Boredom’s Eulogy

I’m pretty well sure that boredom is the devil’s work. Spinning out from a semi-productive day and when you sit down to relax, it raises its ugly head. Not enough, it whispers. Nobody to talk to. Nowhere to go. Empty, empty life. 

I’ve wallowed this winter, I think, and let boredom get the upper hand. So these days, when I rise to shake it off I feel my knees shake. They’re out of practice.

Time for a walk. Podcasts, music, I don’t care, just take those steps and feel the miracle that is strong, sure legs.

Maybe to clean an old drawer or closet. Stacking and sorting and throwing out a grocery bag full of years old geography quizzes.

Time for music, the best kind – I’ll be bossy and say it – the Classical kind. Just sit for a minute and let yourself slow, slow down and be happy for where you are.

Sit and read. Of the very book you like best, and don’t try too hard to impress anyone else.

Do something that is a little bit scary-new, like visiting an art museum by yourself. Talk to a stranger there. Don’t run away.

Buy fruit or vegetables from little old men under umbrellas, by the road, on the back of a truck. They surely will be grumpy but…that’s the point.

Or pray. Without ceasing. About the craziest things that lurk in your mind. About your health, sins and the vaguest of fears for the future; and your husband and that person you don’t know very well but can’t get out of your head.

The world is too big and God is too good, to be bored.

I’ve been told it’s a bad word.

As they say here, “Can I get an amen?”

 

 

Speechless

I’ve had a whole lot of nothing floating around in my head these days.

Or at least, there are things…but they won’t hold together into a whole blog post.

It’s been a jumble of pool floating, book quotes, eating more lettuce, watching Marvel movies and not judging someone with a selfie stick.

Sometimes change is a jump in the deep end, and sometimes you just look at yourself clubbing a cockroach or cooking squirrel and think – who am I?

I promise I’ll get back to writing more, friends. Until then, I’ll be over here with my head in the freezer eating watermelon.

xo

Where Did You Come From?

When I miss you most, I’m driving down a strange split road, where people drive 65 mph and stop at lights on a dime.

I miss you when I’m paralyzed with indecision about whether this store, an unfamiliar sign and front, will have what I actually want.

When I get in the car and just circle aimlessly, wishing I knew where to find the green space that I’m craving.

Where to find the friendliest librarians, the freshest produce, the cheapest thrift items.

All the things I took for granted when I knew every route like the back of my hand, when I could expect the rhythm of every restaurant and hiking trail.

I miss strangers knowing exactly who my parents are and the trust that extends from familiar face to familiar face.

A warm sweetness of blossom and asphalt hang around my door now, interrupting the crisp apple of a memory. Fresh bread greets my mind when I walk through the doors of my hometown and I’m hungry for it.

Hungry for the comfort of knowing and being known. Wherever we are, this is the human search in our food, our hobbies, the places we go. Doesn’t a baby know exactly where it belongs because that is where it finds comfort?

You can love something new, while still missing the old and that is my constant balancing act, my privilege, challenge and bitter sweet joy in this season.

And I have to ask. What do you miss the most about where you came from?

 

Newt Impressed

The other day I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and found myself face to face with a brownish and extremely long newt. It peeked out of the woodpile at me, red face furrowing whatever eyebrow substitute that newts possess.

I expected him to scuttle away immediately, but he held his ground with alarming tenacity. We locked eyes until he flickered his tongue at me, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and retreated back into the kitchen.

For the rest of the week I’ve given the woodpile a wide berth, and have seen the creature only once more. I pray I’ll never witness newt babies, but it did look like a friend was visiting the other day,..I never thought I’d be googling the reproductive habits of newts and geckos.

I keep on thinking about all this, because I feel like there might be some sort of spiritual lesson hidden in this episode. Is it the newt’s willingness to make do with whatever home, circumstances provide? Is it his respectful observance of my personal space on the patio? I can’t help thinking, what if his scowl was only misunderstood social anxiety and what if he actually wants to be friends?

In all honesty, I can only give him his space and tiptoe around him every time I go to the laundromat or to get the mail. Who can plumb the depths of a newt’s mind after all?

I’m no Gussy Fink-Nottle. 

 

Stuff of Life

An early memory is eating a fresh made roll. Well, not exactly eating. I sucked all the melted butter off the top and then offered the rest to my brother.

I also remember my fresh bread rhapsodies, and my mom saying “man cannot live by bread alone” with exasperated amusement.

I can pinpoint the exact smell of bread baking. Even as a teenager, it was the happiest smell as we came back into the house. It was ordinary and special at the same time.

I didn’t know how I missed it, until on Valentine’s Day I found the recipe and sent various pictures to mom as I baked. “Is this right?”

Yeast and I have always had a troubled relationship, but there is nothing (it seems) that fridge bubbling and a hot oven can’t fix. A loaf, is the most sacred thing you can share, and Wesley and I ate it that night with a whole stick of butter.

Bread is timeless and magical. Comfort, beauty and love.

And so tradition continues.

The Sweet in Home

Someone told me to find the things I loved about my new home, and to start small. The inner circle of happy things that make me glad to be resting my feet on this red, pine straw soil.

And so it goes, that I’ve been looking and I’ve found.

The random strip of marble print threshold in the bathroom. Foolishly posh looking against the tile and fraying carpet.

The under the stairs, all cement cubby, that happens to land not only in the middle of our apartment, but in the exact middle of our whole building. The perfect place for tornadoes and a tonic to my fears.

The neighbour who plays guitar and sings out on his balcony, playing with gusto for an audience of squirrel and robins.

An extra room where paints, fabric and all manner of things can remain strewed out, in no one’s way.

And the accurate oven that doesn’t have a hot or cold side, or a missing burner, but behaves exactly as an oven ought.

These things, not  only for my comfort, but signs and wonders of a loving God. Extravagant, protecting, lovely, generous and kind. Each thing to each praise.

And amen! Have a blessed Sunday, friends. xo

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Love Week

Not limited to a day, this week was a Valentine’s extension. Each day waking to a circle of company, towels and shoes in little piles of possession. Every other moment, remembering why God gives us families to share, and knits together new ones.

Mornings spent meeting the sunshine. Nights of toasting and a pretzel. Another in worship remembering that no matter what, we must seek fellowship with Christ, and with those who follow Him.

Meals from different continents and more silliness from joy then the World will ever understand.

A love, stronger than two people, stronger than three, and growing faster than we know. Not according to our plans or feelings – but truer than one we could invent ourselves.

A Jesus love that is a balm applied to us. And a love that heals hurt feelings, ruined expectations or being rear-ended in evening traffic.

Love that casts out the fear of goodbyes. Distance. Loneliness. And a love that stands on the promises of His word.

This is not a good world, but we have a good God. And this week, was more than we deserved.

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