Thursday, May 12, 2011


My lover speaks; he says to me,
"Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!
"For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!
~Song of Songs 2:12~

I have two double daffodils on my desk. It is baffling how the presence of fresh flowers changes a space. They were among the few blooms in our front flower bed that came through this spring. Once their stalks bent to the ground, I rescued them to spend the last of their bright yellow days in a mug of water on this desk. Perhaps when I have a true writing desk, a space consecrated to that activity, I will aim to always have fresh flowers of some sort at hand. Someday...

It's a season of freshness - Spring - overly wet and slow in coming though it may be. The branches of the many maples in my neighborhood are decked out in their green buds. Daylight comes at such an early hour again. Walks and bike rides and softball games are filling the evenings. My summer calendar is already heavy with plans but for now, for a few more weeks, I feel like I can breathe a bit slower, deeper, and the air I catch will swell in my lungs with the freshness it lacked through the lengthy winter.

My niece became engaged this past Sunday. For several years it was a frequent (and nearly funny) joke in our family that she might marry before me or a couple of my sisters. The idea of that happening was a lonely one indeed. The past year changed my perspective on a heck of a lot though and with my hand in Matt's, I am able to rejoice with her. Granted the fact that my niece is getting married makes me feel a bit old, but not lonely. In a single year, I have tasted what it means to have a companion, to be beloved, to give and receive wholehearted affection, to fight for and with each other, to question and subsequently dig for the answers, to rest in another's arms and trust them to hold you well. I say 'tasted' because even with all the depth of the relationship thus far, I have a back-of-the-mind sense that we have yet only skimmed the surface.

In the last few months I've read several books that remind me why I love reading. They remind me of what I am trying to do and why I try at all. Water for Elephants, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, Inkheart... The words of others wear away my apathy and hesitation. I have no small task in redeveloping Aillinn's character and backstory in order to give more depth to her part in the story of Full of Days. The invigorating pleasure of taking up that task outweighs the difficulty though. I am freshly ambitious and as such I feel more like myself in this realm of things than I have for nearly a year.

There is such beauty - not vain beauty but tangible, effective beauty - in a person pursuing what God has designed them to do. To love, to create, to believe, to hope, to give of themselves in their unique ways. When the talents and qualities He has given are taken up by their possessor, those close by are able to witness that spark of life, of truly living, which I believe we all wish to experience day by day. Each day truly lived is indeed a radiant bloom.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Spring seems to be coming only in spurts this year. Tiny, sporadic, brief spurts. Like today - the first day of sunshine and 50+ degrees in a couple weeks. And a couple weeks ago there was only one similar day after another few weeks prior to that. It's been sad and discouraging and all too well suited to the way I'm living. Writing, cleaning, exercising, praying - all in spurts. It's shameful and it's not me!

Consider this a mid-year review. If I were my boss, I would not give me a raise, inflation or no inflation. Time to step up. There is nothing more disappointing in a person than potential left unactualized. And no person more disappointing in that regard than when it is your own self.

Rebounding from a 10 day cold and headaches that rendered me horribly listless, I am ready to not only feel like myself but to live like myself. How I used to prize consistency! Consistent effort bore consistent fruit.

Let's be honest, falling in love interrupts everything. In the best possible way, of course, but I realize now that I have waited a whole year to adapt to living in love. Welcoming after years of waiting the chance to focus so wholly on my relationship, it is time to live more as my truest self in that relationship. I am a prayerful, tennis playing, hiking, reading and writing friend and family member who is in love. I am not a lover who used to be the rest of those things. It's as cliche as it comes, I know. Who doesn't lose themselves in the joy of the new relationship only to find the relationship would be better nurtured if they hadn't lost track of themselves? So I suppose I'm just learning one of the oldest lessons around. Well, it's learned. I get it. And I am glad for the chance to have learned it. Now let's get on with it! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Strange Days

A headache had me flat on the couch for hours this afternoon. Eventually I moved to my bed and prayed and cried a bit until I fell asleep. It was a heavy sleep that I didn't rise from for three hours. Now I find myself awake when I should be readying for bed. Closing my eyes in the daylight and opening them in the dark, I feel off kilter and am desperately hoping I'll be able to slip back into sleep sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I decided to turn on the television and watch a bit of the coverage on my DV-R of Blessed John Paul II's beatification. With a little restless channel scrolling, I'm now flipping between this and the breaking news of Osama Bin Laden's death at the hands of United States personnel. The combination, along with my shaky nerves from the headache, is rendering this the strangest day in recent memory.

The pain is returning to my head after some relief during my sleep. I haven't eaten much today, which probably isn't helping matters. As I'd awoken this morning with several ambitions for this rare day to be spent at home with no company, there's no denying I was thoroughly disappointed by how things went. Now though, I'm filled with a gripping sense of the littleness of my sufferings. I am a member of this vast human society. It's a society riddled with sickness and war, instability and death... trying to catch hold of peace but never certain of its finest course.

This is a terribly rambling message, I realize. So go my thoughts though. Blessed John Paul II, advocate of the true peace of Christ that passes beyond our understanding, pray for us.