the trees of the field


18 December 2014

I have this nasty habit- I'm a picker, a peeler, a scratch-er. I can't leave things alone. No hangnail is safe. Scabs quiver in fear. I undo myself again and again, perpetually prolonging the healing, inflicting scars where tiny scratches would have gladly disappeared. It is disgusting and, I'm sure, rather immature. As I said, I just can't leave things alone.

My lower lip has been dry and peeling for months. Months upon months. If I let it do its well-ordained, biological job it would pull itself together and be spiffy and smooth. Alas, I catch myself chewing on it (gross!) or even mindlessly nagging at it with my fingers. So, this bottom lip of mine remains spotted red with sad little wounds. Peels I can't leave un-pulled. I would slap my own hand if I had the gumption.

If you have suffered through the intensity of Black Swan you will fain to forget the scene wherein Natalie Portman pulls that horrific hangnail all the way up her finger. When I pick at my nail beds Jake often refers to me as the Black Swan- his not-so-subtle way of insinuating I need to cut it out.

All too often I find myself in this vein- frustrated that I remain blistered and broken, when I know darn well the ability to heal is deep seated. I've got it within me. I just can't let myself be unbroken. We're our own worst enemies and all that. And it is more complicated than simply choosing to be happy, choosing to be healthy, embracing joy. Habits are hard things to break and a pity party is the most difficult gathering from which to exit gracefully.

I'm so cozy here in my pathetic little cave of self-doubt, disappointment, and full-on moping. 

Sure, there are helpful actions to break the haze- exercise, laughter, camaraderie. A little bit of motivational pep-talking to myself. Getting things done. Eating well. Simple, small, daily steps.

Step, crawl, step.

I want to be happy. There is joy deep seated within me too, holding steady right next to that healing power. It is just that my current act of filtering out that haze, shaking off the funk, and pouring on the glitter is a sloppier one that I've known before. It is more of a pick-heal-pick-heal-pick pattern and I'm waiting for the morning that I'll wake up and realize that the healing got ahead of me and there is no scab left to pick.

On that morning, and in the meantime, I will recite this childhood favorite:
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)

All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands by Sufjan Stevens on Grooveshark

cubicle decor


16 December 2014

Three sticky notes. A quote on each, in my own cursive:

The vivacity of what was is married to the vitality of what will be. - Mary Oliver

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

Ours is a mission of caring for one human being by another. - Diane Stringer


Some days are long. Cubicle walls feel isolating. Reminders are necessary. 

for everything // 3


12 December 2014

A simple Friday list of things for which I am grateful today, an ongoing attempt to cultivate a thankful spirit...

+ Today I'm once again thankful that it is Friday and when my work day ends I will arrive at our quiet home to find Jake, Alice, two pups and a sassy, snugly cat waiting for me.

+ Last night Jake vacuumed, scooped the litter box, and loaded, ran and emptied the dish washer (all while I gave the babe a bath). This morning I cleaned the fridge. These tasks add up to my being that much more excited to arrive home this evening. In Uganda the saying "cleanliness is next to godliness" was quite popular, to which I reply an adamant "amen!"

+ This quote on forgiveness: I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night. (Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner)

+ I've been getting back to my roots and listening to Welcome to Our World, sung by Amy Grant, circa 1999. On repeat. Unashamedly. Because it is beautiful and makes me cry and reminds me of youthful Christmases of yore. Also, In the Bleak Midwinter. On repeat.

+ This text from Jake about Alice: "She's a really great kid. I can't wait to hear what she says."

+ This beautiful article on motherhood which brought me to tears repeatedly. An excerpt: I'd pushed and pushed and pushed my baby out of me so hard I felt like there was no part of me that wasn't him, felt that in pushing his body out, I'd pushed my own into absolute oblivion. I pushed so long that I forgot what I was pushing for, forgot that at the end of that final push there would be the baby who'd grown in me, this boy who was my son. But there, at last, he was. My unspeakably beautiful son...His every breath was a miracle. The ancient knowing of his eyes, a revelation. The fragile grace of his hands, an astonishment. I was a mother now. I would never truly sleep again.

That'll do. I'd love to read a note of something you're thankful for today too, be it grand or petite. Leave it in the comments, if you have a moment. Happy Friday.

for everything
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