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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oxygen

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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Just Write {141}

June 24, 2014

In small towns the retired men come to diners or coffee shops every single day, at the same time. If someone misses a day, the conversation is about what they might be doing. And today they’re talking a lot about the ceaseless rain, how high the dam water is, how the lakes are up to the point where docks are drowning. They’ve never seen it like this before. The server knows all of their names, or I should say, their nicknames, because almost all of them have one. Nicknames are as common as gossip here. I kind of want one. One of the old boys talks more than the rest. Some of them don’t say a word other than hello and goodbye. They are all weathered and gray-haired. The Talker laughs at his own jokes and isn’t afraid to admit that he tried to charge his cell phone with his razor cord. He [...]

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