July 2014

Just Write {146}

July 29, 2014

I was folding laundry, thinking, making piles. We don’t have a TV in any kind of way at this new place. It’s been almost two months in here and no one seems to notice. The kiddos have their iPad time and they call it good. They slip-n-slide and sidewalk draw and play some sort of terribly loud game in the basement with big plastic balls bouncing off the empty walls. They play with our new guinea pig, Butterscotch. They argue and fuss and fight, too. We had some kind of contraption hooked up to the Internet that would play us Hulu and Netflix but then it stopped working, so we stopped using it. No one seemed to notice. There are some things that you can pay more attention to if you fold laundry with no TV on. The sounds in silence. The way your body feels too tired to pick up even one […]

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Just Write {145}

July 22, 2014

I told her there are two kinds of people. Those that stick around when your life makes them uncomfortable, and those that don’t. The ones that draw back, pull away, go quiet…they don’t intend to cause pain. Maybe they just shut down, get scared and freeze. It feels like it is you that makes them uncomfortable and maybe it is, but what can you do? I have friends that don’t stop showing up whether they know what to say or do or not. They know my life is full of weeds right now and they keep coming along, grabbing close to the dirt and pulling with all their might until they fall backward, a big milkweed in hand, roots splaying out all over their dirty faces. Then they laugh and that makes me laugh and we point at each other. Or something like that. The pulling at weeds/not giving up analogy is about […]

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Just Write {144}

July 15, 2014

I was trying to describe unconditional love with an analogy. So I compared loving a person to loving a favorite book, and it went something like this (I will paraphrase and elaborate, I’m sure.): It’s as if you’re sitting with that book you love so much, and you say, I love everything about this book. Its cover, its story, its words and lines and pages. And I flip through the book and I devour it and marvel at its colors and lines, its magic. And then I come to a page that’s torn nearly off. The paper dangles by a few fibers and I’m all, uh oh. I could say, Oh look at that, it isn’t right. Not good. Not perfect. No way. I could toss the book aside, done. That page might fall out. That page makes it hard to read. That page is ugly. Of course a book can’t tape itself […]

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Here are the options: 1. Focus on what is going wrong, staying wrong, and has been wrong in the past, and what will surely be wrong in the future. (Not forgetting that “wrong” is relative.) 2. Focus on what is going right, staying right, has been right in the past, and will surely be right in the future. (Not forgetting that “right” is relative.)   Results of choosing #1:  UGH, GRRR, Blergh, Pffft…, eff this, I suck, you suck, we all suck, the end. (In other words, stay stuck.) Results of choosing #2: I will survive, I’m like a bird, hear me roar, stayin’ alive, baby I’m a firework, I’m a survivor and I’m gonna make it… (In other words, get shit done and move forward.)   Also. Guess what? I’ll be running a collaborative workspace for creatives/artists/writers and the like…in New London, the art mecca of West Central Minnesota. It’s downtown, in a […]

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Just Write {143}

July 8, 2014

It’s a cross tattoo, with the initials of her family in it. It has details I haven’t noticed before, so I asked to take a closer look. We laughed about some huge changes that make the skin ink a little tricky to take in. Then I asked about the date at the top of the cross and she said, hesitantly, her eyes rolling, That’s the date I…well, that’s when I was first “saved”… Why do you roll your eyes at that, I asked. I don’t know…it’s just that I haven’t been all that close to God all the time. And I’ve made some big mistakes… I wanted to shout HE LOVES YOUR FACE OFF, SILLY HEAD. Tattoo or no tattoo, date or no date, air quotes saved or air quotes not saved. He loves your face off. Instead we talked about praying a certain prayer to get “saved” and remembering the date. We […]

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July 3, 2014

I pulled up behind the buildings of Main Street, in the alley, by the dam. I work from the Middle Fork Cafe a lot, and love the food, atmosphere and small town regulars. The owner babysat my sister and I when we were kids, and she’s still a friend, because that’s how it works around here. Hi Heath, she calls from the kitchen when I walk in. I had pulled up at the same time as Kim did, her truck backed up to the door of her vintage store, The Dancing Goat. (Not a dance studio for goats.) She asked me if I noticed the blue car by the dam. Then she explained that it is there all the time, an old man in it, homeless. She said no one really knows what to do, but there he is, for the last couple of weeks or so. She knows I was a social […]

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Just Write {142}

July 1, 2014

We can talk for hours and still have few answers since some answers are impossible to uncover. But it’s still good to talk it over, to feel the comfort of an I don’t know, and a Me either. In the middle of all the change and growth, the pain and grief, there is more than enough I don’t know. There are days to be stuck in that and days to let it go. Being stuck doesn’t mean staying stuck. We change despite ourselves, especially if we are well loved. And aren’t we always, if we’re really paying attention? If you can’t always feel something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If it goes unsaid for a time, it is only unsaid, not gone. There is someone near me who needs help, I’m going to go give it. Can you feel that? The way it heals to move from Self to service? It is […]

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