Film and chapstick. I left the store, feeling itchy with aggravation. I got in the car and pulled out of the parking lot. And couldn't remember why I felt this way. Why was I frustrated? What had happened?

I drove to Winchester. Praying the whole way that I would be able to rid myself of this weird anxiety. I drove past dozens of places I wanted to stop and take pictures... but I kept driving. I went to ballet class with Olivia tonight. I watched her stretch before class. Mesmorized by the way her ankles moved... by the flexibility of her back. Loving the way she is gentle with my guilty conscience (Anna, you need to take your shoes off.... Anna, you can't have gum in the studio). She is beautiful. I went into her class to try and get some "action" shots. I don't know what I was expecting. But I stood against the back mirror and watched the girls on the bar... listening to Hannah call positions and talk about "fluid movements". I held the camera in my hand, but only took one picture. I was enthralled. The rhythm of it... the way they all knew when the step back and watch, when to move their feet, when to look at themselves in the mirror. An art. A science. I was proud to call her my sister.

Tuesday night I went out with an old friend. I was nervous... I didn't really know anything about her present situation, how she felt about our social ties, or if she really wanted to even spend time with me. I met her at her house, put my wet clothes in her dryer (because, sadly, my dryer is broken), and we went out. We spent four hours together. Laughing. Talking. I had sworn not to mention any of the subjects that might be taboo (her boyfriend, church, God, Georgia, etc). Instead, I had every intention of just loving her. Mainly because I know that is what I need. That is what we all need. Just someone to love us. But it wasn't up to me. We sat down and she poured out her heart. Looking at me at one point and letting me know how much she had missed me... and how much she appreciated me. Where did that come from? She also looked at me and grinned really big. "I know I've got game," she shrugged. "It's probably not okay for me to say that. But I think I'm fabulous. I mean really awesome." She didn't think that was okay to say. I reassured her, I think it is. I also think it's true. We are going to the UK/EKU football game tomorrow. She is going to church with me on Sunday night. Do you want to know why I believe that being a Christian is about loving people? This is why.

Bryan asked us at CSF the other night to tell the other students sitting around us what the "craziest" thing was that we'd done since college started. I counted backwards. Two years now. How many crazy things? I think zero. That made me sad. I'm not talking about hoodlum, illegal, trouble-making craziness. I'm just talking about the stuff of stories. The stuff you tell your kids when they get old enough to listen. I couldn't think of anything, feeling trumped by Liza who had left home not once, but twice. Silly thing to think about. Craziness is probably not premeditated. Just a guess.

Got the feeling the other night that I really was starting to be comfortable with myself. I've met more people in the past few weeks... been more likely to shake a hand and ask for a name than ever before. Smile. Always remember to smile. Apparently my smile is more like a smirk. (I've made a mental note to work on that). But I think I've caught a glimpse of who I am... found a "spot" to be myself.

I'm thinking about quitting my job at the gym.

I'm thinking about moving into an apartment with Liza.

I'm trying to learn how to take fast action and depth of field photographs.

I'm trying to understand the Bohr model and why anyone would think that abortion is humane... (let's not go into that, but it is a pressing question of mine).

I think I'm going kayaking on Monday.

Thank God for holiday weekends.

All of that nonsense to say... I am not really sure why I ever worry. When I look at my bank account and stress about bills, wish I had the funds for a trip or a computer; or when I look at my poor Corolla and make a mental note to replace the duct tape and the driver's side blinker... I try and remind myself. He says not to worry, because aren't even the lilies of the field dressed beautifully? Doesn't He care about even the smallest sparrow? And what do they do to earn their clothes? Nothing. God provides for them... even the lilies.