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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cultivate the living

I open my eyes bitter that the morning sounds of my alarm found me before I could solidify my dream. Waking up is what I need to do though, and there I was, only habit, and grabbing my phone, wallet and car keys. Shuffling down the dark hallway, my eyes having a hard time adjusting, "AJ!" The exclamation wasn't as loud as my head throbbed I'm sure.

"Yeah?" The reply came; as if she didn't know why I'd be yelling for her...

"It's time to go!" Matter-of-fact I called back.

Shwump! I slid the toaster lever down with her bagel in it.

Voosh! I opened the fridge... GAH! Bright light... Cheese stick, mandarin orange... a small grumble of "she didn't make her sandwich"...yogart...Bryers makes yogurt? Had no idea... 5:45..."hmmm, this is when we're supposed to be leaving..." I butter and honey her bagel, and wrap it up in a paper towel.

Beeps sound as I take the alarm off, unlock the door, and roll my eyes as Kalee stretches herself as slowly as possible; then proceeds to rub against my leg purring to try and get me to follow her towards her food bowl. Annoyed, I tell her forget it and I'll feed her later. Alright, so, I lied, but I didn't think twice about it while grabbing an "Ensure" drink and drug my body toward the car. I opened the door and very heavily thumping myself into the driver's seat.

"This is going to put me coming back late again..." I thought grudgingly to myself.

Finally, Aubrie came out carrying her portfolio and school belongings. Hurriedly slumping all of her belongings in the back seat and by her feet and sat next to me looking as cute as ever with her straightened hair. "I bet that reminds her of Japan." I admire her hair and thought to myself.

She asked what I had done last night and I proceeded to tell her how nervous I seemed to be in teaching this institute class. At the same time though, I am so relieved to be back into my old skin again. I'm teaching and studying about the gospel again! I have something to look forward to and that was refreshing! Before I fell asleep last night I felt inspired by new ideas and what to teach on and about in my class, and stayed up a little longer just to write them down. Talking to her, I realize how free I'm feeling. I'm single again. I have all the confidence in the world to do whatever it is I want to do. I'm not tied to any possibility or avenue. My adventure is sprawled-out in front of me!

My thoughts are there to roam again.

I have nothing BUT time.

I recalled my dream. I was in the back of a Jeep Cherokee and the thought came, "I have the option of being happy. I can be happy. I have every right to be happy."

I felt it again talking to Aubrie.

We eventually got to the church and saying good-bye told herthat I love her. I never want to miss saying that. Her life is so precious to me. Simultaneously, I was so grateful for the time spent with her. What a great opportunity! I got to talk and listen to AJ everyday before she went to school. What am I doing wasting time not talking to her about loving and cultivating life as I know it to be?! What am I learning? What am I teaching?

She grabbed her book bag and was closing the door. "Aubrie, remember when you told me about how you liked madrigals a couple of years ago and that the girls weren't as bad as you thought they were at the time? Think about that for your Senior year. You'll want to look back at it and want to say you had a great time your last year."

Now it's your turn Aubrie to teach me something tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Levin, Amanda, Ansley

" "My funeral," the Blue Man said, "Look at the mourners. Some did not even know me well, yet they came. Why? Did you ever wonder? Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should?
"It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.
"You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.
"It is why we are drawn to babies..." He turned to the mourners. "And to funerals."
..."I still don't understand, " Eddie whispered. "What good came from your death?"
"You lived," the Blue Man answered.
"But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger."
..."Strangers, " the Blue Man said, "are just family you have yet to come to know." "
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Rain pours through the sounds of typing fingers, beeping copiers and rustling of the papers. It can't penetrate through the numbness or the helplessness I seem to feel right now. I find it the most ironic that I was recently reading this passage, and today heard that a married couple friend of mine got into a car accident where his wife, and the baby she was pregnant with, died. I first read the email in complete denial, not believing what had happened a couple days previous. Memories of past friends who also have lost their lives in car accidents, suicides, strokes, heart attacks, brain aneurysms and other casualties flashed into my mind; Obituaries and articles of recent and years-passed of those who have slipped only into their spirits...
Levin, cradle your living Ansley. You both will need to draw the strength from the living as well as the great Unseen.
Words seem so trite, and I'm sorry they're the only tools I have. I'm sorry the experiences I have lived will never will fill your heart with the comfort or peace you truly deserve. It's more than I know, and more than I can fathom to do. The pain and realities you perceive and endure are far beyond myself and I leave them into the hands of the One who can lift, carry, touch and heal. I feel I cannot do more, neither can I do any better than pray fiercely for your heart to be pieced together with the love and unconditional faith that presents itself better now visually than ever imagined.
God, please hold Amanda tightly, and Levin even closer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New? I wish... sometimes

I was writing an email to a friend this morning that threw me for a loop. I was telling her how much my life was still the same: unknown. "Why doesn't this change?"

Now, let's look at that a minute. My life is still the same but it's also unknown - Doesn't that mean that it's going to change all the time? Well that's what I want! I want it to change. It seems to be either a cycle of misery or I'm stubborn enough not to notice what is changing or how?
Maybe that's my problem. I'm looking for change all in the wrong places? ("...No fine girls just ugly faces..."? - You know the song.) Things change, but how they change or what changes actually remains the same. It seems as if I'm stepping right up to the edge of the cliff trying to look over; wondering how I want to get across rather than how will it happen for me to have the means to get past the craters and valleys below. But what's on the other side?! Is there another side? Frustration mixed with impatience becomes my grudged cement shoes.

I'm certainly not in the place I thought I was going to be even a month ago. I'm listening to an 80's radio station at my dad's office at The Ohio State University. I'm typing at a computer while slowly I feel energy and brain cells getting sucked-out through my eyeballs into the computer screen and creative juices becoming frozen within the air-conditioned room. (Why does it have to be so incredibly frigid?!) I have a window and that is appreciated, but then again, I feel like the trees mock me with the fact that they get to feel the wind in their branches and sunshine in their leaves and I covet the very idea of blue skies smiling at them and not me. Irving Berlin your song displeases me.

I have been out of HI almost a whole year as I discovered last night, and still there isn't a day that goes by that I don't reminisce about... well, mostly the weather since Ohio has had it's fair share of the pretty 78 + degrees. Has time really lapsed that quickly? Yet, it has also seemed like years of unnecessary confinement. Not to say Ohio is bad, but let's be honest, it's no Hawaii...esp. around January.
I guess I am doing more of my fair share of pining over new horizons when some change has happened to me, but the whining comes since change hasn't come because of me. Maybe that's the humility in it all... just because I am one to want change and welcome any amount, I get the answer to wait and be patient. The answer comes in not only peace but a clever little thing set-up by the bank to show me what that I do have...lots and lots of change...
That's not what I meant.