Tuesday, July 4, 2017

On Greatest Fears and Knowing Where You Are

When I was younger, perhaps eleven or twelve years old, I was very lonely.

I remember one night I was over at someone's house after the sun had gone down. There was a lingering pinkness showing through the trees in the west, but the stars were already coming out above me. I was lying on my back on their trampoline, at a weird angle to avoid the hole in it. I could hear the other kids screeching off somewhere in the woods, yelling directions as they tried to catch an armadillo.

The stars were so clear that night. I remember seeing Cygnus the Swan almost directly overhead. My heart was aching like it was being squeezed by a great, iron-clad fist, and more than anything I wanted someone, anyone, even an adult, to come out and just lie there next to me on that trampoline. I had been alone all afternoon. I had watched the sun go down from someone else's kitchen window while their parents weren't home and they themselves ran wild at a faster pace than I could manage.

I was whispering to the sky, because I was a weird kid who believed it would hear me. I don't even remember what I said, but it was pathetic and probably really sappy and embarrassing. But I was talking to a bunch of gas-balls millions of miles away and finding a very small and uncomforting comfort in the romanticism of it.

I never really got over my loneliness.

It's my greatest fear, you know. Like Fezzik, my idea of hell is being alone for ever. I don't need to speak, I don't need to move. I can live in a box the size of a coffin for all eternity, as long as I have someone crammed into that box with me. I used to wonder why Satan never attacked me with demons like he did my friends. I know now that it was because he knew it was worse for me without them.

It's gotten better. I have friends now, close friends that are brave and true and better to me than I could ever be to them. One friend in particular; small and sweet and with a mouth that speaks of love and hope and courage. If the coffin gets too small all I have to do is cry out and someone will crawl in to spend the night with me.

But sometimes the coffin's too small for them to fit, and then the dark reaches out with cold fingers and my lungs no longer breathe; then my brain short circuits and all of a sudden I'm in a white room at midnight, and no one sees me and no one knows me and I'm not sure I even know myself anymore.

And sometimes that white room turns into a hallway, twisting and branching and dipping deeper and deeper underground with each step I take. And the further I go the more I forget about how I got here in the first place; the more I forget about who I am.

I wonder how often that happens in real life. How many times does your average person stop in the middle of their work because suddenly they don't know where they are? How often do they see white and have to shake their head and reach for the nearest bit of color?

* * * * *

I wrote this post well over a year and a half ago, but for reasons that are probably obvious, I never published it. How badly I wanted to be heard and pitied for problems I could have just taken to the Lord! My heart was aching for so much more than I had, despite my having everything I needed within my grasp. 

What I said in the 7th paragraph is true - it's gotten better.  

God has worked in my life in amazing ways. I still get lonely sometimes. But no coffin is too small for my Lord, and with a breath He can fill my white rooms with sound and color and a Lifeblood. I don't have to wonder where I am when I'm in His arms. 

Being lonely is no longer my greatest fear. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pieces of Today, Oct. 7th, 2016

I'm on a Twenty One Pilots kick. Seriously, this band is killing me.


I'm reading Les Misérables and maaaaann did I underestimate how lengthy it was.

Browsing through my beautifully illustrated copy of Bulfinch's Mythology and feeling the wonderful thrill of it rushing through my body.

I'd die for you/ That's easy to say/ We have a list of people that we would take/ A bullet for them/ A bullet for you/ A bullet for everybody in this room/ But I don't seem to see many bullets coming through

(I told you I was on a ToP kick.)

Now is the climax to the story/ that gives the demons and angels purpose

Why won't you speak where I happen to be?

And I begin to envy the headlights driving south/ I wanna crack the door so I can just fall out/ but then I remember when you packed my car/ you reached in the back and buckled up your heart/ for me to drive away with/ I began to understand why God died

Open the slits/ in your face/ and start your day.

(Someone should probably stop me now.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pieces of Today, Aug. 31st 2016

#1. Grandma's house! Food! Movies! Conspiracy shows on the History Channel!

#2. Provolone cheese.

#3. Chipped toenail polish.

#4. Phineas and Ferb.

#5. Reese's-flavored cereal.

#6. Grass-pulling.

#7. A bright blue chair.

#8. Sunlight through the window blinds.

#9. (Your hands can heal, your hands can bruise.) 

#10. An adult coloring book and it's surprising effectiveness.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Wonderful, Thrilling, Exciting Thing

I have a bookshelf.

While I understand that to some it may be a bit anticlimactic to read the sentence above after being lured here by the title of this post, I assure you that to me it is not. Bibliophilic mess of a person that I am, I have needed this bookshelf for years. I trip way too much without having books on the floor to trip over.

All that to say, one long, happy day at IKEA (and a side trip to the Museum of Biblical Art, worth checking out, by the way) and a few days in between then and now, and I have half-settled (yep, there's still more to do) my loads of books onto the hopefully sturdy shelves. Hallelujah!

Yes, I have a Venus de Milo statuette. My brother hates it.

Yes, I have a large rock with writing on it. It's a special rock, okay?

Yes, I have half-a-shelf of Tolkien. I may have an obsession, but hasn't that already been confirmed?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pieces of Today, Aug. 5th, 2016

#1. Headache.

#2. James Blunt. (I-I-I, I never meant to hurt you-ooh...)

#3. Binge-watching GMM.

#4. Spaghetti sauce.

#5. Paint on my legs and my hands.

#6. (Out of water/out of hope/can't make fire/only smoke.) 

#7. Short story prompts.

#8. I washed my hair and it's really soft and this is making me super happy.

#9. (The flames, they licked the walls/tenderly they turn to dust/all that I adored.) 

#10. Those amazing costumes from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pieces of Today, Jul. 29, 2016

(Or more accurately, Pieces of the Last Month or So)

#1. I found a ton of thread and stuff under my bed and now I'm braiding bracelets when I get bored.

#2. I've been downloading as much music as possible onto my iPod, and it's glorious. (My iPod's name is James, by the way. Yes, I name my belongings.)

#3. A LOT of Downton Abbey. I ought to know the whole series by heart by now. It's ridiculous and I love it.

#4. Been working on my art journal/quote book.

{They beat me with clubs to see if I was strong enough and when the 
clubs broke they decided I was. -Fezzik, The Princess Bride}

#5. Went to a family reunion and did the usual awkward re-meeting-of-cousins and binge eating and playing of cards.


#7. Visited my Grandma, introduced her to Panda Express. Lots of orange chicken involved. We also went to Barnes and Noble, where I spent a hundred dollars on books that I definitely, absolutely, no-doubt-about-it needed. Stop looking at me like I have a problem.

#8. ('Cuz he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see, to forget about life for a while.) 

#9. (And you said you'd always have my back/ oh, but how were we to know?)

#10. And lastly, but definitely not leastly:

Our youth pastor's wife posted this on Facebook a while back and I can't tell if she knows or not. 

This is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pieces of Today, June 13th 2016


2. The smell of sharpie.

3. My best friend's BIRTHDAY (which was yesterday).

4. Panda Express.

5. Humidity.

6. A rather drastic haircut.

7. No, seriously, guys - I cut my hair.

8. It's short.

9. Really, really short.

10.  I've frightened myself.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pieces of Today, June 4th 2016

1. Caesar salad.

2. Civil War. (Gaaaaahhhh, don't fight, guys!) 

3. (Are you going to age with grace? Are you going to leave a path to trace?)

4. Cherry Tea and watercolor painting.

5. An oversized nightshirt.

6. (Hollow heroes separate/ as they run.) 

7. Book-boxes.

8. (You're the Northern Wind/sendin' shivers down my spine,) 

9. (I read them all one day/when loneliness came and you were away/oh, they told me nothing new/but I love to read the words you used.) 

10. A thought: Why is it that sometimes you see what isn't there, and sometimes you can't see the obvious?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pieces of Today, May 29th 2016

1. The scent of my bible.

2. Mom's amazing salad dressing.

3. (Sing me a song, sing me a melody.) 

4. Z-E-P-H-A-N-I-A-H

5. (We might fall.) 

6. (Come with me / not above me or below me.) 

7.  Spilled coffee and donut holes.

8. (You're so cold - keep your hand in mine.) 

9. A conversation with my cousin yesterday:

Me: You have your shoes on the wrong feet, sweetie.
Nichole: But they're still awesome. They're VANS! You have Vans too! I like your Vans.
Me: *silent stare*
Nichole: *cute grin* 
Me: *silent stare*
Nichole: What?
Me: Somehow I knew this would happen.

10. Sore ankles from playing tag with the younger kids.