OneWord: Junkyard, Ivy, Cowboy, Duck

Junkyard: “Look at that dog, Honey. I looks like it came straight from a junkyard,” I said as we drove past a natural foods store. The dog was small with matted fur, perky ears, and eyes as big and bright as the summer sky on a perfect day in July.

Ivy: Those ivy hands. I want to say ice cold and plain, but not so. Not so. Not so. They sit in the window behind the ten-foot tall pane of glass keeping me from her and not her from me. Because she’s there. Still. Silent.

Cowboy: That cowboy spirit inside takes over. Sweat beads slip down my brow. My heart pounds inside my chest. And then the gavel falls. “Guilty,” thuds from the judge’s mouth.

Duck: The duck sat on the end of dock watching the other ducks float up and down in the small waves on the 4th of July. Of course, the duck didn’t know it was the 4th of July. It just knew the waves were small.

Dinner With Dad

I sat across from my dad in an armless, white, wooden chair with loose joints that creaked and rocked each time I shifted my weight from one butt cheek to the other. His chair was the same.

While eating leftover meatloaf and waiting for mom/wife and sister/daughter to come home to give us something to talk about, we started laughing at the noises emanating from below.

It got to the point where we co-ordinated our weight transfer such that the chairs would groan in unison under the weight of our not-so-fat asses. Then, as one of us should have anticipated, the predictable happened, and the front right leg of my chair shattered at the joint where, only moments prior, it met the seat portion of my chair, and, now, was ninety degrees away from where it should be. I fell hard and I fell fast until my butt met the floor, the back of my head hit the shoulder of the chair, and my chin slammed against the edge of the kitchen table.

This was an instance where the outcome was greater than the literal summation of the individual parts. Sure, my tailbone, cranium, and chin hurt on their own, but the combustion of pain synapses firing simultaneously caused the blood vessels in my eyes to burst.

I laugh when in pain, and was now alternating between giggling uncontrollably and yelling at the chair while looking like the Virgin Mary crying blood on the eve of a miracle.

Looking back, I have no recollection of what my dad did in the moment after my collapse. I have a hunch that, prior to lurching in my direction, he took one last bite of ketchup-covered meatloaf because it was excellent.

Written from 9:05 pm to 9:35 pm on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at home in Traverse City, Michigan.

Bookends: Terror and Hope

Did 9-11 (2001) cause market crash, real estate crash, etc. If not immediately, did it change the approach/attitude of enough Americans one way or another, such that the collective “american dream” changed – perhaps to a focus on the short-term. E.g., I’m going to live now; spend now. (Creditor-side error was in allowing to help people live this out.)

Interesting tie-in to Obama’s campaign theme of “HOPE.” Really, it was hope that got us into the mess we are in now. What should have been the focus is fundamental values, contraction, living within means (as a country and as citizens), etc.

OneWord: Adapt, Helping, Certain, Materials, Market

Adapt: I’ve tried, many times, to adapt to what’s around me. And the only thing I have learned is that I should worry less about adapting to the world and worry more about adapting the world to myself. I’m here for a blink. I’ve gotta breath my air and fill my space.

Helping: The helping hand swept down from the vacant blue sky and wrapped its mile-long fingers ’round the dusty earth and squeezed it until rivers fell and mountains grew.

Certain: To be certain of something is, at once, to lock one’s mind in jail and toss away the key…

Materials: The materials with which I a forced to work are nothing more than a steel hammer, dinged and dented from 22 years of pounding, and a solid oak workbench that was given to me at the death of my grandfather.

Market: My dog and I walked north along Union to the Farmer’s Market last Saturday. It bright, crisp, and fresh outside. The streets were filled with …

In the Absence

I am sitting it church like the good young man (I never was). The pew beneath me is padded and covered with fabric of a course texture. It is twill-like, designed, I presume, to keep the young and old, alike, from slipping onto the floor during the lackluster sermons that bridge the seasons of our many different lives. In the absence of miracle or tragedy, there is simply existence, friendship, the smile of the nearby aging, the antics of the far-away youth, and the faint smell of Potluck wafting from the bowels of God’s station.

I look across from my balcony on the right side of the dimly lit sanctuary, which flows with dark, blood-red carpets, to see a man so fat that, if the raven behind him were to sneeze, he would tumble forward over the polished brass railings, installed to keep the problem children from playing and the tired husbands from resting, and smash the birds below.

I can’t help to think that church is for the old. The lonely. The single. The abandoned. The desolate. They congregate beneath me. Their comb-overs and permanents swept and teased, respectively, into positions marginally acceptable for social presentation. I wonder, when I look across at the fat man and down at the crippled birds, where they look for the hour we sit together and listen to the choir sing and the preacher preach. Who fills the choir? And where do they look? Where does the preacher go when away from here? And where does he look?

I grasp the collection dish and pass it along. The change slipping through the envelopes and checks jangles against the side of the brass bowl. It’s too heavy for a small child or elderly woman. It’s too heavy for me as I pass it quickly without thought.

The sermon begins and I listen for a message, but my mind drifts to a place I cannot name – cannot identify – cannot connect with. This un-namable nothing moves me to tears that I keep in the bucket of my eyes and, in the absence, I hear, but do not comprehend, the stationary chaos. I feel as though I am seeing myself in a multi-generational mirror for the first time. And to see both my beginning and expiration frozen around me (or am I frozen within them?) is, on most Sunday mornings, too much to keep within my own earthly body.

Written from 12:08 pm to 12:28 pm on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at home in Traverse City, Michigan.

Bridesmaid Dresses!

Today, Christy, Katy, Robbi, my mom and I went bridesmaid dress shopping. I had a ton of fun watching the girls play dress up!  It was great having 2 of the 4 girls together, and the moms, although we wish Alex and Elke could have been there too!

I had scoped some dresses out, and we ended up finding some really cute and unique dresses at Ella’s in downtown TC. I am so excited! I love the dresses and so did Christy and Katy which is the best part.

Until next time…..Lindsey