Unconditioned summer escape

No longer night but 'good morning' would be the welcome. In the warm attic room apart from the summer makeshift sleeping arrangements, I sit and sweat and breathe the real and raw outside air. The noise of the cars acts as small annoyance for sacrifice in the escape of the reconditioned cool of downstairs where sane mortals sleep and eat and dwell. My attic morning breeze escape. Mine and the dog's. Dollar the stuffed animal lap dog who looks out the window or sits guard on the floor with the yoga mat bed and ergonomic pillow. The pillow doesn't suit him. We sit in the early and late hours while the house sleeps. We write words of wisdom to help lead others in their purpose and we write our rantings here, where formality no longer exists. Hair uncombed, pizza crusts to the right and a beanbag prop behind my back defines who I can be in my attic morning breeze escape. Dollar can always be himself. It's why I like him so much. The breeze will subside, the sun will beat and the shades will be drawn to create my morning interval of rest, with Dollar remaining vigilant by my side. But the rain falls today to our joy and the breeze persists for a little while longer. We'll sit and listen and close our eyes to focus on the breeze crossing the room and reaching our awaiting, contented faces. It's to be a wonderful day in the attic.


Made for each other

She knew she was supposed to. She prayed for a blockade just in case she was being mislead but it hadn't come yet. She didn't think it was going to. The responsibility, thus the consequence, was grand scale. This was what she did, though. He did too. They made a good team when it came to kicking up dust. That time had come again and as usual it came because of what they knew.

They are probably seen as chaos creators by those who don't know them well. Of course those who do know them still consider them trouble makers but the faith that leads these two is undeniable. Thus, they are prayed for in lieu of condemnation. Prayers of guidance and wisdom were always over their heads to get them through the trouble that continually camped at their heels.

There was no debate as to why it seemed these two travelled via whirlwind. The word 'question' that carried through most people's lives as a noun lived within theirs as a verb. It was an action their convictions wouldn't ignore and conviction never worked for it's own means. They simply asked too many questions.

His problem was with loose ends. He just couldn't leave them untied. From childhood missing details would drive him to research and more questions would arise until the wrong questions were asked = conflict.

Her problems lay more in the field of right and wrong; she always knew the difference. As with him, her childhood was dominated by gnawing conviction. Her field was not in research however but in love. She befriended, defended and scolded always under the banner of 'the right thing to do'. As a cute little girl her actions were seen as inspiring. As an adult the same actions fueled by the same convictions were considered condemning and judgemental = conflict.

So conflict and conflict ended up together. As a team they live and question and act through their faithful convictions. It has brought them misery, danger and rejection. Their Father cradles them each night, though. He urges them forward not with empty promises of comfort or success but with the assurance that tomorrow night He'll be there beside them as He has been since their youth. As He always had been since they day they individually chose to follow His lead.


'And to His leg I cling, eternally pressing my face to His calf to keep from looking behind me.'

I found this in the middle of my notebook in the middle of another night. I started scanning my recall to find the event that at one time had me spiritually in a heap on the floor, hiding behind the only sure and steady constant in my life........ God's enormous, extremely human looking leg. At least that's how I pictured it when I wrote the above. That, I remember. I remember how I felt and in what my soul found perseverance, safety, and comfort.

Let me explain.

When I was little, my visual personification of what God must've looked like took the shape of a huge bare foot firmly planted on Earth (in my backyard more specifically) with the robe draped leg extending up until just above his knee, where the clouds took over.

Where do you even begin to analyze this one?

Let's start here.....
Why my backyard?

It was where I was and I was taught that God was always with me. Easy enough.
Also, my backyard was the biggest thing I could imagine. There were still hedgerow boundaries (much like my mind at the time) but it was 'God-big'. After all, why would He have to be bigger than that?

Why just a foot? Why not the whole 'He' crouched between mom's garden and the playhouse Daddy built?

This one runs a little deeper and I'm not even sure I can find the answer. I could never imagine a whole 'He'. Just pieces, like a foot. It wasn't for lack of imagination! I could sit and play board games with the guy (I would roll the dice for His turns, of course.) And I never hesitated to whisper His name knowing full well that His ears were good enough to hear my voice even when I was really, really quiet. I grew up talking to Him as if he shared the Pepto-Bismol pink room with me, yet I could never bring myself to imagine more than the calf/ankle/ tootsies part any time I tried to put a picture to it all. I guess maybe it did hit the parameters of my imagination. (And yes, it was a foot on the other side of the game board with His leg extending through my ceiling. Why else do you think I had to roll for Him?)

Sadly, as an adult it doesn't seem my imagination has stretched much, does it?

The image of clinging to God ends there, at His leg, even if I try to picture more.

I've lived through.....well, 'I've lived through' is statement enough. And looking back at it all I can see that I've almost instinctively leaned on God for the majority of my life. It started as childhood faith; trust that what my parent's taught me was true. As a teen, when I tried to get away from anything my parents stood for I found myself running but always looking behind me to make sure God was keeping up. And now as an active Christian woman, the leg is my first refuge. Like I said, I feel it as an instinct. I consider it a unique gift. I don't meet many people who see God the way I do. (Except perhaps the writers of Monty Python :)

'Clinging to His leg' is only the first part of the statement, though.

I pressed my face to His calf to keep from looking behind me. Wow! In an action that mirrors a shaken woman holding tightly to her protector, hiding her face in his chest until the evil has gone, I realize.... I watch a lot of movies. Does this even happen?!? Usually, in reality when 'evil is nigh' people are clawing and fighting and running! Not clinging to another person in full faith that the wave of destruction is just going to stop at the sheer presence of this untouchable wall of a man, protecting the fragile clinging woman. Too many movies, it would seem. But don't miss this! I'm pressing my face to his calf to keep myself from looking behind me. I remember this, now!
I'm actively pushing my cheek, so much that my imagination can feel the pressure on my face, in an attempt to keep my head from turning where it continues to want to look; to my past!

I don't give much detail in these blog posts about how I used to live my life. But I'll break regular form for a minute and throw you a metaphorical glimpse. There was a time when it felt as if I had a genie in a bottle. Everything I had ever dreamed of having, I was given. But it was tainted and when I let God open my eyes to it I could see that it was no genie, that my dreams were vain and destructive, and that I had fallen so deeply into the trap, the time of escape was quickly passing me by. So I looked up from the bottom of this pit of self-indulgence and grabbed the rope that was almost out of my reach. God pulled me up and I'd like to say I haven't looked back since but obviously that's not true. Otherwise I wouldn't be curled up, cutting off the circulation to God's leg with the pressure of my turn-tempted head.

If I've ever been addicted to anything, it would be to 'me'.

Awww, poor little girl! Not drugs, alcohol or gambling! The poor thing is addicted to herself! Let's drop all these support groups and funding and focus on Crissy who is really in trouble!

Yeah, and that's the guilt that follows when I'm reminded of the superficial nature of my nature. But I'm cursed with constant introspection (or self-scrutiny if you really want to put a picture to it) and it's what I've figured out about myself. That, of course, being half the addiction!
It's a subtle sin. Not one anyone else would notice, when I have it under control, but only I know that I'm fighting. It's a lonely sin. It involves a universe in which I exist to perpetuate the existence of said universe. And I'm aware of it. Which, once again, is where 'the leg' comes into the scene. A self created universe can exist without God's presence only if He's not invited. (I'd use the analogy of 'A vampire can only enter your house if you invite him in' but it seems somehow vulgar, so I won't) So I invite Him and He stands between me and the wave of destruction that actually will stop at this untouchable wall of .....well, a foot....and protects the fragile clinging woman.

It's the story of my life...... that phrase I began this blog post with, and I stumbled upon it while randomly leafing through my notebook. It stood alone on the top of the page, waiting for me to find it when I needed it. That's the story of my life, too.



'He still moves stones.'
The flyer caught my eye and it seemed silly to me, the image that came into my mind. Jesus Christ, crouched down pushing little piles of gravel around like a kid on a sidewalk. I walked away from my register a bit to read the smaller print.

'Experience the power of Easter'.

Oh. Duh, right...big stone....grave. I'd forgotten about Easter coming. I don't see how! Surrounded by pastel candies and big eared chocolate bunnies stacked next to the convection crosses in the store with the flyer about stones. I must be working on forgetting.

And I take a breath and muse on my contemplations of why I think too much.
And the boulder I'm pushing along with me through the evening prompts questions of concern from working friends. I don't seem myself. No, I'm a bit low tonight...rock perched on my shoulders...slowing me down a bit.
The huge chunk of mountain-side chained to my waist drags my steps as I think and pray of my fear, misery, and devastating circumstances.
The depressed and hopeless countenance I'm sporting walks with me briefly past the newspaper rack. Habit reads the headlines as my feet continue to pass by.
But my feet force a stop and the unmanageable weight on my shoulders is liquefied to a greasy black shower of self consuming guilt. Horror rereads the title.

'Tot's death deemed an accident'.

Oh God!
Oh dear God!

Once again, you reveal my mountains to be nothing but pebbles.

Happy ......Easter!

Taking in my surroundings I acknowledge the value of standing in the epicenter of human priority in America. And it's only appropriate that a song from my past is ringing through the supermarket speakers as I work and absorb and write. The seasonal peanut butter eggs sit in front of me with the cigarette case to my back. The tabloids screaming of infidelity and weight loss are placed in 6 strategic 'buyer potential' areas while the daily newspapers are on two racks in the front with me. In a few hours copies of the morning edition will arrive. I'll place them in stacks in a cart by the main walking area and throughout the day the stacks will shrink and disappear as shoppers grab their Sunday paper, milk and assorted necessities and luxuries. They'll read of another country's devastation, as they did last month, and some will skip to the coupon section while others reflect on the tragic loss befalling a distant neighbor, hidden on page 14.

I feel Americans are given an unfair reputation as, I can safely assume, are every other collection of humans identified as a whole by the name of their country. We do this because of the similarities a mass population shares such as language, laws, traditions and social norms. And just maybe we gain a strategic edge by blurring individualistic lines of a potential foe into one regional identity. How much easier is it to sink a distant ship than to drown a man with your own hands?

But I direct this back to the beginning at the mention of the song playing in the background. The lyrics focus on the artist's past addictions. Ironically it's a song from a CD I owned that has long since been collected and passed on to the thrift store with many other reminders of a reckless and senseless time in my own life. This was a part of the 'cleaning of my environment' as it were, to be able to start on a new path, much like the writer of the song was doing as he looked back to the bridge and sung of moving forward. And in focusing on the renewal God has made of my often frivolous and sometimes meaningful existence, I find the value in the concept of individuality.

Working with the public allows you insight into a myriad of individual personalities, which is why I work the night shift. I can only take small chunks of society at a time.

But in these little bursts of customers throughout the dark hours, the differences in their attitudes and overall perspectives of little and large events sneaks it's way through to me.

Some people are optimistic of the future. More seem pessimistic of the present while still others are not aware of anything outside their own sphere of day in and day out living. It seems inaccurate to conglomerate and package together as a mass consciousness these singular perspectives on this piece of land out here to the west.

And of course these individuals in America that I watch shopping in different aisles at 3 in the morning live their own stories. Diapers, organic produce, medications, arms full, baskets full, carts pushed up to the redhead cashier who talks to them as she rings them through. We laugh about the birthday cake for the 2 year old who doesn't even know he's two and I congratulate the lucky mailman who was off for both days the snow storms hit, and my eyes follow the select few who are looking for a clean bathroom and a warm refuge that I allow to walk around the store and pretend they might purchase something.

And as the night continues on, the morning paper makes its way onto front seats and kitchen tables and television stands. Some of the individuals in America will reflect on the individuals that are suffering through the rebellion of our shared planet. Some of these individuals residing in America will call loved ones and cry over a mutual loss traveling abroad. Others will scan the Internet to assess the damage done and any possible route to help alleviate some distant but very real pain. These particular individuals have recognised individuality. How valuable this realization is to them! No longer does the Earth appear insurmountably vast, but is acknowledged as a homestead. Disconnected no more by property lines, restricted air space or unscaleable heights these brothers and sisters of humanity mourn each loss and revel in the victorious stories of lives spared. No country, principality or nation can boast of such an insight being characteristic of their people. Only individuals. A man sitting in his living room, a child hearing the news in school, a woman on a plane passing over a broken world; individuals who decide to share the pain through their mourning souls. I think I may have found the lost species of Human I've heard so much about but have long doubted it's existence.

And as images form of Christ and the angels watching the humans trip over each other in their quest to get to where they think they need to go and survive for the sole purpose of not dying, love must've swelled for their all powerful God. This master Creator doesn't see the swarms of billions of feet below. He knows individuality. He created individuality. And he doesn't have to peek over the clouds to find a man praying; He knows the man and feels his prayer and already has His hand working through this individual's circumstances.
Easter is here again. It's my 35th. I've experienced every sort of candy known to pre-packaged holidays throughout these years and Easter has become my favorite. Chocolate is great. Spring is refreshing and Easter doesn't last 2 months like Christmas does. Fleeting thoughts of the meaning behind the cross I'm eating satiate my guilt for not being moved by 'the true meaning' of Easter anymore. In all my experiences of getting in and out of trouble, praying, thanking God for answering my prayers, getting into trouble again etc... I've allowed my idea of God to become a distant mass of 'Power' and 'Awesome...stuff' and 'Goodness' I think of occasionally when I look up into the sky. How unjust.


Moments of waste; Value eternal.

While walking through the days with Time on my heels, tapping my shoulder now and again, my thoughts consistently loom over the optimism of death. It's so often been my hope, the promise of 'now' not being my future, but 'then'.

Difficult my cage that binds me far beneath my shelter.
The Curse, knowledge seeing infinite within finality.
Left disappointed, God looks down on me;

"Gifts of love beyond the finite?
Purpose no immortal soul could bear?
Graciousless you curse the skin I've wrapped you in!"

As angels look on my life with envy, I stumble to find my role in a chaotic realm.
A perfect life lies waiting for me to pick it up; not beyond the veil but within the imperfection in which I'm cast.
An immortal soul tainted with mortality, is me.
A haggard weed given the chance to bloom and flourish in a barren land.
Being fed Almighty wisdom and watered with the promise of value, I repent and gorge on His sustenance.
Shortsightedness had blinded me again.
Is forever how long it will take me to learn His love?