Category Archives: Uncategorized
We’re down here searching the night sky for your star.
I say we.
I know I’m not alone in this.
Do you hear our eyes asking? Is it this one? That one?
Do you see our faces confused and wondering?
Can you hear the hope in our pounding hearts?
I pick one and make a wish on light that left the source a million years before breath filled my lungs.
What else is there to do but wait another million years to stop searching? To stop wishing against reality?
In a world of endless sequels and reruns, accepting that a story has ended is nearly impossible.
So we tell your story as best we remember it,
And we look for stars.
When she sang it was in this thin reedy voice that set everyone on the church’s teeth on edge. She was so tiny and thin and leathery that it was incredible and defied reason that such a sound could come out of such a body. It did. It was awful. But seriously how are you going to tell a little old lady that she sounds like someone’s killing cats when she sings? When she raises her skitchery and loud voice to the skies in praise of the Lord? No, you will not say one word and I myself chose not to sing for fear that I might sound terrifying too. Read the rest of this entry
I was accosted the other day at Costco by a woman selling Juice+, some kind of supplement that probably has value but I wasn’t in the mood. Costco makes me grumpy on a good day much less when I feel attacked in the freezing cold produce dungeon. She saw my basket full of vegetables and took it upon herself to try and convince me it would be better to take a pill than have to eat “all those vegetables”.
Who does that? I can see trying to wrestle the carton of Ben and Jerry’s out of my greedy paws, although I would recommend that you not actually try this, but vegetables? You want me to put back my whole basket of the healthiest food I could eat? You really think a pill can beat out green smoothies, juices and salads?
It wasn’t just her though that seems to get more aggressive the more I say no. I’ve been followed by the Dish satellite salespeople at Wal Mart, a magazine salesman was getting pretty mouthy with me on our porch until he saw my tall tattooed husband come around the corner of our house to see what all the fuss was about, and don’t even get me started on the Jehovah’s Witness people in our area. Does selling Jesus door to door really work anyway? Bless their hearts I know they mean well but I do have to restrain the urge to open the door fast enough that they fall off the steps.
Really I’m not a violent person…generally speaking.
I’ve just had it with aggressive salesfolk. If I see you approaching with your sales face on and I shout no and start backing away – do not keep coming! No means no and the more you push the less likely I am to even entertain the idea of getting some information on your product! I sell things too – I sell my art, I sell my books, I sell Young Living essential oils and other than maybe sending out one too many tweets or going overboard now and then on Facebook postings (I mean you CAN un-friend me!) I don’t push and I never will.
Well I don’t push…unless you’re on my porch selling things I’ve said I don’t want and then I make no promises!
I have a friend who misses something in the South. An unworkable situation tangled with regret and love and the knowledge that it can’t be made workable and life must go on as it is. None of that stops the heart wanting what it wants, “Ulysses Everett McGill: Pete, it’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.” Truer words have never been spoken as I too have always missed people and things in the South: magnolias, soft summer nights, tea that is brewed as God intended and most of all my daughter. Now she and her wife have given me two more people to miss. Twin girls to add to my list of things to cry about as I get out of the car at the airport to return to the dry beautiful elitism of Colorado. Every time I say I won’t cry and every trip I do, just as I did every school year when I took Morgan to the first day of school and cried all the way to my school and then later work. Leavings are just painful no matter what you do.
I grew up in Texas and while it’s different than Georgia (of course it is don’t be ridiculous!) it is also similar in many ways. Read the rest of this entry
I am starting to think as a culture and a country we are suffering from complicated grief. We don’t seem to get over things anymore much as someone who has been hit time after time by life gets to a place where stuck-ness and sadness and rage become a constant state of existence.
We lack rituals for transitions unless you count sports events and I don’t. We don’t acknowledge that our children going from our laps to their peers hurts. The little girl who you used to take with you everywhere becomes a teen who hates you. It’s temporary but the little girl is gone and you must find something to love in this new creature giving you the finger. Saying goodbye to the younger child can be critical to forming a new relationship with a teen and then an adult and then a newlywed, etc.
Much time when I was still a therapist was spent helping parents acknowledge the sadness underneath their anger. Acknowledging that the 8 year child is gone and missed and this 14 year old isn’t much fun usually shifted everything to more solutions and less complaining. Rituals of saying goodbye and mourning the change helped immensely. Read the rest of this entry
It takes me five minutes and five dollars to run in an pick up these containers of grass for the cats. Junah loves them most and he will run over and start nibbling right away. For some reason it lessens my guilt a little that the cats can’t go outside anymore, other than in their catio, and wander the outdoor world like they used to. It bothers me a lot to have them indoors all the time. I worry about their health even though outdoors their health was at greater risk in theory. I worry about their mental health so I play with each of them every day to try and keep life interesting. If we didn’t have coyotes the size of tanks around here I’d probably let them go but man, these guys are huge and since I have not seen a cat roaming since we’ve been here I have no doubts why they hang around the town home areas so often.
I don’t miss the house we lived in but I do miss the small town. I don’t miss the commuting but I do miss the backyard and watching the cats chase each other in it. I miss sitting outside at night listening to the sound of neighbors talking and watching the moon rise. Someday it’s in my plan and hopefully the Great Whatever’s that we’ll own enough land to feel free again in the next 3-5 years.
I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not a certified anything and have no theological training. I’ve read the Bible in different versions and got lost in the contradictions although I did enjoy the rhythms of language in the King James Version. I’ve explored every religion or philosophy that has ever caught my fancy and what follows are my opinions, of which I have many and which I prefer to deliver unsolicited when you’re not looking.
The title for this post comes from the catch I get in my throat whenever I try to say the word, the name, God, out loud. I hesitate. My throat closes even when I’m talking to Him, Her, It in the quiet of my own mind.
I thought for a long time it was happening because of my less than pleasant experiences with organized religion from childhood. It wasn’t horrible it just wasn’t enlivening. Frankly it was at best boring unless my Uncle George was preaching and because I swear he has a direct channel to G-G-God even as a kid you just had to put the tic tac toe game down and listen up. His passion for Christianity is boundless and the most pure I’ve seen in a human. Me, not so much.
I’ve tried calling God, God, Goddess, Mother-Father God, Great Spirit, Source, Spirit and finally to quote Martha Beck, The Great Whatever. The Great Whatever sums it up for me but it’s hard to keep explaining what you mean by that in conversation.
On the other hand it’s hard to explain the word God as it’s used in popular culture and that is still the male deity similar to Santa Claus who watches us 24/7 and hands out rewards such as touch downs and victories in war if you’re good and say your prayers and takes it all away if you forget to brush your teeth one night. Which by the way don’t do that, you’ll regret it in the morning and so will the person and/or pet sleeping next to you.
I don’t say God because I don’t want the package that comes with it. I don’t want someone cursing next to me and then apologizing, like I give a shit about their use of profanity. I don’t want the sideways looks or the catches of breath or the assumptions that I have a tiny Bible tucked in my bra. Although I do sometimes toss a cell phone and $20 bill in there I can assure you there’s no Bible.
I don’t say God because I don’t want to be lumped in the small but astonishingly loud percentage of Americans who have turned the image of God into a rigid bossy little bastard who seems very concerned that I not have access to birth control, or any reproductive rights for that matter, but is making sure that every man on the planet can have a free lifetime supply of Viagra.
I don’t say God because I don’t want anything labeled for me especially something as deep and wide as God which when labeled is suddenly reduced to something which I cannot recognize. I also don’t want to be shoved in a box and ascribed a narrow set of behaviors that come with the word which typically follows God and that’s Christian.
I would love to identify as Christian if it simply meant I do think Jesus was one of a series of incredibly powerful dudes that have come along throughout time to help us stumble through our evolution without blowing up the entire world. I don’t want to be in the syrupy harsh judgmental fakeness of the terrified masses who believe out of the fear of what might happen if they don’t believe. Why our popular concept has become that group alone I don’t know but I don’t like it. I’m guessing it’s because that group can get pretty loud at times.
Like many others I believe in something Other because I have felt Its hand on my back when I was in danger or near death. Or when I wanted to kill myself or someone else. Or give up entirely on everything. I believe because I feel a deep slow heartbeat when I quiet my restless mind enough to listen. It’s certainly not my heartbeat and for the reasons given I can’t and won’t even try to define what it is or where it comes from but it is there. I hear it loud and clear.
I like what Jesus is recorded as saying. I also like what Buddha said and Mohammed, Lao Tzu, Martha Beck and that guy who wrote “Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don’t Like Christianity”. Smart, wise people who are doing their best to help the rest of us get there too are worth reading.
I do say the word God in my heart where no one can hear and interpret what I mean.
I say God when the color of the air at twilight strikes me with a peace so deep I can’t help but cry and think if my dying day is going to be anything like day dying into night then I don’t mind so much.
I also say Goddess, Yahweh, Christ and Abba. I say Father and Mother, Source and Spirit. Most of the time I say “Help!” hoping something or someone will hear me.
Here’s the thing that really burns my waffles the most though and that is – why does anyone care what I say or what I believe? Say your word and I’ll say mine. I’m guessing I’ll see you wherever we end up anyway regardless of labels.
You can call me names, try to limit those I love, make a bunch of asinine laws and protest funerals but in spite of all that I’ll do my best to love you while we’re on the planet together. Because that’s what Jesus really would do.