Friday, October 16

Being too Comfortable?

(A letter I wrote to a friend, 03/05/2004)

I know the whole reason we are on this earth is to stretch these images of who we are. Like a big plastic girdle that jabs into our ribs and digs into our gut...and what you are saying is that I have adapted to the contraption. I don't shift it and pull at it like most people do right?
But what if I just think discomfort is overrated?
Either I am selling myself short by saying that, or I have shifted my focus to what I can live with right now. I know, I know, just another way of being complacent! Redundancy!
Ya know that song by Jewel that goes " Your standard of living somehow got stuck on survive"?
Well that's not me, but some days I realize that I am sitting very close to that out of necessity.
It is partially because of this warped sense of reality brought on by losing my Mom.

Death is so final. Having my Mom in my life was like having an elaborate colorful cozy rug, fluffy and soft beneath my feet. Her death was like having it ripped out from under me and the contrast of the hard cold gray concrete floor under my feet afterwards was so much to take at once.
And so now the flowers find their way into the cracks of the concrete and most days I can get out the colored chalk and design it with art. But man do those rainy days still come and wash it gray again. But the rain waters the flowers growing in the cracks too, so they can stay. Does that make sense? Are you still following the analogy?
Sometimes you have to process the pain...what's that saying about only rain can bring the rainbows?

Like you, I believe life has purpose. What I've lived through, what I still have to live though, has a purpose greater than me living through it.
So maybe part of me is resting for now. I think that is o.k. as long as I don't fall asleep and delude you into thinking I was just resting my eyes.

There is a song by Whitney Houston that goes...

If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you every step of the way
and I will always love you
my darling you

Bitter sweet memories
that is all I am taking with me
so goodbye, please don't cry
we both know I'm not what you need

I hope life treats you kind
and I hope you have all you've dreamed of
and I am wishing you joy and happiness
and above all this I am wishing you LOVE

The song is a techno version of the original with this kicking beat so when I listen to it, it is sad and freeing all at the same time. It both tears at my heart and pushes me forward. I think my Mom created this life so secure and optimistic and full of laughter and support, that if I continued to exist with it surrounding me I couldn't have grown like I am supposed to. Hence the line "We both know I'm not what you need". It was definitely what I WANTED to always continue wanting, but needs and wants are so different.
What you want is not necessarily what you need, but it is so wonderful if they can coincide. God has a plan for me and it may include heartache, but if he is my Dad and he loves me more than anything, why could I not trust that he had all my best interests in mind?

Faith. Hope. Love. The more life leads me on, the more I have to trust in a greater picture, a wide screen version that encompasses more meaning surrounding me. A selfish tunnel vision life makes no sense at all. Human connections and what we bring to each others lives is amazing.
I can see in the moment your eyes tear up, with the thought of even losing your own Mom, that the connection you have with her must be as great as the one I had with my Mom. I saw it too in the way you spoke of your friends, how you honor each of their life experiences and how far they have come, what they have chosen to create with their lives. Life is what you make it sure, but some days for me it lives in the meaning behind just one connection, whether it is making someone laugh out loud or saying something just right to make a Best Friend feel understood and that she is not alone in this world.

I will not be complacent ever. I try to honor the time and energy my Mom gave as a single Mom to her 3 kids. She gave so much of herself and we keep on keeping it alive in us. That is what I try to do. I hope I have you convinced.
Maybe it is that I am not too comfortable, but just under construction, or Beth's term, In the recovery room....for now.

~C

Cheesy and True

Jesus drives a taxi
I've seen Him
It's true

He'll pick you up
when you need a ride
you can hail him
he'll come through

he'll get you there fastest
he knows the city
like he knows you

he's just happy to drive you
if your willing to ride
just hop in
& enjoy the view!

~C

Swing

Swing High
into the sky
back again
feet brush the sand

~C

(p.s I wrote this in '93 I think...
my Mom kept it on her desk,
she loved it)

red red bird

Green green grass
against a gray gray sky
reflected into
your blue blue eyes
with a red red bird
in a white birch tree
with so much love
in a pink pink me

~C

Not as I say, Not as I do

Not as I planned
but what is?
Not what I want
but better yet
Not what I dreamed
but it'll do

Not as I say
Not as I do

Not what counts
but what matters
Not what kills
but renews
Not what's expected
but is best

Not as I say
Not as I do

Not what feels good
but what fills you
Not what robs
but restores
Not what hurts
but is sweet to my ears

Not as I say
Not as I do

It isn't about me
Lord,
it's about YOU.

~C

2:22

you are in a symphony of violins
in a flash memory of you hysterically laughing
head thrown back
neck all red
YOU WERE SO GOOD
you still are so easy to miss
peppermints
and stimudents
and tootsie roll pops in your purse
glasses to read
and Earl Gray Tea...
but mostly,
long hugs that communicated volumes
and glances that let me know you knew me like no one else
and an unconditional love that healed me again and again

nine years too long without you
bitter sweet happenings with your obvious absence
weddings without your happy tears
and grand babies born without your adoring kisses and hugs
friendship without your laughter
concerts and plays without your appreciation
sunsets without you to paint them
and gardens without you to water them
family gatherings without you to plan them
you are missing
yet you are here still
and you remind me

~C

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie

Her name is everywhere
as if Satan is trying to taunt me with it, get the better of me...
get me to crack
so nice try
and pretty diverse a selection of Maggie's everywhere...I'll give you that...
Street signs,
and cartoon characters,
Ice cream shops with the word "Moo's" attached,
Junk emails from someone with the same first name,
I hear people say the name in public
I hear it in movies
it is chanting from the baseboards...no not really...you'd be worried about me then aye?

but you know the beauty of all this?
It is the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
I should be cringing and ripping my hair out at the mention of that particular name
but instead it is almost humorous
(and P.S. I wonder if she hears "Christie" everywhere...)

It is so very awesome how God can take a huge gaping wound and bind it up and heal it with his light. He is so good to take me to such a deep place of forgiveness that I am able to conquer with Him, any attack, any reminder of the pain that caused such a wound.

So yeah I admit there is a scar there, it is shiny, and stands out...and yet it blends in too because...
God takes us through this life by our hand, and he knows it will hurt from experience, but he pours out His compassion and understanding...He walks slower when we resist, and he stoops to help us up when we stumble, and he is encouraging us the entire time...with His presence, with His word, with His completely faithful Love.
He is so patient with us but at the same time so persistent if he knows our lives need change, if he knows we need to change directions. All we have to do is listen, to respond, to trust Him.

I am in awe of what He has done in me. I am forever grateful to Him, for His promises that He keeps. For the work He is doing in my heart....transforming my mind more and more. It is such a pruning process, of cutting back and of growing pains and waiting for fruit to show. I get it now God, and the more I listen the more I hear, and the more I search, the more I find....

So I am not intimidated by her name. Hearing it before would wound me, weaken and disable something inside of me....but now....it strengthens me because I recognize that when I do hear it that I don't weaken, I no longer am wounded or disabled like I was.
I am strong in my weakness now.
In the way you do not realize what you have until it is gone, I now realize how strong I am when faced with the same things that made me so weak, so vulnerable and hurt before.

I don't know that her name will not ever awaken a part of me to certain memories, I am sure it may do so for my lifetime long. But I am not worried about it because God helped me gain an outside perspective, He took the stinger out of my memories....so that now it is a name I recognize as significant to my past, but one that will not taint my future.

~C

Tuesday, October 13

Illusion of Memories

Thinking of how things were
of distinct circumstances
isolated in their goodness
focused on the way I felt then
remembering it very selectively
protectively
and I can revisit
again and again
and reclaim that fulfillment
the brightness of that moment
frozen for all time
in my heart

~C

Too much of me

There is a song on the radio that sings
less of me, more of you God.
The more I focus on what is going on inside my own head, the more lost I feel
like I got turned around in the woods and there is no way to tell the way out,
distracted....disoriented....and then panic sets in, engrossed in my own problems.
If I check in , from an outside perspective and realize that I am stuck,
then I can pray about it.
and then I can ask God to carry my burden, I can lay it down.
But it takes the acknowledgement that I am in a funk
a spiritual awareness that I am off track
and then I am simply back on again
Thanks to God.

~C

Over-analyzer

Can a person think too much?
I cannot help it.
I tend to over do it I guess.
I sort ideas and examine situations and go over them with a fine toothed comb.
I don't make myself nuts doing this, rather it gives me a sense of completeness I think....like I have thought it through....thought of every possible angle.
I am pretty laid back, so all this thinking hasn't made me neurotic or anything.
I want to think that God designed me this way, not to annoy people and waste time, but for some greater purpose, I just need to figure that out.
How to fine tune or harness my approach to my life, and in the meantime I will just work it out with writing, mull it over on paper...

~C