Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anne Lamott

"This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds. It struck me that I have spent so much time trying to pump my way into feeling the solace I used to feel in my parents' arms. But pumping always fails you in the end. The truth is that your spirits don’t rise until you get way down. Maybe that's because this-the mud, the bottom-is where it all rises from. Maybe without it, whatever rises would fly off or evaporate before you could even be with it for a moment. But when someone enters that valley with you, that mud, it somehow saves you again."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

just some words

(Some words inspired by Regina Spektor’s song, “on the radio”)

She walks wobbly and balancing along the driftwood

She peers inside herself

She takes her grace, empathy and understanding

Holds it up to the light

A smile gently crosses her face and touches her eyes

She tries to love these pieces

But she can’t help but wish for courage, boldness and confidence

But she takes her grace, empathy and understanding

And gives it away,

They keep her alive, pumping her own blood

And when she gives,

She keeps someone else alive, pumping someone else’s blood.

They walk arm in arm, hoping not for harm

Just to love and be loved in return.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

love wastefully.

(from the blog archives, but I'm revisiting these thoughts tonight.)

I've been thinking about the kids in Malawi. I just miss 'em. I really hope I'll get to see them and be with them this summer. That would make me deliriously happy, you have no idea. I just woke up from a nap of which I dreamt of Malawi and remembered how we used to say goodnight to the kids. They would always hold out their hand with their pointer finger, pinky and thumb pointed at our hands until they touched. I found this weird at first, until I asked one of the girls, Caroline, and she turned her hand up and said, "I love you, Auntie." She had been making the sign for "I love you" in sign language. That gets me at my core. I really love that. I find myself grabbing a hold of any memory of them just to have them in my mind, to remind me that they are real. It scares me that at times, I wonder if I was ever there.

My time in Malawi can seem like yesterday and at the same time only a distant memory.

I've also been reflecting on our world in the past weeks and months and I've come to realize on a much deeper level how broken our world really is, and it's so, so sad. There is not enough love in the world. Someone once told me to love wastefully. What better advice, love wastefully. You can never love too much. Why is it that so many people do not receive the love they so desperately need from the people who should be giving it to them. I know way too many kids from broken homes, with parents who are never there or just don't take the time to care and it's so awful. They begin to search for their worth everywhere else. It pains me to look around everywhere in our culture and see all the things, things that will make you desirable and loved, things that will make you beautiful or accepted, things that will numb the pain and the hurts to make everything that weighs on you just a little lighter, if only for a little while.

My heart has broken over and over again for the hurts in the world, and in the lives I have been privileged to know, in Malawi and here in Seattle, and it's hard not to be overwhelmed. I've spent many a moments filled with deep sighs, tears and silence over the things I have seen and felt. I wish I could fix it all…

I was reading Blue Like Jazz this summer and this quote struck me, "The human struggle bothered Rick, as if something was broken in the world and we were supposed to hold our palms against the wound, reaching a felt need." Very well said…I love that. We can all be healers in the world holding our palms against the wound. To love where it's needed and to help where it's needed. "If I can keep one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain…"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

salt water and strong coffee

I love the ocean. I love all water. Just catching a glimpse of it sends me into bliss. I’m out at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast visiting my college roommate, Sara and her family at their beach house and let me tell you, it’s blissful. This morning I woke up, poured myself a big cup of coffee after searching around for the biggest mug in the cabinet and walked onto the deck to just take it all in, greeting the day as the waves greet the sand. It was warm enough to stand in pjs and bare feet. I pondered beginnings and what it might be like if the coast happened to be the edge of the world, you know… if the world was flat. I thought about home and friends coming and going, and how all things can be made new. What a refresher; it’s like the ocean set me up for the day and happy living.

Mornings are lovely, even in all their grogginess. Everything is new and beginning to come alive. I love the slow waking up process (as brutal as it can be sometimes). I love working at a coffee shop where I witness the waking up process right in front of my eyes. It’s kind of like the neighborhood kitchen and I just so happened to be the first one up in the neighborhood and strolled down to the kitchen to put on a cup of coffee and throw some muffins in the oven. Each person wakes up and walks into the kitchen to touch base, talk about their plans, catch up real quick and get some coffee to start the day. Some are all cleaned up and revved to go while others come in sleepy-eyed and disheveled. It’s a fascinating time of day to people watch, just hang out in my “kitchen” and you’ll see what I mean.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Courage. I feel like I've been praying for courage since day one. Yet, it is still something I feel around for in the dark, hoping will appear. Once I think I've found it, in actuality, it is just the opposite. Brennan Manning talks about people who are not actually prepared for God to answer their prayers. They pray for humility, yet they don't prepare themselves to be humbled. He says if you pray for humility, get ready to be humiliated because you learn it; it isn't magically instilled in you. I guess the same goes for courage. If you pray for courage, get ready to be scared. Am I praying for courage without preparing myself to be scared-to stare disappointment and fear in the face? Am I praying for courage yet backing into my shell when a moment comes?

"Courageous risks are life-giving, they help you grow, make you brave, and better than you think you are." Joan Curcio

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm not the only one!

So, during a marathon of Friends episodes tonight, I found myself watching an almost identical scene to what I experienced a year ago in my old house. Just watch this clip and imagine me in my little attic room in the middle of the night when I need to wake up at 4:30am for work..It's pretty spot on, 'cept instead of throwing it down the laundry chute, I threw it across the street. I was even telling my friend Angie this story on Monday and she commented that she thinks that is probably the most mad or full of "rage" that I've ever been. And I must say, it's up there.

I'm just glad to see I'm not alone in thinking my smoke detector is out to get me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How much for my coffee?!

When you go out to dinner they always try and improve the salad. They’re like, '

Would you like some fresh pepper on your salad?'

Can anyone tell the difference between fresh and stale pepper? I can’t even taste the pepper. They might as well be like,

'Would you like us to wave this wooden wand over your salad?'

...'Uh, all right.'

'OK, enjoy your magic salad.'

-Jim Gaffigan

On a side note: I am currently sitting at a lovely little coffee shop on Bainbridge Island, enjoying a few more hours of a visit home for the weekend. I just paid $3.58 for a 16oz iced americano. Holy expensive coffee! I think my jaw actually dropped when she read the total to me. Also, on the menu, a 16 oz hot Americano is $2.60, so apparently it costs $1 more for ice. Who knew ice held such value these days? This same drink in Portland costs me $2.15. I'm a little peeved. My "cheap drink" is not so cheap anymore. Also, I'm trying not to eat dairy for a couple weeks just as a trial, apparently there are amazing health benefits from not eating dairy AND it gives you clear skin. Sounds like a win, win, until I was at the grocery store and everything I wanted to buy had dairy in it. AND, my pricey Americano, is so so plain because they were out of soy milk this morning, so no creamer for me...Eeesh, this could be a long couple weeks.