Saturday, June 21, 2008

can I have this dance?

I was reading at Crema this afternoon and feel privileged to have witnessed a moment that just made my heart leap.

It was a really hot and muggy day and I sat near the window for a little breeze. Crema is an old garage turned coffee shop and they had all the doors up and open. I was one of about five people inside. A couple young hipsters were typing away on their apple laptops. Another young couple chatted over their salads in the corner and a gray-haired lady sat reading the paper at a large table. A slower tune began to play over the speakers. The gray-haired woman with years of laugh lines collected upon her face, continued to read the newspaper, gently tapping her feet below. The dark-haired barista, in plaid walks over to her from behind the counter, extends his hand with a big smile asking, "can I have this dance?" The old woman blushes and sheepishly smiles, but her eyes can't hide her delight. She takes his hand and they move to the center of the cafe, stepping and twirling. Laughter and smiles envelope the two as they step back and forth. Her smiles extends ear-to-ear as her body remembers this dance from so many years passed. She is bubbling over with joy with each twirl and step. After one last twirl, she opens her arms for a hug. A familiar and warm laugh is shared before he returns to work and she to her newspaper. She sits, still smiling with her eyes and tapping her feet, pretending to read the paper.

more Paulo Coelho...

I am falling in love with this book. I cannot get enough of it. It stirs the hope that has settled within me, calling me to live more fully each day.

"At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke-the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as has theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen-the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.

It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Paulo Coelho

"For her, every day was the same, and when each day is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."
-The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

afternoon dreams

After a lazy afternoon nap in the sun, I awoke just before my phone's alarm sounded...

I had just dreamt that I was in my apartment and decided to go outside to look for something. I'm not sure what. I found myself looking up through the trees but I also kept looking behind me. It felt like someone was following me and I felt a little scared. As I looked away from the trees and behind me, there was a pair of shoes following me (cute feminine flats, if you must know- and beige-I'm not a fan of beige, maybe that's why they were a bit scary.) I was weirded out at first, why am I being followed by shoes?? Shoes following me is scary. Then it dawned on me slowly, that I am better off with shoes than without them. I didn't have to fear what was behind me, following me. I could pick them up and use them to get where I am going.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

it's highway robbery, I tell ya!

Since when does Ticketmaster think they own the world? A convenience charge AND an order processing charge?? What, my friend, does that even mean??

Long gone are the days when a $19 Brandi Carlile ticket actually costs $19.

I'm paying $3.80 for convenience and $2.75 for order processing.

Nothing about this highway robbery feels convenient.

C'est ridicule!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

strummin' on my gee-tar.

I am playing around with my guitar and it sounds almost like a song.
This is very exciting.
I've had a guitar for a few years now. It's come with me to the other side of the world, twice. More for my own listening pleasure, as I knew people who actually knew how to play the guitar would make use of it and play for me and the Malawian kiddos. This whole time, I've had no real clue how to play it. I know about five chords and it takes me so long to get the correct finger placement that I strum once and then a minute later, I find the next chord and strum again. It was just so brutal that it's been shut up in my closet for the year.
Since I've been out of school this week, I've brought her out in hopes that I may be a music prodigy and just not know it yet. While I am no music prodigy, practicing actually does pay off. I'm not actually playing chords to a real song, just practicing the chords I know, transitioning faster and experimenting with strum patterns, but it is so encouraging to hear something that sounds vaguely like music, coming from my own hands!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

oh, the waiting.

"We seem to have focused so much on exuberant beginnings and victorious endings that we've forgotten about the slow, sometimes tortuous, unraveling of God's grace that takes place in the 'middle places'." -Sue Monk Kidd

I like to tell myself that I am a trooper when it comes to these "middle places" but in all actuality I am not, not even in the slightest. I like to think that I live well in the in-between, but I often fast-forward to the "hoorah, everything is good" part. I'll encounter a hard time or pain of some sort, feel its sting momentarily, and then vault myself into the future where everything is better and it doesn't hurt anymore. Voila! right? not really. What I often want and pretend to have are quick-fixes, dustings under the rug, an emotional band-aid. That's how our culture functions, right? Quick fixes, one-stop shops, fast everything, gotta keep moving mentality...there is an urgency to life, and I find myself with an urgency to have everything be okay again.

I forget that it's a journey. It's a process. A slow and tortuous's in that uncertain middle place that God is found. Not just at the finish line, "hoorah, everything is good" part. God isn't in the business of quick fixes, but in the journey, in the waiting. We aren't to dust all our pain under the rug and pretend they never dirtied our floors in the first place, but we are to embrace them. I'm not sure I'm ready to gather the many pieces I've dusted under the rug, but I know they're still there. When I'm ready, I'll gather them up, embrace them and begin that slow and tortuous process of transformation.

There is always a time of celebration after the waiting. We celebrate after nine-months when babies are born, at the end of college for graduations, after cold winter months-we bask in the sunshine's rays and after the waiting I, too, will celebrate.

"Waiting is the in-between time. It calls us to be in this moment, this season, without leaning so far into the future that we tear our roots from the present. When we learn to wait, we experience where we are as what is truly substantial and precious in life. We discover as T.S. Eliot wrote, 'a lifetime burning in every moment'. " -Sue Monk Kidd

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

great quote

"That's the sacred intent of life, of God-to move us continuously toward growth toward recovering all that is lost and orphaned within us and restoring the divine image imprinted on our soul" -Sue Monk Kidd

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

hearts full of mercy

We are all cracked and broken; some more than others, some deeper than others. The tricky thing is, you can’t tell just by looking at a person whether their cracks run deep or shallow. I wish I could tell. With some people you just don’t know. Some people have mastered the art of appearance and showing only their perfect self to the world. It is these people that are left alone at the end of the day with their hidden broken pieces. If only one could tell by the lines on our faces. Maybe if we knew how deeply those around us had been broken, we would treat them more gently and with more compassion, because we know how it feels.

Would we offer a bigger smile? Would we offer to lighten their load? Would we offer a piece of ourselves?

I think about this a lot and when I’m walking down the street I imagine each person on the street with their broken parts exposed and vulnerable, but still moving, still breathing. I find myself drawn to those broken souls; the ones who’ve been dealt a bad hand yet continue to play the game, refusing to give up, the resilient ones, a reminder that life is here for living. Sitting with others in their hard times reminds me that I’m not alone. Our broken parts bring us together. No one is exempt from suffering.
All the more reason to live with hearts full of mercy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

a soul in grace

My faith has been starving away this season, and it’s sad to me how something as important as faith can be tossed so far in the desert that the desert begins to feel like home. I forget what faith is about sometimes and simple, yet incredible acts of God such as an answered prayer leave me with my jaw dropped.
A simple prayer answered.
I pray but I don’t expect them to be answered. Have I forgotten that our God is faithful? I need reminders that I believe in a loving and great God. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a wise woman named Jan, about fervent prayer. We were talking about how Jesus prayed on the mountain. “He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” When we cry out to God with desire and desperate groaning of the spirit, he hears us and he listens. My faith may be starved but I’m resting in his grace tonight.

"The splendor of a soul in grace is so seductive that it surpasses the beauty of all created things." Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, June 1, 2008

'Hey Ya' - Obadiah Parker

I am LOVING this song right now. Minus the technical glitch at the beginning..