Monday, November 06, 2006

Evening of Overwhelming Sadness

I warn any reader of this will seem pathetic and probably a little too dramatic.

This has been a day full of stress and strong emotions. Anytime a song makes me sob or when I come home and just want to curl up into a ball...things can't be good. That was today.

It wasn't so much that the day was horrible and horrendous. It was more like it was bad enough to finally break the dam of feelings I have been storing up over the last couple of weeks. And, of course, today when the dam broke...I was alone. My poor husband sat on the other end of the phone, helpless, as I cried my eyes out.

Why is it these moments overtake us? Why is it that at this moment my chest feels as it if will collapse and crush my heart? The hurt is so deep. The stress is reaching inside and no matter how much I fight it, it is all taking over. I am thinking right now that a bath and some Loreena McKennitt may be the best cure. A little bit of time that let's me wallow in my misery...that is what I need.

The irony is that earlier, I was thinking about how blessed my life is. I was, of course, tallying up the things that I considered a blessing in order to counter the evil thoughts and tears that come from a stressful day. I was trying so hard to conquer and fight off the negatives that had been lurking around the corners.

But, after a visit to the vet, hearing about my dog's decreasing health...the tears hit the cheeks and my chest was ripped open. So, I am pathetically watching sitcoms in order to cheer myself up. The bathtub is definitely a better option. emotion that I don't like to feel...especially when the one person who truly understands me if not here.

At least it will only be one evening instead an entire day. Let's hope.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pangs of Separation

Separation. It is such a simple word, but it has such a complex context. It has meaning for me this week because my husband is in Texas and the separation is horrible. Yes, perhaps the whining and complaining is pathetic because it is only two weeks out of the year. And, I have endured absences that were much longer. But, this time seems exceptionally excruciating.

I thought it would be a little easier because my parents, snowbirds to the area, are in town so I have people to help me fill my time and provide a bit of solace. Their presence just makes it all the more apparent that my other half is missing.

At the beginning of the week, he sounded so chipper on the phone. He was enjoying the time in a new city and was eager to explore. As days wore on...his voice became less joyful and upbeat. Tonight he sounded miserable. His only motivation seems to be that each passing day brings him closer to being home.

Being away from the one person who makes you feel whole is probably one of the most difficult seems to be putting me at an emotional disadvantage with everything. Even corny advertisements on TV evoke tears or exaggerated laughter.

There is nothing more wonderful than having a strong connection to your soulmate, but there can also be nothing more painful.

On a lighter note....current books...

"Owl and Moon Cafe" by Jo Ann Mapson
"Frangipani" by Celestine Vaite

Music...Anne McCue. A talented Aussie singer-songwriter who expresses a gritty truth with her lyrics. And, she brings back a rich pure guitar sound reminiscent of classic country and 70's rock.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cowboys and Grit

I read a lot of books for two help me escape and to inspire me as a writer. I am just getting to the last few short stories in the book Close Range by Annie Proulx and I have never felt more motivated to hone my writing skills. Her writing is brilliance.

Close Range is a compilation of short stories written about Wyoming, the tough gritty state that seems far removed from many of us, especially those of us who are city dwellers. She describes a place that is all at once wide and open, yet small enough that people constantly intersect one another. The center of her stories is the cowboy. Her words are not only picture-painting, but also melodic. Taking a cue from a writing professor I had in the past, I read some of her work aloud and it was like honey dripping from my tongue. She chose words so perfectly that sentences were more than just a string syllables, they were short symphonies. I told a friend earlier today that her writing was so delectable, I wanted to lick the pages just to savor them a bit more.

I am looking forward to the last story in this collection because it is the famed "Brokeback Mountain." I want to see the poetic prose that inspired such an emotional and powerful movie. Some of my favorite stories in this book are: "The Mud Below" and "The Bunchgrass Edge of the World." Both have characters that are endearing, instantly gained my sympathy and attention. The story, "The Blood Bay" is only a couple of pages, but is written as urban legend, as if passed down from cowboy to cowboy when told around a campfire.

I will definitely be reading more of her books. Proulx has a second volume of Wyoming stories that I plan on checking out from the library and a friend has recommended The Shipping News.

The next book on my list is a compilation of nonfiction stories written about Thailand. We are considering going in the Spring and I find that the observations and tidbits discovered by travel writers can give the true flavor of a place. I am looking forward to exploring the exotic in the book's pages.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Perfect Day

For most people, the weekend is the time they catch up on laundry, errands, and anything not done during the week. It also serves as the perfect two-day "vacation" for quality time with loved ones. The usual weekend is two days, but for me the weekend never starts until Sunday. Sunday is my perfect day.

While Ryan works on Saturdays, I run errands and get caught up from a busy week. I can't wait for Sunday; that's the day when I can relax and spend time with my husband. It is my favorite day of the week. It starts with a meditative morning at church and then usually we go to brunch. The remainder of the day is spent watching a movie, going to a museum, exploring some place new, or just enjoying quiet time at the house. It is the moments when we walk around hand-in-hand and when we play trivia on Ryan's cell phone while we wait for the movie to start that I know we are perfectly matched. He makes me laugh. Only with him do I feel sunshine radiate within me.

It doesn't take much to make the day special, in fact is the simplest things that make me the happiest on a Sunday. I dread the end of the day because it means Monday will be here before I know it and I will have to wait another week for my favorite day. We will have the evenings when we can catch up fopr a couple of hours after work and before a class or other commitment. We can chat and enjoy time together over a quick dinner, but it is never like Sunday. It is on Sunday that we are able to finally just bask in one another and the love we have for one another. Is everyone blessed with this kind of day? Does everyone have the perfect day?

Most recent books:
"Female Troubles" a compilation of short stories by Antonya Nelson
"Interpreter of Maladies" a compilation of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri
"Wyoming Stories" a compilation of short stories by Annie Proulx

"Union Street" by Erasure (great unplugged performance of some of their best songs)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Struggling Dove

Today, as I was driving to the parking lot at the mall, I was approaching a small object moving around on the road. As I drove closer, I finally saw that the moving object was a poor frail pigeon that had injured its wing. It tried to use its strong wing to lift it up off the ground. Its struggle was painful to watch. I started to drive past and a pain hit me in my chest. It needs help. Then, I thought...bird flu. What if it bites me? What can I do to help? So, I dismissed myself from doing anything. But, the pain it was obviously feeling, pained me as well. As a fellow creature, shouldn't I help it? Can I let the bird stay in pain?

I made a U-turn and parked my car in a spot not far away. I walked across the road and stood over the bird. It saw me and its will to fly away was even stronger. The drivers in the oncoming cars on the other side of the street looked at me to see what I was doing. I assessed the situation and went and got a magazine out of my car...hoping I would be able to move the bird over into the bushes where it could be in peace and not have the risk of being run over.

The pigeon made a slight sound from its throat. It wasn't quite a sqwuak, but almost an escaping whisper. His feathers were a beautiful grey, so soft and heathered looking. The tips were white. Perhaps this wasn't a pigeon, but a dove? His big black eyes were innocent and full of fear as I approached him with the magazine. I began to put the magazine under the bird and then found myself jumping back slightly when the bird's beak moved in my direction.

I slowly began again and the breathy gasps continued to come out of its yellow beak. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I finally got the bird's entire body onto the magazine. My chest ached for the hurt this animal was in. I started sobbing as I scooted the magazine across the gravel and onto the side of the road in the bushes. The bird was still struggling to take flight.

Once the magazine bed with its bird occupant was by the green leafy bush, I crouched down and looked at him. He kept moving around and looking up at me. I so wanted to pet him and feel the soft down that was still showing from under his wing. He was still a baby. I didn't know what else to do. I felt helpless. If I was knowledgeable with birds I would take him home. But, what could I do? I just leaned over the bird and prayed. I prayed that God would make him better or otherwise take him out of his misery. When I opened my eyes, the bird wasn't moving around anymore. I gasped, certain that the bird had died. Instinctively, I lightly tapped the magazine. The bird's head looked up at me. Was he saying "thank you?"

Every single day, we live and work with other people. And so often we watch them struggle on their own. We are afraid to help. We are afraid of what we may find. We are afraid to get to close and feel a deep connection. This emotion and ability to connect is what makes us human. Why do we deny it?

Ryan, my husband, he understands this need to connect. Just the other day, as we were driving home, we encountered someone stuck in the intersection. Without thinking, Ryan jumped out of the car and helped the man push his stranded vehicle to the nearest gas station. As I watched him do this act of kindness, I was never prouder to say...that's my husband. What a good man he is! He is the kind of person more people should strive to be.

Life is a struggle. Life is turmoil. We are all like the dove on the side of the road. What would it be like if we were all left to struggle alone? What an existence that would be. We should hold a hand out to one another.

Friday, March 17, 2006


So it has been a while since I took the time to write in my blog. Life has been happening and my blog is what has suffered. There have been multiple blessings in my life over the past several months. Since this is the Lenten season I thought it would be the perfect time to count out some of my are some...
1. A sweet, kind, loving husband.
2. Got married to the love of my life in a beautiful wedding on a perfect day.
3. Travelled to Australia; another continent under my belt.
4. Shared a beach front room and Tahiti with my terrific husband.
5. Part of a wonderful church family.
6. Supportive friends who love and care for my husband and I.
7. A comfortable haven for a home.
8. Family members who stand behind my husband and I in all we do.
9. Neighbor and friend who is the perfect Bible study partner.
10. Two adorable pets.
11. And, last, but not least, the love of a merciful God.

Books..."The Photograph" by Penelope Lively; brilliant storytelling. Currently reading Fifth book in the Harry Potter series.

Music...Bernard Fanning's "Tea and Sympathy" This wonderful Australian artist is a golden find. I am in love with his music.

P.S. Always knew that Chloe would win Project Runway.