Friday, November 21, 2008

Heart on my sleeve

I can't help it sometimes... my emotions are a banner for everyone to read. In order to escape the inevitable interrogation, I have to run and hide.

I received a weighty compliment today in an area where I feel insecure at best... and had to leave the office so that I could shed my tears without embarrassment.

It's so gratifying when you put your heart into something to have it received so well... A little more work and it will be ready to share.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Sadness squeezes through the cracks of life sometimes. Sometimes it rushes through in overwhelming torrents.

I love Christmas. I can remember it as one time in a year full of screwed up family life when my parents actually seemed like the parents they should be, and when us siblings banded together in hope of good presents and good food, and the fun of getting to see our cousins and run wild at my grandparents house.

We had multiple traditions. There was the Advent wreath and the reading of different scriptures pertaining to the birth of Christ (a grand tradition that most non-denominational churches miss out on). Each week another candle would be lit, and we would fight over who would get to use the snuffer.

There was the Christmas choir. Each year, our youth and handbell choir would practice and then perform musical selections for the season. Sometimes we acted out a play. I always sang a solo...

One of my favorite traditions was our "live nativity." For a week or so leading up to Christmas, every evening, sometimes 3 times a night, the youth from my church would dress up and act out the nativity story. We had a timed audio track narrated by my dad over dramatic Christmas music on loud speakers set in the trees. Certain songs still bring those memories back so strongly. We had musty costumes, robes and head dresses, staffs and a manger. Set up outdoors in full view of the busy street, we would walk through the story for the benefit of passersby. Sometimes I was a shepherd, sometimes I was Mary... always we were freezing cold by the last performance. There was usually hot apple cider waiting for us in the fellowship hall.

All these festivities led up to the climactic moment when we celebrated the birth of Jesus at our midnight Christmas eve service. All those activities somehow added up to family.

The sadness for me is... there is less of this now than there used to be... Living far away from the ones you love is not easy, and I feel very alone this year.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An ego is a fragile thing

So, I've been riding horses for a year... and god knows, I'm still a beginner. But nothing ever stings as much as an ego reminded.

Firstly, the horse I usually ride, Trevor, collapsed this week. No worries, everything is fine... apparently he was either narcoleptic or he was not in the mood to ride and so faked us all out by falling down on the ground and refusing to get up for 10 minutes or so. I panicked, of course, thinking I had killed him... or at least that he had died under my care. Neither prospect was something I was looking forward to having to reckon with. After laying on the ground for more than 10 minutes with his eyes rolled back in his head, my instructor waved a cookie in front of him, and he popped right back up.

Needless to say, I was shaken thoroughly.

Then today we went to volunteer at a facility that gives riding lessons to handicapped people. I was very excited about doing this, and happy to be of help. Each special rider has at least 3 people attending him: two along side and one leading the horse. Because I have been riding for a year, they had me lead a horse.

All went well until the end of the day... the rider was a little more advanced than earlier in the day, so we did some more advanced things, like trotting. I would trot with the horse and the instructor/leader of the facility and Noah trotted alongside to help the rider maintain his balance.

But something happened to spook the horse... and he bucked a little and knocked all 4 of us to the ground... yes the handicapped rider fell off the horse. Somehow I managed to hold on to the horse, and pop back up to make sure he didn't take off willy nilly around the arena (there were others riding at the same time). It took 2 of us to calm him down.

The rider appears to have been unhurt, but scared (thank god he's not hurt)... Noah got stepped on a little... and I'm sore from being yanked around by a 1000 pound guinea pig. I'm so frustrated that my horse was the one that had the incident, and have felt like the biggest loser all day. How could I let that happen?

I'm trying to tell myself it wasn't my fault and things just happen. But I feel terrible, incompetent, foolish... and I almost quit riding right there. How does one not blame one's self for something like that? It seems useless to blame the horse... and not comforting at all to say "things like that just happen."

Anyhow, I didn't quit riding... I'm going in the morning... and hoping my bruised ego doesn't take another beating, or if it does that the beating will kill it so I won't have to mind any more.

Lord, make me humble and steer me clear from danger...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The plants get neglected when it's like this. I can't stop for a moment to remember the things that aren't absolutely necessary. When I do stop, my brain just shuts down. There are things I know I should be doing, but I can't for the life of me remember what they were. My body whispers, "rest..." then screams, "REST!!!"

I have only one life to live... and so I cram it full of life. I don't want to put things off that I may never whirl back around to. The hurricane that is my train of thought barrels past and sometimes bits and pieces get lost in the process. Try as I might, I cannot keep them all in.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I just looked up through the window in my study here in our new home. Dusk is falling slowly on our sleepy little town. The curtains are drawn back so that the little gray kitty and I can look out at the back yard, and hopefully the rose bushes out this window that came with the house will come to frame it in time, adding a romantic touch to our little patch of earth. The sliver of an autumn moon is rising. She's still out there.

It's comforting to know that she, Luna, is still rising.

Confession: I had my faith in humanity shaken this morning.

My whole life I have always believed that every human being has something redeeming in them. Today, I saw a result of the basest aspects of human nature, and I wonder now, if such a person, who could commit such an atrocity, can have any good in them.

I met a man who breeds horses. He is amazing, gentle, conscientious, soft-spoken... and his breeding program is excellent. His horses are calm and gentle as he is, well conformed, superb specimens of their kind.

Through searching for the best of the breed to add to his program, this man came upon an equine tragedy that has left a lasting wound on my heart, a horse so badly abused that he has literally lost his mind. This horse had been the epitome of what a horse should be, so the man bought him sight unseen. Only when the horse arrived at the property did they realize that it had been broken so badly it could never be repaired. This gorgeous animal had been destroyed by someone trying, through every inhumane technique imaginable, to win a prize.

My eyes fill with tears, even as I type, thinking about the kind of torture that can leave such a lasting mark on an animal. It has been nearly 20 years since that horse came to live with the man I met today. He cares for it and provides for all its needs and it still mutilates itself, thrashing and screaming at the gentlest of human contact because of the torture it went through.

I can't comprehend what could lead a human being to press the boundaries of its own humanity and torture one of God's creatures that way... it is inexcusable to me... unforgivable... and fury rises from my chest, burning in my throat and stinging my eyes.

It takes divine grace, more than I have in my own broken heart, to overcome that kind of evil. I can't reconcile it in my mind. I reach out to heaven to ask for justice, and find myself confronted with mercy, and the need to break my heart again to understand it... God help me understand your mercy.

The only hope I find is in the compassion of the man who has taken this animal in, who cares for it even though he knows any efforts to rehabilitate the horse would be in vain. One day maybe I will be able to walk that path, not seeking to be vindicated for injustices done to me or to other innocents, not even seeking a triumphant end to suffering (because one does not always exist), but quietly seeking to offer mercy to those who need it desperately.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The moon, huh?

To quote a favorite author of mine, "the moon is always female." She's something I rarely look at anymore. Sometimes she seems so far away. I'm always focused on the ground, trying not to trip while I'm walking, only looking at the step in front of me.

But that's where I'm going. That's the metaphorical goal... the moon. After pondering my blog entry yesterday I realized that the big picture, the moon, is good for the soul. She reminds you, me, us, that we're on a journey somewhere, hopefully somewhere we WANT to go. If not, maybe it's time to change direction.

It's easy to get lost in the details, the politic day-to-day "to-do's". Slowly I drown in self-pity and narcissism as I forget why I started off on this journey in the first place. So many things that are "good" may not be taking us in the right direction, or may even be going in the right direction, but then begin to steal focus from the passion that gave us direction at first.

It's easy to be busy and to find excuses not to look at her. But she's always there, even if a cloud obscures my view.

Tonight... maybe even while I'm listening to the debate... I think I'll take time to look up... contemplate that silver orb who so encapsulates my dreams.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Character building

I am here... that phrase just floated through my consciousness... a bit of worship... I am here.

I had a character-building episode during the past 7 days. It was a bit of a shock for me, actually. I mean, I have "impeccable" character, right? Right....

This week I found myself faced with a choice that I don't like to have to make. I had to choose a direction, for better or worse, for my "career". I'm still not convinced I have a career... but as of Monday, I have more of one than I have ever had before.

I know what you're thinking. How can a lowly admin assistant be so full of herself as to believe she has "a career"? I've never considered myself a career person. It's not that I don't work, it's just that I never cared what direction my work took. I'm flexible. I can do anything, be anything, learn... just about anything. It's a chameleon personality that has worked well for me my whole life. I take whatever opportunity falls in my lap and don't question it. It's a gift, right?

Well this week an opportunity fell in my lap... and thanks to my wonderful husband's faith in me and his knowledge of my passions and abilities... I did NOT take that opportunity. Better pay... who needs it? Management opportunity... not interested!

You have to understand how HARD this is for me. I always opt for security, and usually don't press to live up to my potential. It's too risky. I've grown to accept mediocrity grudgingly.

But this week was a turning point. Instead of taking a better job in a career path that I would grow tired of, let's face it, before I had been in it 9 months, I chose to remain in an assistant role with a group that wants to encourage my abilities and highlight my skills in an area of work I've always wanted to pursue.

Eggs in one basket? Yep. Birds in a bush? Probably. But the chances are pretty high that if I never shoot for my dreams I'll never attain them. So... one tiny step at a time... I'm on my way to the moon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's a wide eyed wonderland we live in

As any sheltered youth coming out into the world we call California will tell you, eyes the size of dish plates are a dead giveaway. You gotta train yourself not to get a crick in your neck from whipping around for a double take at the latest weirdness traipsing by... and believe me, it's harder than it sounds! For all I'd like to have you believe that I'm a seasoned veteran, used to all this outer space style gallivanting, I still catch myself mid-stare and wonder if anyone noticed how completely un-PC I was being just then.

It's been a long time...

I haven't blogged in years... I got tired of it, I think... or distracted... I dunno... anyhow, we'll see how I fair now that I have need. I have taken on a writing assistant's job that is requiring me to oil my rusty joints and get out there. That being said, this post will hopefully be my most boring, although... the way I ramble, you may end up disagreeing.