Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prayers for Alycat


My dear friend Alycat is having a surgical procedure tomorrow. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

I just hope they let her bring her gall bladder home in a pickle jar!

Entrances and Exits


This past week brought about some interesting events. My uncle Marion died after a long battle (actually battle #4) with cancer. And an old theater friend became the mother of twins.

As people leave the world, others enter. And as people enter life others leave. Its the symmetry of the universe. Life and death balancing each other. Mirroring one another. On this side Death is an exit, but in Heaven it becomes an entrance. Birth is an entrance into the world, but an exit from the safety of the womb. It really is a matter of perspective, I suppose: Whether we are coming or going. Arriving at or leaving our destinations.

Maybe its really about the journey though, and not our entrances and exits at all.

Got the blahs...

Ever since I returned from New Orleans I have had the blahs.
Maybe the heat and humidity drained me.
Maybe seeing the aftermath of Katrina affected me more than I thought.
Maybe I just hate the hot, middle, never ending drought, bug ridden, sweaty days of summer...

For whatever reason I can't seem to shake this off. I start to think of things I would LOVE to do but when faced with actual activity, I falter. I just want to wilt somewhere cold with a tall icy drink and sleep until fall returns.

Mostly I feel overwhelmed. My life has become too cluttered. Too much junk in my trunk and elsewhere. I feel wasteful and slothful all at once. I need to divest myself of things but I can't bring myself to put them in the trash because they might be useful.

sigh.

Where did I get such a pack rat mentality? And how do I go about getting rid of it along with all the other things???

Saturday, July 19, 2008

City of Ruins, City of Resurrection

New Orleans was a city of contrasts. Beautiful old homes juxtaposed with ruins.
Fun loving tourists and weary residents rebuilding their lives. Old mixed with new. French and Southern, Cajun and Creole, Black and White. Joy and Sorrow.

I went to New Orleans with a friend who just got a teaching job at Tulane to help him find an apartment and get situated. So technically it wasn't a vacation. I am glad of that now. I don't think I could have gone there to "have fun". I felt the wounds of the city too deeply. The devastation is mind boggling. There is no way to comprehend what happened 3 years ago during hurricane Katrina. No way to understand how 80% of a city could be underwater, how an area the size of 5 Manhattans was flooded. 3 years later and the city is still deeply destroyed. Parts of New Orleans are back. Businesses are open and restaurants are serving food to hungry visitors again. But underlying all the orderliness is a psychic pain. I saw the Superdome and chills ran through me. The fear and desperation of that building was palpable to me. I know that countless throngs of happy sports fans have graced it over the years and victories occurred there, but for some reason when I saw it, I only saw the refugees, the dying, and the surviving...

We were lucky enough to spend a day with a friend who had lived and loved in New Orleans for 18 years. She guided us through the city looking for apartments and then took us through one of the hard hit neighborhoods, Lakeview, which mercifully is rebuilding. So there were signs of hope, of resurrection. I talked to people on the street, the workers who took care of the yards, the roofers, the builders while my friend looked at apartments and talked with landlords. I heard stories from people who had lost everything and everyone and returned. I heard stories of strength and hope. I listened to people who loved this hot humid muggy place, whose hearts were true to their home...

It was a lot to comprehend. A lot to process. I cannot say I fell in love with New Orleans like I fell in love with Charleston S.C. many years ago. I cannot say I would ever want to live in New Orleans. But I will go back. Definitely, I will go back.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FYI

There have been no posts because I have been down in New Orleans. I will post my adventures soon.
I just got home from a 16 hour drive... (lots of bathroom breaks!)
more later.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

That wacky Holy Spirit.

Today I started working with a new client~ an eleven year old girl. She is shy and quiet with me right now. I am still a stranger to her. She, of course, was very well behaved. This is what therapists refer to as the "honeymoon" period. When clients are just getting to know us, wanting to say and do the right thing, not yet trusting us enough to be real, fearing rejection, judgment or criticism. I sat with her trying to listen and learn about her. I tried to remember what it felt like to be eleven and angry, confused, hurt and lonely. I tried to let her know I cared and that I really wanted to be there: that my job isn't just a job. That it is a passion.

I know I had mentioned already about being exactly where I am supposed to be, but that is the space in which I am dwelling. It is pretty exciting. It is not contentment nor complacency. I am in a growing, changing, exciting phase of my life. I could not have imagined loving a "job" as much as I do this one. I love getting to know these kiddos, watching them grow and learn about themselves, watching them succeed and bloom. There is no better reward than to see a child's face break into a smile. I am so blessed that I get to be part of their lives.

A friend was talking with me last night and we were laughing about how much I had fussed about having to take a child assessment class one summer. She remembered me coming to work moaning and complaining what a waste of time it was because I "would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS work with children..."
Yeah, God's funny that way!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Souvenir

Yesterday, being a rainy 4th of July, the hubster took me to a flea market: indoors, dry and filled w/ treasures!
It was actually fun for both of us. And we didn't buy a thing!

I must have voyeuristic tendencies because I love looking through other people's junk. Not in the privacy of their homes however; only when it is out on display. There are boundaries I don't cross and snooping makes me really, really uncomfortable. I don't even like going into the hubster's wallet to get money... seriously!
But if people display their stuff with price tags on it, then YEAH, baby I am there!!!

Flea markets are interesting because they contain a mix of old and new, useful and useless, and memories. I found in one booth a cast iron stove just like the one in the kitchen of the farmhouse at Summer Shade. I remember Daddy sitting and propping his feet on the little ledge to get them warm after being out in the snow. I remember a pot of pinto beans simmering on the back burner of it, or my brother poking another log he had split into the fiery chamber, the embers glowing, the burnt wood cracking under the weight of the new log, sparks flying up the stovepipe and gray ash swirling and drifting down again.
For a while I stood looking at this stove so familiar and so long ago a part of my life. Amazed that an object can open a door in my mind and images come rushing through, smells, sounds and even tastes are remembered...

I also saw a quilt today, that had been donated to a thrift shop we were at that bore the date 1925 embroidered on it and the name Jeanie Lee. It made me sad. I wondered where the family had gone, why a quilt made over 80 years ago had ended up at the Salvation Army, cast aside for what? A new modern comforter? A Martha Stewart bedspread? I wondered about the woman or women who had hand stitched the pieces together, matching fabric and shapes, laying out a pattern, making something to last for generations, to pass on from one relative to another until maybe there were no more? Can that be? Can a family just cease to exist? I suppose it can... it just seems so foreign to me. I almost wanted to buy the quilt to give it a home, but that seemed wrong somehow. I don't know, I hope someone who will love it and Jeanie Lee will find it and treasure it. Maybe it will find a family again.