Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Plain Jane Beautiful

"Who is that?"

"Oh, That's Jane. She's Plain."

"Oh, that's Jane....SO that's what she looks like...."

..."Poor Jane!"

I went to Value Village today, to spend my scraps of leftover money from Christmas and find something nice, something new....well new for me , anyway.

I'ts truely disappointing when your friends say you remind them of a librarian...and then the only style of clothing you tend to dress yourself in consists of the "dismal color schemes" often imagined of a condemning and somber librarian.

"You're Boring, Jane!"

Long skirts and long sleeve blouses done up to your throat. Cuffs that flared and fluffed, and turtlenecks that hide the places where a man should be able to kiss you when your hair is pulled back.

"Only 5 items at a time in the change room , Jane!"

"I didn't see any signs....care to tell me where they are?"

Time after time, I saw a new librarian staring back at me in the mirror, so the 2nd & 3rd time around I went for jeans...wrangler, jordache, gap ...you name it....they all screamed at me telling me how large my backside was.

Librarians are so rude.

Sometimes you wish you could "Shush!!" them.

"Jane.... Librarians wear skirts, to cover their assets."

"Assets", I thought...If My ass was a bank machine it would hold millions, I'm certain...

Again I hit the aisles hoping to find success....

The librarians sang in whispers, their dirge of who they thought I should be.

No pants....to fit my "buffet table" behind.

"Here, Jane, Have another doughnut!....I have chocolate?..."

I ignored their comfort foods and stayed uncomfortable, pushing through the order of plastic hangers that squeaked along the rails.

I found a jean skirt, a peasant skirt, a peasant top and a black wool winter coat that flares.

A pea-green turtle neck, a white stretch blouse with turned cuffs, and a chenille sweater with black, red and grey stripes.

I think I did okay...they all look nice and fit well ...and for every piece I bought, I had to throw away 3 others back home out of my closet..... A fair trade, I would have to say. I did well in the throw away dept.....

"Jane...you still dress like a librarian."

"Jane...You need to lose 30 pounds."

"Jane....are you listening?"

"Oh...that poor Jane!"

"We need to buy her a full length mirror!"

"Oh Yes! Indeed!"
"Jane!... Wait!"

I dressed in black again today. My torso wrapped in a canvas of bloody red velvet. Representing my broken heart over a one sided conversation with the librarian in the mirror. I muffled the dirge that loomed in my throat with a cream scarf...to hide the red words that choked me.
Like gauze to a wound....

I return to my Winter Kingdom ...and find comfort there.

"I am Jane...I am plain."

"...and this is my pain."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Time for Me!

For the first time in a long time I feel finished!

Today I finished all of my Christmas Shopping, ran the errands , delivered some errands, mailed all of my mail, cleaned my house, did the laundry, wrapped everything that needed wrapping and now...I am free to make cards and Gingerbread goodies.

Tonight is for cards, I love making cards. I never give cards.....or rarely give cards. I usually make them for other people to give because they say I'm so artistic....

Tomorrow I bake all day. I'll wear my apron as I do all the time in my kitchen, (I'm quite famous amongst my co workers for wearing an apron, I don't think any have come to my house and not seen me in it. ) It's like a good comfy pair of Pj's for lounging around the house , really.

It's funny when people ring my doorbell and there I appear in my apron, while smells waft out of my house....These poor men probably wishing to taste my wares because their wives never pack them a lunch filled with thoughtfulness.

I love my apron and dreamed many daydreams of being married and staying home with babies around my feet. tugging at my apron, leaving little fingerprints of chocolate, dirt, and slobber.

My husband would run home to me at the end of his day and see all the hard work of my day, wiped free of my hands on my apron, and kiss me for the lunch I made him that morning....

I know....sounds too good to be true right?....well, I'm a big believer in what you say is what you get!

Today I have wrapped myself in my apron...free of scrapbook cuttings and glue, glitter and all that sticks to you in a winter's world of Static Cling!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

An Old Textbook

My summer is spent grazing the neighbourhood garage sales in search of a good book...or even some outgrown back-packing supplies belonging to someone who doesn't have time for fun anymore. Books are the main item to line my bags on my bike, though as I hit the trail of treasures that seem to line the streets of my neighborhood.

I have truly come to treasure the words of other people and when heartily sought out,you will find those words that are like apples of gold to be beheld and cherished for lifetimes to come.

Recently, I was cleaning off a book shelf, in my desperate desire to satisfy my obsessive compulsive disorder to become a minimalist. Sifting through books that could be donated, or given to the hospital volunteer book room, I stumbled across a piece of gold, in my mind that I could not bear to part with. It was on old short story text book that I had remembered from highschool. I found this at one of the garage sales years ago. It seemed to call out to me that day . I bought it for a mere 3 bucks, after much deliberation. I remember not reading it in grade 11. Mrs Scharf was my teacher and we seemed to spend so much time in that book...but I existed in another frame of mind all that time. I never did do the readings. but squeaked by with the memorization of things discussed in class and got the basics required for the rest of the classroom tasks. But this time around the book called me to read it.

As I did, my eyes filled with wonder, astonished at the pictures painted with words inside...These words became like those golden apples...and I wished that I had paid more attention in class....where would I be today if I had?

SO many words today are wasted, Slang, cussing, or vague attempts to cuss but using something less offensive to replace it. Murmurings, complainings, muttering in the deep parts of our breath. Why do we waste or replace words that are so precious, so important?

In the latter parts of my marriage and after it fell apart I came to know the power of silence. You can't discover it until you go to loud places of your soul, where you hear all the terrible things said about you by others and more-so, by yourself. But when silence takes over, the loud parts can't speak anymore and you start to hear the powerful words come out. The ones that help you see the good things about yourself and others, the words that let you see past the things that clouded your vision before.

For a very long time I remained silent and learned the new words that I would speak of today, encouraging those around me, helping girls and women discover that they can climb out of their destructive life patterns , that they are worth something, that they can have victory in their lives. Words that only take a couple of minutes to say...but much deliberation before speaking them...because we have to make sure they build up and repair, not tear down and scar.

Years ago, I had a math Teacher, Mr Krull. He was My math teacher for 4 semesters of Math 20. I failed each class with a 33, a 39 and a 44% final grade. The fourth time I went to the staff room and presented to him a drop sheet and re-enrolled in Math 23. His words to me, "I was wondering when You'd finally give up and drop Math 20." I handed him the paper without words, he signed it and I said, "Thank you, Sir." that was it...I had failed without even receiving a finishing grade.

I managed to pass Math 23 with a 60 something mark. Then in My second grade 12 semester I entered Mr. MacNamee's class. I determined to sit at the front and pay attention...although, it was hard sometimes , as I sat ahead of the class clown (and now famous Tommy Hilfiger model" Paul Greene. He was full of wonderful words, calling the teacher Mr. "Smack-my-knee" and tapping me on the shoulder saying, "Hey, Fire Crotch, can you help me with this question?"

I struggled in that class. Mr. MacNamee had tried and true methods of helping most people become math geniuses, grouping up the smart ones with the lesser to help us along in our understandings of the workings of numbers. I remember one day in particular where it was a big exam part way through the semester, and I turned to the 3rd page and my mind went blank. No longer did math equations sit before me, but a page of what seemed to be computer wing-dings that I didn't understand...my mind couldn't compute the figures set before me. I cried and sat there staring for what seemed to be hours. The teacher walked the aisles to see how we were progressing, some people had already handed in their exams. and he stooped near me. he crouched down in front of my desk and looked at me. My face red from my upset. he told me to take my time...but the class was almost over. I told him that I didn't know any of this, that it wasn't coming to mind. He knew how much I fought with it and attempted to encourage my thoughts with triggers to remember in hopes of speeding me along...without actually telling me how to do it.

I have no recollection of how that exam came out in the end..but I will always remember that day and the time he took for me in those 8 minutes of a rescue mission to bring me to success. I do know that I passed that semester with an 89%. Even though I struggled so hard that day...his words were apples of gold placed there on my desk.

Discovering that old text book takes me back to that day of Mr. MacNamee's class, and thoughts of how, in a sense I have discovered yet another old textbook of sorts...in re-discovering Mr.MacNamee online...
In my endeavors to write, he is there again, set before me with baskets of apples wrapped in gold, encouraging my writing with his words.

I'm no professional, I did not pay attention to the rules of writing back in school....but they still hold great importance to me and others. Words that come from the abundance of the heart reach farther than any grammatical technicalities ...to some people it's all slang anyway.

I appreciate your words, Graham.
You are a textbook to behold.
As children we supposedly would bring apples to the teacher....but in reality you have brought them to your students.

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of Gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11 (Bible)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Heap of Bones.

It's so cold. Today I had to go help my blind friend run some errands. Which I shouldn't have done considering the state of my arm....but at least it's finished and behind me. I felt like his mother, "Ward, You need a hat!"
...but he didn't acknowledge the frigid temps that loomed out side and after noticing that he didn't do up his jacket, I thought...No wonder you're sick all the time.

Anyway... I'm home now, wrapped in my new hoodie that my friend surprised me with from the World Cup. It's big enough for two which is nice cuz then I can tuck my knees up inside it like my sister & I used to do with our jammies when we were girls. My toque is still on...which I'll probably just wear for most of the day anyway ...I must run out for groceries at some point because my fridge is barren save for a few slices of cheese, a thing of milk and my britta thingy.
I seem to be losing my vocabulary....I must be cold.
Winter always puts me in a frozen mental state. Giving me pictures in my head of beautiful sadness. Stuff you would like to see in movies, visioned and created best only by the narnia movie people.
Where winter tinkles like glass shards in the wind and frost lines the trees with millions of frozen fingers. Enchanting in some ways, romantic even.
Today while walking Ward to the bank, I stopped to let his walking stick find the curb we were about to step up to and then we proceeded to the bank. It's there in those little frozen moments where I slip into a reality of my past that I painted in my head as that frozen, beautiful place. where ice tinkles .
Years ago my heart was so cold, I hated my life and I hated God. I created a placed of being alone inside that cut like glass, yet it comforted me with it's music as glass walls seemed to constantly fall around me. I lived there for years, wounded and scarred. A world in my head that was chilled with the brightness of white and I wore black, I mourned the death of a husband who continued to live. He was hollow inside and walked away from everything that he embraced. My heart grew dark, my words were sharp and cutting, my eyes looked away from everyone.
I remember my highschool days of Goth. Black dresses and skirts, big tall boots and smokey eyes, red lips and silver chains and rings , and red scarves that wrapped my throat like a bloody fleece.
"If I wrote a poem on my wrist with a razorblade, would you even stop to read it?" I recalled those days of Goth, remembering a painting I did of my hand and wrist dripping bloody words for someone to see. But people don't see. They only see your black lipstick and stare at you cuz you can't be normal.
"What the hell was normal?"
SO in my frozen kingdom in my head, I physically walked this earth as it's dark queen, speaking through pictures that were amazed but never understood. Pictures of figures with their skin torn away their muscles peeled back leaving only the bones, laying limp in a heap....prophetically speaking of my desire for bare bones relationship, raw meaty relation ship...yet the bones laid in the last drawing in a heap for there was nothing to support them...All of the exterior was stripped away...
Today I returned to the kingdom in my mind, i wore black and fussed about the grocery store with a blind man while people stood in our way, left carts in the isle, or as they pushed by to get their order filled at the deli.....all because it was normal....
Not once did they consider Ward's "Normal" routines of life. Instead they continue on and just stare at his "black lipstick", and they wonder why he's cold sometimes.
He's blind, can't you see his cane? Does he need black lipstick and chains to be noticed and ignored? no ....
His kingdom exists in his mind, because that is the only picture he has....it is his normal in a world full of vision...
Today I dressed in warm winter layers...but when I'm with Ward, I strip away the outside layers, and I stand there bare boned...and he supports me on my left arm as we cross the street. Because he appreciates the reality of our two kingdoms and the alligance we have forged together.
People...it is time to shout...."Kingdoms Unite!!"
..... and I sing that worship song that speaks of breaking chains and calling out to the dry bones...

Monday, December 3, 2007

amputation at the neck

Oh to be John the baptist , with my head on a platter and survive. Not possible...but it how I am feeling after visiting the hand clinic today. the doctor described to me the inside of my wrist if he had to cut it open and look inside to see what the issues were concerning my carpal tunnel. THE ISSUE IS PAIN!!!!
any way...now that I have a grossly image of the inner workings of all the bones, tendons and ligaments that go into grabbing things and pulling lids off of jars. I would rather amputate at the neck and just get it over with and removed from my body.

Today my hand is free from it's splint and I have doped up on pain killers and I await the blessed moment when I can actually pick something up without flinching.
my dishes are piled high and I knew that if My Juanita were here. she would sit me down with my coffee and do them for me...because she loves me and my dirty dishes.

Last night at work I sat with a co-worker. she's new and from the start she didn't like me for reasons I didn't understand. In the moment of both being off of our regular teams and in a different environment, we had a moment of sharing hearts and in the holiday questions of have you bought all your presents she shared with me how her boyfriend left her and opened up her own can of worms of control and jealousy and basically vomited out her inabilities to stay in a loving embrace of a man.
She's 40 he was 27, she loved him, he was too embarrassed to take her home to meet his folks. She controlled his outings and moments with friends.....
and she asked me my thoughts.....and out came the public speaker in me.

In a soft yet whirlwind of words, I brought her to a place where visually she stood in front of an ocean of torn relationships, with fragments of what was left in her hands and in her heart , like small treasures washed up on the sea shore. and I shared with her how Her future lies out there before her...in the depths of that ocean. where she can't see what's coming yet.
I told her that she could linger on the washed up beaches of her life and collect broken pieces of what she thought was valuable...or she could go out and swim, leaving those things behind. that she could swim and swim and swim alone..... that it would be the best for her...... and that time would wash away all that she toils with for the most part....and that when she was ready, she could dive deeper into her future and discover a world that was whole and in tact and destined, perfectly fit for her and all of her heart.
She said she's never been alone. I thought to myself , I've been alone in a marriage for 6 years and then he left and I was alone again.
Sometimes it's easier if your husband dies.....at least it's closure.... and you can move on at some point and close that book or chapter in your life....but when someone breaks your heart or severs your friendship...it lingers. they linger...even though they don't know it. but they visit your sleep, and your daydreams, their pictures are still there on your fridge.
We do have to realize , too, though, that autumn comes into our lives throughout the world's 4 seasons....and the events of our lives are like walking through a garden....and though there are people who linger or mean well...they are actually like weeds that choke out all the good stuff. and even though they may appear to be a beautiful flower or a familiar one in your life's garden.... what you don't see is how they choke the important things breathe the surface and we forget to put proper values on the things that matter most in life.
Those flowers that talk and whisper and suppose, and suggest things to you continuously....it's time to weed them out.... so that next time you walk among those beautiful people in your life, they'll just stare up at you and think you're beautiful...and they'll surround you, and look up to you and admire you. as much as you admire them, and being alone won't seem so lonely anymore. because you'll start to see you as who you were truly intended to be...You are beautiful.....and when the sun comes out and pushes your grey skies away....you'll see how beautiful you are and you'll look up like the the rest did to you. You'll value yourself in that Garden....and people will notice you for who your really are....
....the weeds will always grow there ....but they can't stay if you're there to pull them out of your life.

Kim called me today. She thanked me for the words I said. She said it was like pulling weeds from her heart...it hurt and was hard to hear...but it helped her heal an empty space and helped her to see herself in a different light.
Going to work won't be so awkward any more ........I'll have a new flower to look at everyday at shift change. You are beautiful Kim...and you are loved. genuinely loved!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Judgement Day

What an ominous topic, a looming fear that most people have of lightning striking them at a moment's notice, spontaneously combusting into a pile of ash for doing something wrong.....where do we get this idea? Yet everyday, people lie, commit adultery, steal, murder and cheat the tax man....and nobody, all of a sudden, is struck by the almighty God, Himself.
What strikes me is the fact that we all live and breathe with the breath of God already in us, Every breath ...in...and out. We speak the name of God and yet we do not know it. Our breath itself was created as worship, as thankfulness...don't you think God has a better plan here???? Do you think we're all destined for hell if we don't fit the labels of being "Christian". (I vomit in my spirit as I say that word. ) "Christian" . A word that has taught people that you are less if you are not one of "them".
Oh God, Give me strength!!!!!
What preacher damned us to hell....when Jesus destined us for greatness, to be love in every aspect of life? What church dug out that great chasm for us to leap over into, leaving the worthless ones behind....?
This is crazy!!!
I was watching a psych patient at work one day and we spoke through the doorway of his room while in emergency. He asked me if I beleived in God. I told him...."Today's you're lucky day....if anyone does, it's me. "
He said, "I Pray but God doesn't hear my prayers."
I said," How do you know that?"
"Because nothing changes...it just gets worse."
I said nothing. just waited for him to talk.
He said, "I'm just so mad, so angry!"
"I could swear up a storm right now but I don't do that in front of women."
I thanked him for his respect for me but told him to swear anyway and I would overlook it, if it would help him feel a bit relieved by releasing some stress.
"I couldn't do that...if God heard me swear , what would he think of me then?"
I asked him...."If your worried about God hearing you swear...then why do you think he doesn't hear you pray...?"
Tell me people....who invented this crap?
Who made up this mindset that God looks for the worst in people and casts us into the very pit of hell? Where is redemption? What is the purpose of forgiveness? Why is Jesus even reality then? God gives us the power to speak life or death , to love and to forgive, to stretch forth and heal, yet we cast out, and demean, and condemn, and leave behind because "we of the Christian faith are better than they", we are called to be separate, to be holy.... and then when we read the fine print on judgement day it says, *Note: So heavenly minded they were no earthy good, socially inept and judgmental. Consequences? jewels returned to store house, rewards returned to store house, forgiveness....

Who knows? I am not their creator nor their judge...yet that's what we do. we judge, and fit people for hell. We do not love or give or bless. We walk by and ask how you're doing but don't really care to hear the real answer...life is to quick and we might miss the next sale or the next game or the next episode of CSI!
Oh God give me the words to speak!!!!
We're missing the point. To be like Jesus, to converse, to embark on a journey with someone, to reach past the flaws and pull out the perfected parts, to diagnose past the diseases of our self-loathing and hatred and accept medicines of acceptance, love and self worth. To stop shopping for ipods, and flat screen tv's, women's retreats half-way around the world when a family could use a freezer full of meat in their house or someone needs a down payment on a house instead.
Why is it that we need our kids in hockey and band and youth group and spanish lessons and play dates and swimming, and babysitters...when people need a cup of coffee and someone to cry with or laugh with...because their husband died or left them alone and there is no one to talk to after the babies are in bed. No one to play cards with, we pity them and think they have too much on their "plate". When if you actually looked at the food bill , it consisted of lonliness and a TV guide. No one wants to invest in the single mom because she's probably tired from her night shifts and day shifts and overtime shifts and sleeping..."Don't call her cuz she needs to rest!"

Call her, Damn it! She's awake and crying in her bed, She runs to the windows day after day when she hears car doors shutting, hoping that it's her prodigal husband coming home to mend a broken heart! She holds her phone in the silence of her home hoping someone will embark on her journey, help her find the perfected parts of her soul and tempt her to laugh again.

I hope your judgement day is all that you expect it to be....but i suspect it won't be...and when you think of weeping and gnashing of teeth, you'll experience your own type of hell in your heart and mind....knowing what you didn't do.
Ask your maker..........and stop judging me.....more importantly...look at how you validate yourself......you should judge more appropriately the person you look at in the mirror everyday....who you so quickly seem to forget.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Old Jenny

I remember Jenny, a small chubby-cheeked farm girl that came to live with me for 5 days at summer camp. She had long firey red hair and blue eyes. Her smile brought forth dimples deep enough to take a bath in.
She was an angry child.
I loved her so much. She reminded me of my childhood and struggling with parents. She grew up with only her dad and various step siblings. I remember after that summer she asked me if I could adopt her. and I said I would......and you can, really, without the official paperwork. When you're 18 you just say yes! She came to camp, walls built high, and somehow I managed to find a loose plank in her life. a "red hair " connection...and we became fast friends.
Jenny and I had dinner once and we decided to wrap our thumbs down and try to eat soup with no thumbs to hold our spoons. it was very difficult and dinner seemed to take for hours and somehow we seemed to return to the pot for seconds.
Tomatoe soup , red hair, and relationship. raw, uncut, real.
Like going to visit my Juanita and arriving after her groceries hit the floor and so our girl time consisted of unwrapping a kajillion bags of food and rearranging the refrigerator, while coffee perked and our 5 children lived their chaotic playful lives in the basement.
Who doesn't sort groceries?
How many people today eat without thumbs to assist them, or arms for that matter?
Today my Carpul Tunnel is flared....and my thumb hates me. Even typing at this keyboard my thumb screams and writhes in pain...only 20 more minutes till the meds kick in though. this writing is a mild distraction. then when the pain is gone I'll have some lunch.

I think Tomatoe soup is on the menu.
Maybe I'll sort out my fridge....
and in a sense spend the day with Jenny and My Juanita.
I love Jenny. I miss her.....

Raw Beginnings

My first words when my Juanita told me to try it.
Who am I kidding?
Know what I'm doing?
Using a computer to show off my writing?
Can it be possible? OMG!!!
SO here I am ........
about to bear my soul to real people, to people who care. ....or don't ...

Okay so My Juanita...you'll be the first to read!
Oh to feel like a virgin again!
This is so scary.
....bear with me!.........