glimpses of now

September 12, 2014

I didn’t have coffee until after ten o’clock this morning. This is unheard of, really. I am one of those people that pours my first cup of joe with my eyes half open, on the way to the shower. And then I wonder, every time, why I didn’t just wait until after the shower because it gets a little cold on the bathroom counter, waiting for me.

The best mornings are when I can pour that first cup with my eyes half open and then sit in my pajamas on the couch. Lately I need slippers. Minnesota is showing us her master plan for winter early. We are nervous about what she has up her sleeve, but we are pretending, and sometimes meaning, that we love the crisp reminder to snuggle in, wrap up, slip on soft things.

Lately there is so much to do, more than ever. My body is different because of it. More hunched, tight, sore. I feel my age more than ever before, maybe even older. This is what it is to move forward, keep going, plod on, soft or not.

The last time I was a server I was almost twenty years younger. My feet would only hurt if I worked a double. My back? Never. It was so much easier, though I remember being exhausted, it wasn’t exhaustion. Now I go from the cafe, to our new building, to mow or paint or bring in vintage furniture. Then I rush home, to change the laundry, fight the pile of dishes, mow the lawn. (I will not miss mowing this winter.)

This is not complaining. This is just a story about life as it is right now. My three little troopers seem to get a kick out of mom’s jobs. They love The Middle Fork, especially its caramel rolls. They love The Building, how it’s hours. How they can help. How it sits across the street from the park.

There is no longer a fight in me, against the work. Against the grind. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe I’m just too tired. Maybe I’m doing things I love to do. Maybe it’s just time.

Life is work and work is life and then we get to have love and the smallest and biggest of beautiful things.

I am sometimes straining my neck to see ahead, to plan, to dream. Nothing is bad about that. Unless I am pulling my eyes from today and right now, I can’t be doing that. It’s too intense. It’s such a relief. And I’m so tired.

:::::

I can hear a voice around the corner and I know that voice. It’s a friend’s voice. At the table in front of me is a face I recognize but can’t place. Maybe I see her mother in that face. Maybe I knew her when she was four. She is texting madly and eating a caramel roll. Of course.

The kids have a good good friend in the girl across the street from where I rent. They rode the bus for the first time because she wanted them to come along with her. They have never wanted to brave it before. I understood. The bus can be hard. I can remember the cussing the hair pulling, the bullying and the cliques. But just as so many other things, I also remember learning to rely on my friends, find safety in support, and eat the caramel out of the candy bar before the chocolate. I learned to look to Bob, the driver, for his kind eyes and the way he’d constantly check back, unable to keep up with all of it. I learned to talk to him when I got off and on. I learned to wait in the cold.

I found my Jenna, my lifelong friend. And I still travel those same dirt roads to get to her. The roads we bumped along from the back of the bus, together.

Hard is always redeemed, I believe that right down to my slippers-needing toes.

 

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Just Write 152

September 9, 2014

I walked home in the dark, along the sidewalk, past the pond and in the stillness. It was such a beautiful night for a head-clearing walk. Sweatshirt weather. This small town quiet is a good match for sweatshirt weather. Only one car passed by, the whole time I walked, and people had their windows open to their settled-in houses. I could feel the breeze in their rooms, like we were sharing something.

My phone rang as I rounded the corner to home. A friend calling to break bad news, to ask for prayers for a family. Just like that, the father and husband was gone. In his sleep. Just like that, a man around my age, gone. No breathing, no heartbeat, as if he were only a breath himself.

You just never know, she said.

Yes, I’m so sorry.

And you don’t. You don’t know. I don’t know. There are far too many things to not know and so we live. We walk in the dark and we hold hands with our children, our loves. We must take risks and let go. We have to fight to surrender. We have to kick fear in the guts. We can drift off to never and we think it would never happen to us, but we’re all just the same.

So I try to remember, this is one wild and precious life, and it’s going to be okay, and this moment right here is just exactly where I need to be, no matter how it feels to me, or how little I know.

Breathe deep the crisp night air and leap. If you must, do it for those who have drifted away to never and everywhere at once. Those that I trust to meet again in the Ever, do it for them.

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This is the 152nd installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. There are really no rules, besides Just Write! (Then link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word?



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Just Write 151

September 2, 2014

There is a kind of tired that feels so good while it also hurts to not be able to move your arms without hating painting. The kind that comes after hard work, together. After finishing something, or working your way (slowly) toward finishing. It’s hard to keep going and everything is screaming that I’m OLD, but it’s worth it. Like childbirth. Only not.that.painful. We are painting and painting at the Cre8tive Escape building, getting ready for our first creator’s retreat in the ginormous room downstairs next weekend. NEXT WEEKEND. We have had helpers, people who care about us and come to roll on paint or scrape the old carpet glue off the cement floor. We pay them with….love. (How nice and generous, huh?) I thought you might want to see what the ginormous room looked like before:   Ironically, the words on the wall from the previous renters of the downstairs space say [...]

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Just Write {150}

August 26, 2014

It was a stifling kind of humid this weekend and then just like that, it lifted. That’s Minnesota. It’s a “just like that” kind of place. This morning it’s so chilly I’m glad I closed the windows last night. I sit here now with slippers on. The air around me smacks of autumn, and so do all the back to school Facebook posts of yesterday. We still have this one week before the call of the fall schedule. This one week, to shift gears, let go, and start again. Sometimes people say, We’re ready! and I think they mean they have all their school supplies and the clothes that fit the season and the growing children. If they mean they are mentally and emotionally prepared, they need to be teaching the rest of us. I haven’t met a mother (or any guardian of a child’s life and heart) that feels ready for such [...]

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