Thursday, December 07, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Searches

I'm still thinking about what you said in the previous post--and I'm so grateful for all of you. Thank you--those words don't seem to be expansive enough for what I want to express.

My mind travels to gratitude today, and hope, and dealing with loss. I'm thinking about James Kim, the father who lost his life in a brave attempt to find rescue for his stranded family. I don't know them, but their circumstances feel so utterly mundane, so familiar--a family, driving, gets lost. How could the predictability of workaday life take such a tragic turn, spinning their world off of its axis? The answer is that it ALWAYS can. I lose sight of this very, very often, and fail to stop and glory in the comfort of things exactly as they are. James Kim was working from a very primal place--needing to help the people he loved most in the world. How extraordinary is the "ordinary" love I spend most of my time taking for granted. I hope the Kim family finds comfort in James Kim's enduring love for them, and I hope grace suffuses them at every turn.

So. Take a deep breath. You are loved. You are alive. Change is possible.

Poetry eludes me lately, and this latest "poem" is no exception. But I missed Poetry Thursday. Maybe if I keep trying to show up on faith, faith will meet me halfway.

Small and small
Can I fit myself into her eyes
And rest there
Complete as I am?

Wield words clumsy
Jigsaw makeshift armor
Knowing that one small finger
Can poke through the holes.

Her hand locks onto mine
We hold the china bowl tense
But would it be so terrible
If water splashed
Overflowed beyond?

I hold her
As together
We grope in the dark
For the desire lines of angels
And the fires that warm
Lit by unexpected sources.

For more poetry, go here.


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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


“I am just tired of living.”

That is what TEG told me a few nights ago when we were having one of our (increasingly) rare heart-to-hearts about non-Madam and non-work issues.

I was jarred to hear him say that, as he is usually the epitome of collected. It also made me feel instantly guilty—I’ve always been the “keeper of fun” in our relationship—the one who created the anticipation for our trips and holidays, who fashioned our lives into a rhythm of movies, dinners out, new museum exhibits. But lately, I’ve been hard pressed to find the fun myself. Part of that is the Madam, of course—it’s been sixteen months, but we’re all still adjusting to the changes she brings into our lives. I know I talk often about sleep, but that’s because sleep is more precious than rubies, more blessed than wisdom. I would trade sleep for…for….I’d do a lot for a whole night of uninterrupted sleep.

Outings have been curtailed. Movies are out of the question (we don’t have babysitting). We’ve left our families and extended friend circle on the other coast.

Also, it’s cold. Very, very cold.

And his work is all-consuming—like a fire that has burned away everything inside him that is not aimed at promoting the company’s success. He’s always been a man of few hobbies, preferring to spend all of his time on his beloved computer. But the strain of the company’s teetering status has started to strain his temper, turning most of his interactions into short, barked orders and tense one-liners. Only his daughter can coax a smile to his face. It’s been a while since I have—usually I am part of his problem. My moods, my mother-struggles. I fear I have become another burden to add to his stockpile.

So it stands that the three of us drag ourselves through each day, dutifully making our phone calls to clients (him), changing diapers and singing songs (me), throwing tantrums (well, she does it like it’s her job lately).

I’ve written before about my fear that I won’t be able to give Madam a happy, lively childhood, and my fear appears to be coming true.

Reading your blogs is a bit like warming my hands before an inviting fire. So many of you seem to have discovered the secret of joy—a deep joy, an attention to the present, that transcends fears and circumstances. How do you all do it? Find joy, find fun, find purpose? The thing is, I used to know. I feel as though you are all living in a land where I used to be a citizen, but I’m in exile. That was me! I want to proclaim. I used to find happiness in literature, in poetry, in music, in the faces of passersby in the street. I used to feel steeped in the sacred—in love, in passion. In my belief in God.

That was all me. It WAS. But it doesn’t feel that way any longer. And God feels very far away.

I don’t mean to write endless whines here—that was never my intention for starting this blog. I wanted this to be a place for me to explore my creativity, to practice my writing. But the writing feels halting, stifled, awkward. The writing reflects me.

I’m in a dark place. I long to see the light again.

(I WILL find positive things to post about, I will. Soon. Promise.)


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