Old Chapstick and a New Job

Coffee. Pen. Ten minutes until go time. Add all of it up and it is unlikely to equal 3 pages.

I feel it. I feel the lack of pages. Like the words have rubbed the inside of my skull raw. This week there have been extra ones cramming in, sitting on each others’ laps unwelcomed. Some spill out like a child’s confession to grandma of what daddy told mommy last night.

My mind, and the play place at the fast food joint are in a race. Which one can tally up the most tantrums? Who will fill the seats fastest and have marker on the wall first?

a new place to step off an edge

a new place to step off an edge

New does this.

Promotions, with their step-up, elevated mentality are essentially another square one. Climbing the ladder has its own altitude sickness–the arrogance which comes from declaring their position in the past as now anecdotal, a trifle that someone surely misconstrued.

For others, maybe.

I see my 3rd grade picture as I walk into the new office. Not my first frozen posed school record. It is the one with my lips pouty from Jodi’s carmex; applied in a rush as we stood, single-file on the out-of-bounds line in the gym.

It is my first day, and I’m waiting for them to notice my lips swelling from the allergic reaction, a mistake with no blame. My eight-year-old self looks out of my thirty-something eyes and sees faces not looking for faults, or chapstick fiascoes. Because, honestly, chapstick doesn’t last 33 years no matter what the fine print on my ego says.

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*Technically I should ask for forgiveness…I wrote this in my journal this morning, in something less than ten minutes..all but the last two sentences which didn’t fit on the page and just had to be coaxed out from a darkened corner to wrap it all up nice. I’m usually a rule player. Today I’m a rule breaker.

Because I like to do what Lisa Jo says:

Meet the #FMFParty Writers:

And did you know there’s a whole community of writers that connect online before the prompt goes live on Friday nights? They use the Twitter hashtag #FMFParty and are about the most encouraging group around.

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

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From Here to Here Again

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It’s time again to play with my words.

Let’s review the rules:

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Here…

It’s here again. Friday. Time to sit and let the words come as they will–let them run like dogs in the dog park, thrilled to be off the leash.

I’m here. Here again. In a familiar place trying to learn what is new. At least learn what the old here has to teach me.

To pay attention to how here shapes me. Or why I long for over there.

Do I always long for any other there, no matter where I am?

And here, this moment, at the keyboard is the time when my fingers pause because my mind is sitting and staring at the yellow tree and the truth that here is where I have to turn.

When a Day Late Is Right on Time

She posts the word on the day of remembering. Recalling broken bones and dying dreams.

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I see the word. I click the window closed. I don’t want to relate.

On the day of defeating darkness, I am living in the broken of my own story. I act as though I don’t know the blockbuster of all time is happening–has happened on this Saturday.

We sit between the broken and the hallelujah not feeling the rumble of war beneath us. We are more sure of our sadness than His promise.

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I have seen this 3 day span of events more than 30 times. Again I sit focused on the broken when beauty is breaking through.

**details about the link up are below**

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Lisa says..

Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started? Checkout the back story over here.

Want to join our favorite free writing exercise of the week? It’s easy and open to anyone.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Broken” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

Days to Remember

***UPDATE*****

Joy has been sponsored! How is that for an early birthday present? But please, don’t let that stop you from clicking over to my compassion page and see who else is waiting for their own sponsor.

And I must say a BIG big thank you to Joy’s sponsor.

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I’m walking on the beach when I remember that it is the 22nd today.

4 months from today I will flip the calendar of my life over to a new year.

I remember when I used to wait for a birthday. For holidays.

Then I remember someone else who shares my birthday. I spent my breath to blow out the flames on sending the wish out loud and clear over here.

I remember what the streets smelled like. I remember seeing the women sweeping the street with brooms and their too short handles. The beautiful mandalas made each morning.

I remember the baby with the broken legs. She was run over by an auto-rickshaw. Abandoned. It hurt for people to hold her.

These are the images I recall when I think of a number like 22 and a boy named Joy who waits for a gift like you.

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Join in the party?

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

The Color of Rest

A grey continent of bleh is above, straight up over my head. Around the edges is blue and sunlight sparkling through white clouds. I feel like a cartoon character with arms stretched high holding this mass of concrete balanced on my head. Mimicking an Ethiopian woman carrying twigs to market.

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Only, this woman, me, I will not be able to sell such wares. There is no market barking that will entice a buyer for this weighty mass of grey.

This cloud overhead, it could be a blanket.

The blanket shrunk in the wash of last night’s sun-streaked rain showers. It doesn’t reach over your cold toes and the wind keeps flapping the edges and you  have to keep holding it down with your arms. Rest doesn’t come when the blanket does not stretch.

You look up and see there is light tinged at these edges. A reminder that it is day, the hours of work and production, and so you drag yourself up and forward and into the edges where the light is.

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#FMFParty  I’m in!

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Home Sweet Where?

the every morning routine

the every morning routine

It is 9:03 am and the sun is finally burning off the fog outside the window of this home. The home I am keeping as if it is my own, even if it lasts only 21 days.

The morning fog was thick and lovely like a slathering of butter on your morning toast. A decadence you indulge only when you are the first one out of bed and no one can see. The fog does that.

It keeps your secrets. The sleepy bits of night that aren’t ready to be gone. Fog graces the day and lets you keep your night.

Three hours later on the day that we lose an hour, the sun has finally come up over the buildings across the street. I close my eyes to the bright rays that land with gentle warmth on my cheeks.

And I think of home. Which one it is. I use the term with abandon. I use I twice in one sentence referring to places not contained within one page of an atlas. Both are home. Keep the conversation going and the word home comes up again and the geography continues to change.

Again, I am at home away from home, wherever that may be.

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Joining again with a fabulous gang #FMFParty:

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Moving Past Connection

We passed each other again yesterday.

No connection.

There was not a reason to connect, not a set time to meet, and no foretelling of the path that takes me right past you.

I can’t deny a connection in my mind. You might try. I don’t know these days.

The pull of past stories is gone, dissolved with the help of a plant…the St. Ignatius bean.

My mind however, still recognizes you when traffic rushes past. There is still a neural pathway in my mind, thinking jumps the tracks in an instant and my reaction is to wave or make a quick call to say, “I see you.”

It doesn’t take long to connect those reactions to today’s reality. The phone stays beside me, hands on the wheel, mind connecting to the task at hand—the road ahead.

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Linking up with Lisa Jo. You should too. Guaranteed 5 minutes of fun for your Friday.

Five Minute Friday

Enough in Five Minutes

Enough of one year and stepping into the next.

Enough of living small and onto living even smaller. At least for awhile.

Discerning what is enough. Enough clothes to live for 3 months out of a suitcase. Or longer. Or perhaps in a new climate.

What is enough for now may not be enough for later. What was more than enough here may not stretch to be enough over there. And when is it ok to say, “Enough.” Enough of this chronic over-looking, and belittling behavior.

I believe enough is when your inner voice gets loud enough that you hear actual words. The pit of your stomach knocking at the door to your logic has gone unanswered. So enough walks straight up the stairs and speaks in a low, calm, clear voice. This. This is where to go. And you have enough to do it now.

There is more than enough here to leave. Enough friends to paddle the boat that you cannot. Enough encouragement to drown out the incessant little liar. Enough bread on a Thursday night to soothe everyone’s ruffled week.

When you have enough you can walk away and know that you will find enough again. If you are truly lucky those who have been enough for you all along will continue to be enough from far away as well.

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Following the rules. Following the leader. To find both click here.

Resurrecting Goodbye

Last week was a rough one.

The days following the Resurrection should be joyful. Triumphant. The Light pierced the darkness. Saturday rose victoriously on Sunday.

That’s the thing about light though. It’s not the place for hiding.

I have pushed hard for a year. Pushed some feelings down knowing that they had to wait to grow into what God would have for them. Some emotions I pulled up by the roots, laid bare on the dissecting table and went at them with the knife of my pen. A few. Several were birthed through tears that fell in sheets of paper and were covered gently with glue to seal in the moment.

So after a year of laboring, and another round of Light slaying the darkness, I had to take inventory. What seeds were growing and what that should have been pulled out had actually gone to seed–creeping slowly into all the clean little patches of new life.

I laughed when I saw the word for Five Minute Friday. I realized it was completely appropriate and then promptly avoided it because of how real and tangible it was. The 3 gifts for April 16th? You guessed it, 3 hard eucharisteos.

The weeding and goodbye-ing is still sitting with me. The lists of gratitude are held close to the chest–like a royal flush waiting for its turn.

Quieting the Loud

Today it has been 5 minutes-ish, with bites of veggie burger and such in between. But it is finger painting right?

So write already.

Loud

It’s all loud ranting in this bowl of bone atop my neck.

There are protests of not enough hours and whining about why I didn’t start all this sooner. The constant hissing about lack cannot be avoided. Lacking talent, testing, time. Style, edge, design and continuity.

This loud happens each time I inch my toes forward and put my face, my art and my product out in front of the masses. Over the years, and there have been many, I have formulated an answer for the Loud Critic. I have rehearsed the answer from rather formless thought to something I can speak aloud into my eyes looking back in the mirror, for the Loud crouches just behind those blue orbs, lurking in the darkness.

My darkness is loud and insistent.

I can stop the boomerang of banter by believing in a certain little metaphysical equation.

Me + Grace = Enough

(Although for tomorrow, I think there will be a modification—Me + Grace + New Shoes = Enough. 😉 )