Monthly Archives: February 2011


i got stuck on the 1 train today. but not because of train traffic ahead of me.   i got stuck to someone. well, my scarf did. it got caught, quite perfectly, on a teeny tiny hook of a stranger’s teeny tiny zipper. now i care a lot for this scarf, so i couldn’t just yank it.  i did what i had to do. carefully, for what seemed like a painfully long time, i  took back my scarf from the backpack.( have you ever jumped in the lap of a stranger and started threading a needle with lots of people watching? i imagine it would feel something like this.)

i wasn’t having the kind of day where people would hold the doors for me so it didn’t surprise me when no one did. (jerks.)  and when you can’t get off a train– even with the 30 second grace period that NEVER happens — and when no one around you  attempts to help, you gotta face it: you were meant to ride a little longer. calmness hovers over me in those moments because I kind of always know that it must be happening for a reason.

after talking with my lovely writer friend, KR, i am challenged by her charge to write more fiction. so of course i’m thinking that if fog in a spin class can be a story, so can a scarf that leads a person on adventures…or even saves her.

what if someone got stuck on a train and went all sorts of places she never intended? places she’d never choose to go…     who would she meet? what would she see? what would she be saved from?




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A List

All I want are two rainy days of solitude.

I’d read and play guitar…maybe cry a bit (so good for the washing away of things…) and then I’d write.

But I don’t have two days. So for now, all I can do is make a list. A list of everything that has made me think or moved me; pierced my heart for better or worse.

1. What is with the stoic, badass 70 year old woman in my spin class? (Let’s call her Mona.) You best not book her bike. And your gym garb will pale in comparison to her skin tight body suit.  one piece body suit. She is serious. My favorite thing about her: Despite the beat, music, or anyone around her, she goes at her own pace. She has one speed. S-L-O-W.  The irony: She’s the skinniest one there and you’d be jealous of her quads.  (I am.)

2. When the windows fog up in my spin class, I can’t look in the mirror. Then, it’s impossible to be self-conscious. What would it be like to manufacture fog for those insecure moments in life?

3. No matter how many times I think I’ve beaten my desperate desire for approval, I’m always surprised to have it sneak up on me again. Really hoping my friend John is right and that we’re not living on a roundabout of bad habits. Rather, we’re living in a slinky-thing-ish.  It feels like we’re in a cycle of _________, (we all have blanks) but we’re not. It only feels familiar, but it’s not the same place. Our learning is deeper. And we have learned. We have.

4. What is it about Patty Griffin’s songs that speaks to my soul every single time it’s climbing back to the surface of life and beauty. It has to be something.

5. After a Sunday that should have ruined my week but didn’t, I’ve been thinking a lot about how what you’re tethered to completely affects the extent to which you are shaken during heartache and disappointment. And what you’re tethered to could be anything. And can change by the minute. The implications are…well, enough to make me want to check in with myself a few times a day.  Oh, identity…

6. Pull and Peel twizzlers…. this love affair has survived two stomach flus. Sweet Potato fries and asparagus, not so much.   Oh you chewy treat. You are this decade’s Dr. Pepper. I will conquer you.

7. To see the kingdom of God ( quick and best definition EVER: peace, healing, restoration, return from exile, justice, forgiveness, joy and celebration) break out in your life, you might have to go to the cracks in the foundation. you might have to return to the broken places.   Me?  I still haven’t reconciled justice and forgiveness. The ideas are beautiful. Then I see faces and it becomes really tough. But, what if I could really forgive ?  That would be a freedom I’m not sure I’d know what to do with…  in a glorious way.

8. What is fate? I don’t know. But I believe in something like it. I was shoving things into the bottom of my closet (something I do when I want to see the bottom of my floor). I basically move mess around. (Um, another metaphor??) Anyway, this means some things go into drawers. Which means me opening drawers and getting sucked into whatever “thing” is there that I haven’t seen in a while. I found a wrinkled piece of paper (i should note there was totally gum wadded into one earmarked corner of it) and kind of loved it.  On it was written Ultimately our gift to the world is hope. Not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. But the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe this is all there is.

Refusing to believe that this is all there is.  sigh…     Who’s with me?

9. Spin class is incredible because it reminds me of hope and perseverance. And community.  For 30 minutes you are waiting for “the hill.” You know it’s coming and when it does, it hurts. But I can always hear the break is coming soon, and since I know the pain is almost over, I go go go go go and I keep going because others around me keep going. I keep going because they are doing it and so can I. We’re strangers, but we’re all in it together.  We are all miserable and killing it together. And then there’s Mona. Miss I-go-my-own-speed Mona. Still not cracking a smile or a sweat. Reminding me with her silent loudness that you don’t have to strive. Even in spin class.

10.  I’m tired. I should really edit this. You’d think (I’d think) I would have learned my lesson this week. But I haven’t.

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In the Hands of Giants

Would you mind if I indulged in my 5 year old Jack and the Beanstalk imagination for a bit?

If we lived in the hands of giants, would it matter if we fell or made a wrong turn and got lost?  Would our own confusion or uncertainty even matter? I suppose we could still live, striving to “figure it out” but what does that gain us? Really.  We’ll get to the end of our journey and we’ll get there safe and sound, thanks to our giant.  And our giant knows we’re not lost. Because we can’t be lost if someone knows where we are, right?  And what’s even better is that if we were to live in these great palms, we could sit back and rest and enjoy the beauty of the journey.

After being overwhelmed by a beauty filled weekend, this was my Sunday night pondering. Something about community and a glistening Hudson that will make things all too clear.


*I am a believer in free will. Just putting it out there. THIS is not about THAT.
It is, however, about something I’m learning about resting and believing that the same goodness that makes you sigh at sunsets will cause you to sing in uncertainty.

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