"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

the small frozen bird and the mismatched quilt

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” 
~DH Lawrence

You long to change your pain into pity.


Feel the pain. Feel all of it.

Let everything happen to you: joy and love, beauty and terror. Feel the weight and darkness, the fear and peace. “Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

When I change pain into pity I do myself a disservice, for instead of feeling, I am fixing. I am saying, I must find a reason for this pain, I must make it Unjust, I must make myself a Victim, I must manufacture a greater story – a Tragedy that will force this to make sense, a silk-patch ending sewn awkward on a denim quilt.

Much would be better in this world if we could feel pain instead of fix it, receive it instead of telling a story about it.

If we could cry ourselves to sleep instead of drink it away.

If we could say, I don’t know, instead of, This is how I’ll change.

If we could allow ourselves to lose our faith instead of holding onto a hope that is dead.

So let us comfort adults the way we comfort children, with embrace and understanding and not words and solutions, in the face of unexplainable hurt.

For once we can admit that life may not make sense instead of forcing a black and white explanation on a Technicolor world, we will become closer to the small bird on the bough, who even in the face of senseless death, feels no need to hate or pity, but simply to live until she is called home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

hope, on sale with coupon

Life is composed of things that are more important than they should be.

You are existing, moving, minding your own business in a black-and-white world, and suddenly something meaningless becomes doused with a bucket of scarlet importance, like a single snowflake on your tongue.

And it feels like hope.


I’m at the front doors of Kroger, shopping list in hand: six apples, some bagels, a bottle of wine. And more I’m sure I’ve forgotten, and more I need that they don’t sell. Where do you buy joy, or happiness, or peace?

Hope. On sale. 50% off with coupon.

For the past year, the colors had been slowly fading from my world like a book in the August sun on a front porch swing. With every day, I had less energy to paint in the color that was draining away or to remember what it was like to see beauty where others saw darkness. Now I was the one who saw in shades of grey.

But sometimes you don’t know what will become color in your grayscale world.

In front of the grocery store doors, a pallet of miniature roses. Cheap green plastic pots and buds wilting from the hot Texas sun, soil dry from neglect and leaves turning brown.

But color.

Green and pink and soft dull white, red-tipped buds that promised to bloom and some that already had. Smeared yellow leaves with purple jagged edges, tips curled down like toes in sand and petals that felt like peace. Long green stems and pink-rimmed buds, bees crawling in dirt like children at play, and as my fingers brush through flowers and leaves, my world becomes a three-dollar rose bush.

And like in the stories you heard as child and you always wished were true, for a moment the curse is broken and my world is drenched in color, and I remember what I used to know: that there is beauty in this world, and to see it is called faith.

That morning, I took a rose bush home.

Hope. On sale. $2.99.


In the end, I believe that life is composed of things that are more important than they should be, like sunsets and love and small red rosebushes.

To see that is an unreasonable thing, an unreasonable happiness.

But it feels like hope.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

One second of eternity

It’s the desire so strong it hurts. It’s so strong you almost don’t want to tell anyone about it. You can try to describe it with words like adventure, battle, longing, calling, but that never quite describes it and you are left with a something that is not a feeling nor a word but a shift of your soul.

It is someone is calling your name over and over and you have to respond or you’ll be trapped in a fog you were never meant to die in.

It’s when you feel life's very core, like how glittering music affects you or the mountains, or great beauty or great pain; when a small child dies or when you hear the stories that meant something.

It is anything that makes you feel eternity for one second.

Just one second.


Listen to it.

Whatever it is, this soul of yours, this calling or cry or pain or joy, this is who you are. Somehow, here is the key.