Friday, December 30, 2011

Early morning and what is and isn't in my head

Yesterday and it is  2:38 in the morning. Sounds like a line from a country song, who knows if it's  a good one. Two days in a row, I'm awake and thoughts are running  like a clear, mountain stream. Thank God.

I am grateful when the lunar lunacies spend the night away from home and when the things that talk to me in the middle of the night do so quietly and calmly. Quiet and calm beats the hell out of unruly talking children thoughts who get up in my head, shout, laugh and poke at me, who get scared and scream at me. Spending  early morning with thoughts that run on quiet power and speak to me like I have good sense,  are easy. Early morning with screaming unruly children thoughts is when a five minute conversation lasts 10,000 years and  being run over by a Mack truck would be a kinder thing.

I get up and write my emos. For whatever reason, the last two weeks all the memos have been emos. That is what keeps popping out of my mouth, "I'll write you an emo." I need to remember to look emo up---maybe there is a deeper meaning to writing emos than writing memos, the thought at least entertains me, more than the actual emos do. I write the emos and send a pile of them off and climb back into bed. It is 3:38.

I can't find a place for my legs because Gratefulest Dog has decided my absence means he can stretch out horizontally and he has left me an inch. I move my legs. He ends up off the bed and on the floor. Immediately his Dad wakes up.

"Why are you shoving the dog off the bed?"
"I didn't. I moved my legs and off he went."

"WHY are you shoving the dog off the bed?"
I didn't, I swear I moved my legs and he went off."

Gratefulest is back on the bed by this time, half-horizontal and half-vertical. We are awake.

He tells me it is all my doing that the dog is on the bed to begin with. I refuse to own that one. I remember when he came and he slept on the sunroom floor and stared in the windows at us, and we stared back. He had his bed and we had ours. We were not so unified at 3:38 in the morning.

"Every time I went out of town, he slept with you. You started it."
"That's different."

It doesn't seem to be a productive conversation but it makes us both laugh. We start talking about an art project in Georgia, Perceptual Control Theory, the emos, the printer, the offices, the studio, retrofitting plumbing. We start talking about something else, he says, "You remember?" As usual, I don't. I used to always remember.

 I tell him, "You know I don't know what is in my head anymore but I sure as hell know what isn't." Country song 2.

 It is a long conversation ---probably the longest one we've had in weeks. It is real and it is us and it is funny. Thank God. The gifts 3:38 and a dog flying in the morning can bring.

There is a loud, low noise that hums above us and hangs out. "What the hell is that?" It lasts about a minute. Both of us are too quiet and run through our heads anything it could have been. It comes back and hangs and lingers again. It shakes us up and we can't come up with a single, "good" explanation.

Sweetheart gets up. Time for early coffee and pondering the fact that he wishes a UFO would come and visit. He has wished it for a long, long time. I lie in bed and think how it would be to run downstairs and tell Mama. To tell her that the world she believes has gone crazy now has  a UFO and real ETs in it. When I tell her later in the day, she laughs. And then she ponders what that means.

It is almost the New Year, and tomorrow night I will probably be wide awake again in the middle of the night, listening for Sweetheart's UFO. I will be grateful if the thoughts are quietly conversing and not the unruly children screaming, it would be a good way to have a new beginning. I will lie there and  feel Gratefulest up against my legs and maybe if I'm lucky, hear Sweetheart laugh in his sleep and I will not so much care what is or isn't in my head.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We Take Blessings Too

He is standing a bit away from the front doors and ringing a bell.  Each person he sees, near or far, he shouts to,  "Merry Christmas". Like everyone I see, I avert my eyes and scurry past.

I leave the store having forgotten to get the cash back I'd planned to get because once in line I couldn't remember why I needed any. I knew there wasn't any point in just "having" some. Sweetheart would find it and he would need it more, not in the wishful thinking way, or the made-up kind of way but the real kind of way. So here I was back outside the door, without so much as a nickel, looking at the man and his bucket, and as usual remembering later what I'd wished I'd remembered sooner.

This time I looked at him.

"I'm so sorry. I meant to get some cash. I don't even have a dime or a quarter in my purse." But to be sure, I looked, I stood there moving everything around hoping that something would materialize. He kept ringing his bell and looked at me and smiled.

"We take blessings too. Most people don't know we take blessings too, most people just walk past and don't say 'nuthin so I can't tell 'em."

 I think how I'd just walked past and said  'nuthin. I think how I'd looked at him and immediately gotten  caught up in the thinking of everything I couldn't give, didn't have or what was expected of me. When  all I needed to do was say Merry Christmas  and let him give me his gift. 

"Thank you for telling me, thank you for reminding me. Bless you, bless you for what you are doing and bless you in the days to come. Merry Christmas."

I touch his shoulder, look him in the eye and smile.

As I drive out of the parking lot I watch the people flooding in and out of  the store doors and I listen for someone to return his Merry Christmas. I don't hear a single one.

Sweetheart said yesterday everywhere he drove people were in a hurry and just plain mad, they were in a hurry so that later when they weren't, they could stop and say, "Merry Christmas" and by then maybe mean it.

Today I have been reminded of the simple, the important, the moment, of the need to slow it down, look and listen for the stranger bearing merry and bearing blessings.

Today I have been reminded that

"We all take blessings too."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Stories That Come and Go Like Water

I am held in the stories that come and go like water. Standing still, watching and feeling.

Challenge. Suffering. Challenge. Suffering. Weakness. Strength. Humor. Hope. Grace.
Coming and going.

I stand still within the stories that are layered and nuanced, subtle and unsubtle, that scream and cry, that whimper and whisper, that beg and demand, that rip out the heart and then slap on the laughter.

Mama's face looks paler every day. There is the pain that is her constant companion, but mostly there is her heart that feels it all.

"I have lived through wars, and a Great Depression, I have lived through ugly politics and soldiers coming home to have no jobs. But this, this is crazy. It has never been quite so bad and quite so crazy and I don't understand this crazy."

Mama's story this day will be followed by five or six, or ten more that all are held in suffering, in seeking, in not so often, understanding.

I only know how to reach out my hand. I only know how to reach out my heart. I can steady with my hand and wrap them all up in my heart.

I can listen.

I can honor each one and its storybringer. I can one day, write them.

I look for a flash of the  iridescent, the glimmer that signals the wings where the quiet quiet quiet giggle rides piggyback with the quiet quiet quiet hope, where for a moment the suffering will ease, the story will change  and where the page will turn.

I stand still
I am held
in the stories that come and go like water.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dreaming Abundance, Dreaming Grateful

I woke up this morning and for once remembered the dream, vividly, all of the images and all of the conversation. Usually I only remember pieces, morning blurs the pieces and quickly quiets the real and scary,  real and joyful,  the colorful that is filled with live people and dead people.  Morning usually sends the gifts and journey of Mother Moon away.

Today, I remember.

We walk across a breezeway into a different room---away from what I think is  familiar to what I think is  unknown. As we walk towards one from the other I realize that we are going from what belongs to us to another part of what belongs to us.

"I don't remember we had this room."

I spot the bathroom.

"Look at that bathtub. It is huge. It has JETS. I can soak in lavender. How could we have a bathroom with this tub and I didn't know it?"

I walk out of the bathroom and into a great room that has a kitchen, room for a bed, room for a living area, floor to ceiling windows except for the places that hold the bookcases and the fireplaces. Beautifully small in the way-big-enough-kind-of-way, minimalist but having everything we need, want and have wished for in the place we have wanted to live these last umpteen years. I look out the windows, see the big green, the Grandaddy Spirit trees and stand in awe. I spin around and count the fireplaces, not one but three, each beautiful, each different, each big and lit and pulling me into their warm, into their light.

"We have fireplaces? How did I not know we had fireplaces? I just told someone we didn't have a fireplace? And we have THREE."

"We could live here---in our place. In the place we've always wanted, in the place that holds our dreams, in the place that already belongs to us."

Everything we wanted, dreamed about, was already ours.

I am astounded. I am thrown. I am thankful.