Saturday, October 14, 2017

Unpublished, from April 2014, when so much lay ahead, and grey indeed...

The ghost of change hovers just ahead
just beyond sight
where the path is grey and blurred and the shadows play.
As the winds blow
so cold
and I struggle to remain on my feet,
I gaze ahead
ever ahead
and strain to make out the indistinct patterns.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Light and Healing

 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
 12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
This sounds like a promise to me. Perhaps I'm doing all right after all...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Year of Light

As another year commences, the storm around my soul shrieks as though banshees are riding it and are either having a really great time of it, or are being tortured to death; I can't quite figure out which. Both situations probably sound the same. 

Last year's theme, Triumph at Daybreak, has been whipped and lashed by the storm, and I still struggle to make sense of it. I feel firmly that I was not in error in choosing that theme. Perhaps, however, I was in error for being so self-serving as to think it would be my own dawn. No, the day which broke was not mine. I brought it. Or, rather, I carried it on my wings, which I had thought too damaged to fly. The daybreak was not for me. It was for another, who is only beginning to see it for what it is. The triumph was shared. All nights must end! And those which seem most endless leave us unable to recall what light is or to recognize it when it appears.

Light? What light? There is darkness and hail and harsh wind that threatens to rip me into shreds, which laugh and taunt as they torture me. What is light? How can I carry it to another and yet not see it myself? How can I have no strength left and yet give it to those around me? And for that matter, how can such a tempest threaten my very being and yet barely be perceivable to everyone else? 

Last year, I confidently and faithfully anticipated a time of vindication, a return to the peace and calm which I have always felt should exist within me, a restoration of that immense joy which made my very existence seem justified and perhaps even wonderful. 

I was wrong.

The closest I got was a distraction, a new obsession with which to put freedom from my mind in order to learn of and hone new talents and abilities in the service of others. And I am grateful. It's been a wondrous experience, and I shudder to think what state I would be in now if I hadn't had such beautiful opportunities. I am stronger, wiser, tougher, braver, and more enduring.

And then my mother died.

Despite the love and support offered to me by so very many, I felt utterly alone. I always do. That's part of my quest. My own journey dictates that I must face my greatest demons alone. I will be loved and encouraged and given words of consolation, which will roll right off me as though I am immune to their tonic, but only I hold a sword. Perhaps that is as it should be; it's ever been in my nature to run to others for help. I always want someone else to save me. But only I hold the sword! And I have wings. Learning to use them has been painful and terrifying, and I am saddened that I cannot use them to soar due to the ferocity of the storm and the demons, but they have kept me aloft and saved those I serve.

Light. I know not upon whom the light will shine, but I know well whence it cometh. Whether I carry it to others or bask in it myself, whether it shines as broadly as the sun or as fleetingly as a dim candle, it will be a gift and a blessing. My wings are weary and ragged, my sword is blood-stained, and my load is heavy as I continue to weather the storm and battle the demons alone.

But the light will come. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't Tell Me to Get Over It

A Guardian on the Death Watch
The Watch is Over

That wasn't easy to endure. Well, duh, right? But it left me far emptier than even I would have suspected, and I did expect it to shatter me. However, it's now been 3 months and I still feel just as raw, just as empty, just as shattered, just as fragile. As though a part of me is in that box, in the cold ground, rotting.  And it is. Oh, it is. Who can explain to the uninitiated the bond between a nurturing, empathic mother and her nurturing, empathic daughter after years of battling the harsh world together? In a relationship where much is communicated through tone of voice, facial expression, and deep understanding of one another, words themselves are mere embellishment.

But now those words are silenced by a divide that cannot be traversed by the living, and the dead are restricted from free communication with those they left behind.

Oh, I'll be fine. I'm a warrior. A survivor. This will not conquer me. But perhaps it's not unreasonable, given these circumstances, that it's taking me a bit longer than one might anticipate. Be patient. I always come out fighting.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Glittering Haven

I'm one of the most casual people I know. I hate formality. But I've also always had quite a bit of anxiety. Even when there's nothing pressing going on, I often feel rushed to get things done so I can go on to the next thing. Sometimes I miss out on truly enjoying myself because I can't relax my nerves. 

But today, I am abandoning such ways. Today is mine. 

Okay, not really. I drove a van-load of girls way up into the Sierras to Young Women Camp for church. But once I finished helping them get all their stuff to their cabins, I was free. 

There's a picnic area just a few miles down the road from there. I'm by myself now. I don't do much by myself. When I was younger, I was too codependent. Now I just don't have many opportunities and it feels awkward. But I wanted a place to stop and eat my lunch. 

There's a small river running through this spot. It's deliciously cold and soothingly bubbly. A small beach alongside it is covered with butterflies of various sizes and colors. My favorites are the tiny periwinkle-colored ones. The outside of their wings are moonlight-silver with little black specks, so when they land, they close their wings and are instantly camouflaged on the glittering sand. 

The water in front of me flows around some large boulders and a few fallen logs. These obstructions cause the murmur and bubbles and trickles that make the river so musical. 

The sun is high and the scent of the forest is thick in the warm air. If it's this hot way up here, it must be sweltering down in the dusty, smoggy valley. But here the sky is a deeper blue than the valley ever sees, and my lungs are grateful for the respite. It feels clean. 

I've sat along the bank long enough for my feet to dry and for the butterflies to forget that I'm here. There are people down in that valley who await my return, and I probably ought to get going. But this is my moment, and I will not miss out on it out of anxiousness. I will drink in the gentle sun and sweet forest breeze and song of the little river until I'm ready to leave here.  I will not miss this moment by worrying about the next one. Right now, I am here. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

If Religion Doesn't Uplift You, It Isn't Religion.

As my son humbly and worthily blessed the Sacrament bread in church, I gratefully felt the Spirit ensconce me. My heart wanted reach out and bring everyone I love into the room, so that they might sit and feel be washed over with peace.

It makes me ache to realise how so many people have been turned away from Christ and from religion itself by the inappropriate attitudes and actions of those who do wrong, claiming to do so in the Name of the  Saviour.

Christ has never condoned such atrocities. Cruelty, lack of compassion, unrighteous judgement, abuse, and other such sins and misdeeds could never represent God in any way.

I glanced up at my teenage daughter  as the Sacrament bread, blessed by her teenage brother, was passed. Her eyes were closed in reverence, and I was enveloped in the sweetness of the Spirit that dwelt there.

I would that all might partake, not in a spirit of religious conquer or to save their souls from hell, but to uplift them in their quest for happiness and to battle the evils of the cold world. We're all fighting. We're all struggling to get by in one way or maybe in several. We're all in this together. Let us come together, then, and be strengthened in the peace, love, and goodness that will work miracles in our lives and change the world.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Road Lengthens

The sun lowers on another beautiful day.  That's actually a problem where I live; we have too many beautiful days each year, and thus are usually in drought conditions.  But somehow we still manage to have green (or sorta green) lawns and ripe orchards and lush vineyards and happy cows. So it takes actual effort to appreciate the beauty of another lovely day, since we have an overabundance of them and overabundance leads people to take things for granted.

But today, I've noticed the depth of the clear blue sky and the richness of the fat green leaves and the sparkle of the little ripples the gentle wind created on the canal water.  I felt the balmy air and was grateful.  And maybe that's the first step.

Because I've forgotten what makes me really happy.  I've been neglecting friends and duties and responsibilities, because weariness of soul creates weariness of body.  And thus, I'm always tired.  I need more sparkle.  I can give light and love and nourishment to others; I can soothe their souls and save their lives and help them to remember that they matter; I can rock them to sleep and be the starlight that watches over them in the night and the sunlight that smiles them awake in the morning. And I deeply love doing those things.

But I can't remember what makes me really happy.

I love baking cookies and seeing them being devoured voraciously.
I love the sea and the bubbles that kiss my feet as I brace myself upon the windy shore.
I love the silence of the sunrise as it bravely creates a new day full of hope and promise.
I love the brilliance of the sunset as it mercifully carries the glaring brightness away.
I love the still coolness of the night, lit by magic and woven with mystery.
I love the silver moon and it's gentle light, sweet as a song only my soul can hear.
I love the trees in full leaf, rich and strong and alive!
I love the wind that blows carelessly, playfully, tauntingly, through the branches and through me.
I love the clouds that decorate the sky, the stars the glitter in the night, the smell of fresh-mown hay.

But what makes me happy?

What am I missing?

My God is not missing.  My faith is not missing.  My family adores me.  My purpose is clear.

So what pulls me down to the dark recesses of my soul, dims the light within even while I shine it for others? I know not, save that the demons resent my work and my light and the love I give so easily, because those are my gifts.  Perhaps that is actually the only answer.

I don't know what i'm missing. But if you find it, please give it to me.

In the meantime, it is my duty to see the blue sky and the green leaves that shine against it, to drink the breeze and sing the night.  For gratitude is the beginning of happiness, and that is the road I choose.  I can't promise to arrive very soon, but you're welcome to come along for the journey.  We'll get there eventually, and my hand is soft and comforting.