Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Before me lays an ornate box of sturdy mahogany and golden gilding, smelling faintly of warm cedar and chilled lilies. It bears no easy lock and key, but an intricate puzzle both diamond sharp and dangerously enigmatic viciously protecting its precious keep. Mere flesh and bones cannot undo the trances and barriers fortifying the innocent-seeming-yet-undeniably-mysterious crystalline conundrum of a latch. Inside, you see, wrapped in iron and silk hides my vulnerability.
I suppose it is not the most kosher step to reveal my need for vulnerability only to disappear and leave you with a cryptic message about a rope and a well. Don't worry, I'm doing well (ha, "well"-- get it? "well?" nevermind). As a matter of fact, that rope message wasn't so much about the rope as it was about the well. I don't feel at the proverbial "end of my rope" by any means. It's more that sometimes I feel emotions so deeply that I haven't the words or reactions with which to define them. In that sense alone am I left high and dry-- at once both a fish out of water and a diver out of air.
But, it's a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I Need A Longer Rope

Sometimes I feel as though my well bottoms out far deeper than my bucket could ever descend.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Candid Does Not Equal Vulnerable

Last night I went to hear Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz speak at the Belcourt. I expected a lecture and got a book reading instead, a surprise for which my frazzled mind applied much gratitude. An even bigger surprise, however, laid in the personal revelation I drew from the question and answer time. Someone in the audience asked Don how he could be so vulnerable in his writing. His first, and characteristically comical, answer was that it's easy to be vulnerable when you don't think anyone is listening, or in this case, reading. Expanding upon this thought, Miller cited artist David Wilcox's answer to such a question. Let me paraphrase it this way: unless you give people the opportunity to hurt you, they can never be close to you. Miller, in turn, decided that he wanted people to be close to him, so he opened up.

I share this all here because, honestly, this blog began as a medium in which I might express my vulnerability. As I listened to Don last night I thought about how right he was. It's easier to be vulnerable when you don't think anyone is reading. I've said that the most powerful music and writing occurs when the audience feels as though they have stumbled upon the artist in an intimate moment; one they feel almost ashamed to peer at and yet one from which they cannot pull away because it resonates so much within their own hearts and longings. However, the magic only works so long as the artist continues unaware of intruders.

I have been that person here. I have tried. I have also hidden her from the glaring eyes; an admission that hurts because, like Donald Miller, I want to be close. Last night I realized, however, no matter how many deep secrets I tell you or lies I dispel, I am merely being candid. You see, I've found that I can reveal myself to you without being vulnerable. I can be honest and still be safe. But it is in this safety that my ability to be vulnerable dies. It is in this safety that my conversations and relationships become more shallow. It is in this safety that the living well of my relationship with God evaporates to a mere puddle, the ground water dried, the crops malnourished or dead.

You see, I need not worry about being candid with God because He knows everything anyway. There is nothing a I can hide from Him. Being vulnerable, however, involves being candid with myself; revealing to myself the truths and lies from which I hide. What I learned is that I can not be vulnerable with you because I am not honest with myself. That lesson, in itself, may be the first act of honesty I have taught myself in quite some time. Perhaps it will continue. We shall see.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Appeal for Advice

So, I have a problem. I've talked to a couple of sources about it, but have come up short. I have yet to google it, because, honestly, I'm not sure what search would even work. Therefore, I have decided to lay it out and hope someone on the grand world wide web might have and idea...

I gave blood a month ago and that elbow has been sore and stiff ever since! I've talked to the red cross and they just said to apply moist heat. I've applied moist heat. I've been wary of working out---ok, I just haven't worked out... but I finally did this past week and its still sore and stiff! And to top it all off, the people looked really nervous as I was giving blood and I think the girl who stuck me was new because the other people were watching her very carefully... details which have not eased my anxiety about my elbow.

Any ideas?!?!?

Monday, January 03, 2005

Update on the Po' Man's Mocha

1. Clean Snowman-shaped mug from last mocha.
2. Fill mug with "interesting" workplace coffee.
3. Add gas station powdered hot chocolate mix.
4. Stir with candy cane.
Yields one (1) po' man's peppermint mocha.

In other news, it's the New Year; a time to "wipe the slate clean." People make resolutions as if entering the New Year is like walking into the classroom of life on a Monday morning after the janitors have washed the blackboards with soapy water. Throughout the week teacher marks up and erases the blackboard, but no matter how many times erasers clap against it or each other, a chalky residue lingers stubbornly behind. No, the chalkboard is never as clean as it is on Monday morning.

Today is the first Monday morning of the New Year and I've already miffed my "resolution" to get to work earlier. I've already chalked-up my board. However, I didn't enter the New Year feeling all sparkly and polished-patent-leather new, so it doesn't seem like it really matters. And does it? Does it really? Do our lives truly depend on one day a year to cleanse our misdeeds and clear our slates? Think if classroom blackboards only got washed at the beginning of the new term. By the end of term the teacher might have better luck illustrating his/her point by tracing through the chalky residue with his/her finger instead of adding to it with more chalk.

No, I think there's a reason why janitors wipe the blackboard once a week as opposed to once a year. And I think that we don't need a New Year to wipe our slates clean. As a matter of fact, I don't believe a New Year can really wipe our slates clean. After all, are we not a sum of our days? Do we not all have some sort of chalky residue somewhere, perhaps in the running board or around the edges where one might forget to clean? Behind one's ears? Is there a shelf too high or a gutter too low to reach on a regular basis?

So, this is the New Year and I don't feel any different.* Well, at least not any more different from the daily, weekly, monthly, moment-by-moment cleansing process to which I've already set my paces. I don't have to wait for one day a year to atone from my wrongs and turn a new leaf. It could happen any day, any moment and yet I'll still be the same. And yet I'll be different. A sham and a hypocrite and a truly genuine person all at once. A paradox for which I am glad.

*lyric by Death Cab for Cutie