Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peace Unto You and Yours This Season + All The New Year Long

"Peace is the first thing the angels sang. Peace is the mark of the sons of God. Peace is the nurse of love. Peace is the mother of unity. Peace is the rest of blessed souls. Peace is the dwelling place of eternity." - Leo the Great

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gift from the Sea

Oh, how the years pass--so quickly. The days, the weeks, the months, the hours. How did I get here? In Jacksonville, Florida, outside of an office, the roar of the highway sounds like ocean waves--the rush you hear when you put a big sea shell to your ear.
When I was small, I would listen--the shell would cover my tiny ear, and some adult or other would say, Listen. You can hear the ocean in this shell. No matter where you are--far away from here, from the sea and the water and the waves--just listen. Close your eyes and listen. And you'll be right back here, on this white sand, in the salty water, with this bright sun dappled by passing clouds--they seem to move so much faster here under this big sky, don't they, with the hours rolling forward and back, forward and back over and over and over.
Time seems to stop here, doesn't it? It's so quiet here, isn't it? No matter the noise, the dogs barking and the radio playing, the people talking. The ocean has a stillness to it-- a quietness to it--just like the snow. The snow you'll see later, if you move away from here. You'll see the white as it covers everything--rolling hills and buildings and trees--everything.

You might, warm inside, watching the quiet from your window--I know you can't imagine it now and the hours are so long and bright now they seem to go on forever but let me tell you, one day you will be on your own, in a home of your own, all the totems of your life surrounding you--and you'll have a quiet chair, windows, live on a lovely street of strangers, and the cold may come, the snow may fall, and the window will be open just a bit to let the air in.
You may have a family, friends, or just a cat--but the air will come in before breakfast and the light will be so bright against the white and you'll look out in wonder at the days past, the hours, the years.

Maybe you'll put this shell to your ear--pull it from your shelf covered with all the books you've experienced and the letters you've kept and the words you've said. After all that, just a little bit of a lifetime or maybe more, you'll put this shell to you ear, a soft vacuum of sound will rush and you'll feel the sun and the clouds and the waves and the blue blue sky--but mostly, you'll hear the sound, over and over of salty waves crashing and retreating again and again and again and again.
Isn't it amazing how the hours rush by, you'll think, the years. Just put the shell to your ear. Aren't you glad I showed you this? All your little world carried, this day carried, my voice carried, inside the spiral stairs of this little shell, this small little gift from the sea.
We Heart It (1) We Heart It (2) We Heart It (3) We Heart It (4)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Think You're Just What I Needed

My friend Kelly has praised Brene Brown, Phd., for years. After a day of self-inflicted heartbreak (swung into a full-force brick of depression and spiritual suffering) over the simple fact that I'm not perfect, I finally found these badges of courage. And now I can go to sleep.

You can go get yours here. I think I've found a new mantra.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Inappropriate Hope

A thin yellow light spread out and all the sorrows which sat in her seemed suddenly to lift up and fly off and were replaced by the most inappropriate hope.
{Susan Minot from the Must-Read Novel Evening...Image via WeHeartIt.}

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hello, Monday} You Ain't So Bad.

Because, work conversation brought me to this picture of Robert Downey, Junior in the Italian Vanity Fair, and it has kept me happy all day long.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Awesomeness on a Friday

{You're Not Dead Yet: Rumplo ; I Has an Awesum via I Can Has Cheezburger ; Write a Poem Everyday: Reserrection Firm ;You Are My Sunshine: Rockett St. George ; It's Okay: By Anthony Burrill via I Suwanee via Somo Galery UK ; All Other Images via We Heart It. If You Know Their Original Sources, Please Let Me Know So I Can Give Credit to the Awesome.}

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Sweet In Between

{Just one last post on my grandma Jeannie. Promise to pick up the pace and lighten the mood asap. For now, here's what I wrote on the plane to OKC.}

It began the moment my dad carried his heavy face to my house, pulled out that daiphragam-deep voice from his heart and shakily, with a heavy nervousness, said that our precious Jeannie suffered a swift, massive stroke--a stroke like a bolt of lightning, like a freight train.

She was gone, vented, on a morphine drip, sweet body breathing by machine. I screamed. Then we held each other, held ourselves in check, cried, cleaned ourselves up, and walked to the Cathedral Basilica downtown. We walked straight down the center aisle, crossed ourselves in the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost, turned to the right, made our donations, lit two two healing novenas, and knelt in front of the Virgin Mary. Daddy did his Hail Marys, his Catholic recitations. I did my own prayers for her freedom, for her peace, her joy, her release.

Tears abundant. Tears already a thousand falling.

We took a trip to the sweet comforts of Plaza Verde, a French atelier next door to the Cathedral. French perfume, cologne, lotions, soaps. Shaving creams, shaving supplies, silver razors, chess sets, fine old knives, sweet smelling soaps, French linens and tablecloths, Japanese teas and incense, heavy pens of glass, and India ink. A respite of beauty, of pushing at bay, away, the idea of our adored Jeannie vented, spirit flown, on a morphine drip in an Oklahoma City hospital bed.

Precious body there, good sweet spirit flown fast and high and gone--the silver chord cut, severed, and that pure good soul free, gone--filling up her best beloveds on this earth, meeting her sweetheart once again, her sister Martha, her brother Jim, her Daddy, her Mom.

I pray now for her peace, for her freedom, for her joy--to send her with love, no self-pity, no regrets--into her heaven, for that is surely where she shall be--here, unseen, the same as she ever was--out of sight, right around the corner, filling my body body and my cells with a love unlike anything my earth-bound mind can fathom.
Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.

The sweet in between, the quiet escape of that gloomy Sunday when we got the news--where we filled the day up with distraction--French food, French perfume, a cocoon of television, the warmth of lamplight and disbelief, the hope for a miracle of her return.

All that will have to wait for a later date.

The sweet in between time of disbelief is fading. Soon this plane will land in Oklahoma City, where I will not find you waiting. Soon the viewing. Soon the wake. Soon the funeral mass. Soon the burial. Soon, the sweet in between time will end.

And all of your brood will gather--shuffling, unbelieving, shocked, shattered, our moorings lost at sea. And you will hold us inside and out, with the light of a thousand suns, filling us, carrying us, laughing in our ears, your wonderful voice in our minds now, in our dreams now--always, always, always--but especially when we, as your Joseph Michael said, when we need you most.
And we will always, till after our bones are long since turned to ash--need you.
May you laugh. May your sweet Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and God himself hold you and your sweetheart ever in the palm of his hand. I'll leave the rest up to you. I think you'll do just fine--with that wink and smile all of heaven will be as in love with you as PJ--but he's the one who'll get to hold you all through eternity's long nights, and give you sweet kisses under the stars, and gaze adoringly at you on the rolling green hills, amid the breezes sweet like jasmine, beside a crystal blue lake glimmering and shining. On and on and on.

{All Images Found on We Heart It, Save The First Two, Which I Took on My Phone.}


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