Nature IS

It’s been kind of a rough week – I won’t get into the gory details… Trust me, they’re not worth the digital ink on the page – it’ll bore you to tears!

In all of it, though, I have emerged – a bit weary and scraped, and definitely (ego-) bruised, but – intact and having learned a lesson or two along the way.

Can I just say, no matter how much unbridled hope you have, no matter how much flattery you’ve stored up in the form of compliments and well-wishes from friends, family, and the sweet little old lady at the craft store who doesn’t understand that you didn’t make a mistake and put your wedding ring on the wrong hand – because it’s NOT a wedding ring (it’s just a stupid ring to not make my, umm I mean your, hands look so plain and dismally naked!)…

Ahem, sorry… where was I? Oh, yes, compliments and well-wishes…

So, with all those little love notes of hope and (bloated) confidence making you feel as if the world will bend to your delightful whims, let me reassure you – the sun will NEVER rise in the west!

Nature IS!  If nature started acting contrary to what is has always been – i.e., the sun rising in the west instead of the east – could you imagine the amount of chaos that would create?! If the waves crashed onto the shore with all the splendor and majesty we know and love – the sound of its roaring strength and the sizzle of churning foam on its peaked tips – and then receded, only to fail in its rhythmic return for hours, what then? How far from shore would the water linger before once again quenching the sandy terrain? And the moon? What if it decided to spin off on its own and hang out in the orbit of another planet for a night or two, just on the weekend, because hey, it’s the weekend, and the moon deserves a vacation too, right? While we’re at it, how about lemon trees bearing grapes and rose bushes producing acorns and blueberries? Just for fun, cheetahs residing under water, talking ladybugs, and sea stars with proper legs and feet, strolling along in Central Park?

Nature IS…

I remember a line – or rather, a scene – from a movie where one individual laments “a bird may love a fish… but where will they live?” to which another (who by all accounts should know that Nature IS and cannot be changed, altered, or drastically redirected) exclaims “then I shall have to make you wings!” (collective “awe”…) But really, even if – even if!! – a fish could be suited with proper wings, to take flight alongside the bird, their two hearts soaring through the blue vastness together, eventually the fish would perish – for lack. of. breath! Why? Because. Nature. IS!

Okay, now hold on to your over-priced lattes and tea-cakes; here’s the boomerang! As I was myself lamenting about the sad state my affairs find themselves in at the near-close of this week, I came across an unassuming email and without hesitation, opened it for a quick read. There in bold, LARGE TYPE FACE was:

For nothing is impossible with God. – Luke 1:37

Now, I’m not saying the laws of nature are going to be tossed into oncoming traffic and carried off at break-neck speeds (because, come on, let’s be real! Traffic NEVER moves that fast around here)! No. Nature (still!) IS. However, if the will of Lord is that something be different than what has previously been the “status quo” – even if that “status quo” has withstood the test of time, and even sustained a longer run time than The Simpsons, Keith Richards, or cockroaches! – then rest assured, His will is going to supersede! Because, well, “[For] nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). And in case that wasn’t clear enough, Matthew recorded this: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).

I’m not going to fill my head with ridiculous rationalizations and fanciful dreams that come from a foolishly hopeful heart – that’s what 3-year-old girls do when they exclaim that they’re going to grow up to be mermaids and fairy princesses. No. I’m going to accept that the sun will never rise in the west, and know that it has nothing to do with me – it’s just how nature IS. What I am going to do, however, is find joy in the familiarity of nature’s laws, its calming, recognizable routine – the ones that I’ve become accustomed to over the past four decades (plus or minus five or ten years…).

Trying to redirect the wind and the waves has worn out my soul and my spirit, and has left me feeling defeated more times than I care to count. This time, though, I have learned that it is not my place to change nature, no matter how much bottled-up optimism I brandish in my arsenal. Instead, I am relinquishing my rebellious psyche for one of a more temperate disposition, (begrudgingly perhaps) accepting that I am right where I am supposed to be in the midst of nature and all its splendor, and banking on the promise:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak… They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29, 31)

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Simplify

How is starting a small business a way to simplify? I’m not exactly sure! However, I’ve done exactly that!

This is my first attempt at online sales, and I’m just quickly sending out a blog post to direct some traffic…

Right now, there are two  three basic products – with hopes for more as I commandeer time to create. Both All are 11oz ceramic mugs, with simple yet fun thoughts inscribed. (note: they are microwave and dishwasher safe!)

I hope you enjoy these enough to consider purchasing them for yourself, your friends, your family, your co-workers – whomever you think may get a kick out of owning something unique!

Thanks!

 

Simplify Coffee Mug

Be a Flamingo Coffee Mug

Crazy is Relative Coffee Mug

ALittleSmudged Storefront

Page-Turner!

So, I’ve been “absent” from the Blogosphere for a few weeks…

With cause, perhaps. Without cause, mainly, except in that I have been overwhelmed with work assignments as well as other tirelessly monotonous “to-do”s and a sheer lack of drive and willpower. It pains me to say that, yes, pain – physical, agonizing pain – has also played a huge part. It’s as if the breaking of my heart has found some way to manifest itself into the needling anguish of arthritis and tendonitis, coupled with MS and fibromyalgia, crippling my hands with searing discomfort and affliction. My mind, twisted and tormented by sprouts of new ideas bursting through a barren wasteland of decades-old non-composition, enduring the pulverizing wallop of giant new characters scrambling around, seeking to mingle and cavort with the edges of reality, and gasping for air, avoiding the sinking, drowning sensation within, yearning to stay connected to eyes, ears – a whole consciousness – awakened to the ‘New’, hidden in plain sight, by virtue of new, broadening perspectives.

For anyone who has known me longer than a week, my fierce desire to be a writer is more than evident – even in the performance of my rather lifeless “day job”… With the onset of such debilitating pain, I was beginning to feel as if I had been led down a long, winding road that culminated in a wall of thickets and brambles, impassable without seeing my dreams ripped to shreds. Even these few words today are met with bittersweet passion and, well, infuriating pain! (I say “infuriating” because if it weren’t for the pain, I would write and write and write – but even if I were to “power through the pain” as I have in the past, it ends up leaving me truly incapacitated, with barely enough strength to hold a pen, raise a glass to my lips, or pet my fur-babies; therefore, I am truly infuriated by the pain!) However, I felt it necessary to expound on both my recent hiatus as well as something I read this morning that struck my inner soul like a flash of lightning.

My truancy, I believe, I have sufficiently addressed. I now wish to share something with you that I hope touches you in a way that helps elevate you beyond any barriers that stand between you and your dreams:

In the reflection portion of a devotional I received via email this morning, the question was asked: how much energy do you expend crafting words or stories that are here one moment and gone the next? It was followed up with this question: what could you speak or write today that might outlast you?

…let that sink in…

Here’s where I was struck by a jolt of electricity: the ending prayer called on a thanksgiving for the deliberate and intricate unfolding of my own life’s story, with its unpredictable plot twists and myriad of interesting and motley characters. It reminded me to grieve the sorrows – “the dark episodes” as it referred to them – and unabashedly name my fears and hopes for the chapters yet to be written.

In that, I was reminded: My. Story. Is. Not. Over. There are still chapters that have yet to be breathed into existence! Who’s to say that my hands will always ache? Who’s to say that my rather lifeless “day job” may not disintegrate into a beautifully fantastical dream job of imagination and writing? What I can say is this: absence truly does make the heart grow fonder! Despite the pain, my heart’s fire is ablaze just in composing this short oration! And with such, it spurs me on to continue!

Camoflauge

Without any forethought or planning, I took last week off from posting, and just spent the time quietly enjoying the holiday weekend with my son. To say that nothing spectacular happened at our place would be the understatement of the year. I texted my mom late morning to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving, to which there was no reply, and later in the afternoon I received the customary “Happy Thanksgiving” text from my daughter (I replied, and we had a short back-and-forth text conversation about her younger brother’s “hibernation” habits and how they were interfering with my brunch menu). Outside of that, no other texts, phone calls, emails, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, singing telegrams, nothing – just a deafeningly quiet day at home. Is this odd? Well, seeing as how I have five brothers who are all, for the most part, adequately versed in cell phone operation, and that Thanksgiving was historically the primary family holiday, yes, experiencing complete “radio silence” was chilling – almost “Twilight Zone” worthy… As if having five brothers who were mysteriously absent on Thanksgiving wasn’t odd enough, coupled with the cold shoulder my text was receiving from my mom, my three rather “social” sisters who also know how to rapid-fire group text messages were freakishly missing too! No “hi”, “howdy”, or “hey” from any of them! (And, for the record, almost a week later, still no response from mom…)

I guess that’s what happens when you live several states away; you’re not an everyday voice, and not an everyday face, so eventually the memory of you becomes blurred, faded, and erased.

Ironically, the flip side of that happens on the job – at least for me! Being so consistently reliable and reliably consistent has made my face and my voice as commonplace as the torchiere lamp in the reception area of our office. Everyone just takes that lamp for granted; the lamp has been in the office for years and years, dutifully greeting clients with warmth and cheer, nary being thanked or extended a word or gesture of gratitude because, after all, it’s only doing its job… If, for some reason, the light was left off though, everyone’s day would be slightly askew – grumblings in the office corridors about the uneasiness in the air. Why? The lamp is not lit. What lamp? The lamp in the reception area. Never noticed a lamp in the reception area. Never noticed it because it’s always lit. The lamp isn’t lit today. Why? The lamp should be lit; that way it’s not noticed…

I stepped out for lunch one afternoon. Seems harmless; most people do it on a daily basis. One particular individual – let’s just refer to this person as the “helicopter pilot” – came around looking for me while I was out running some errands on my lunch hour (and to reassure any and all, I was within that one hour timeframe!) and was totally taken aback when it was discovered that I had the audacity to step out of the office for lunch (read: the lamp was not lit)! The helicopter pilot even stated, “but she never goes to lunch!” and began to “joke” that such departure from normalcy required ‘disciplinary action’; the company wanted consistent reliability and reliable consistency, not “free thinking”, and they didn’t want to have to come up with a contingency plan in the event something – anything! – should happen in my brief absence that would require someone else to do anything outside their scope of ‘job function’, such as say hello to a client…

~ sigh ~

Regardless, either case seems to be extreme, but yet truth. My large, usually tight-knit family seems to be lost to the four winds, my phone as silent as the grave, while the office staff, in particular the helicopter pilot, content in knowing that I will be at my post, day in and day out, all the way up through quitting time the day before a national holiday, because I have no better place to be (read: she lives hundreds and thousands of miles from any family, so she doesn’t need to go home early to prepare for guests – she won’t be having any guests at her place – and her son can just wait for her to get home; he’s old enough to be by himself until she gets there). An old, faded, barely distinguishable memory, not even noticed as missing to some, while to others, simply not noticed at all, blending in with the rest of the surrounding décor, almost as if just another light fixture…