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1st 30 seconds
beauty, heartache, human truth
This is the 2nd day in a row that I’ve *wanted to write. I only write when I’m inspired and it’s been a long time since I’ve been inspired.
Either I’m sprouting a new thread of hopefulness or being around my family has left me with faint remains of strength and beauty.
Or maybe it was the Rest the break provided. Like a broken bone, I needed to be reset. To heal in the resting place of things and people I love.
Today and tomorrow’s truth: The smallest amount of light is infinitely greater than vast amounts of darkness.
*had a fire in the belly feeling where i breathe a little deeper and exhale with a slight smile and a new idea. also evidence of clarity, insight, or hope.
“be a witness to your pain
be witness to your thoughts.
acknowledge it, and keep going.”
oh, if only it were that easy.
My recent realization that my metaphor of Spring is actually flawed plus the idea that more of the same will get you more of what you already have is little more than my soul can bare.
Springtime is about newness. The flower outside my window makes me think things are all brand new, but actually it’s identical to the flower growing on that stem 1 year ago. This is fine if you are a flower. This is NOT fine if you are a weed.
I pray that every one of you, at least one time in your life, has a boss who would sacrifice hours and hours trying to help you be good (or at least want to be good) at something that makes you bloody miserable. And when you instead choose an easier path, he still writes you something like this:
And when I do see you at 277, you’re going to tell me that you really feel like you got the fit you were seeking, that everything fell exactly where it was supposed to, and that you can’t remember work ever bringing you such uncomplicated contentment.
It’s phrases like this that make me understand how kindness can break hearts.
“You don’t have to love this land,” said Maggie.” But if you don’t love it, you won’t won’t survive. Jacob’s right. You have to write your name in the land to live here.” Sarah didn’t speak. She took a handful of dry prairie grass in her hands, letting it crumble through her fingers. Then she walked away from us, through the dried grass, out onto the brown prairie that stretched all the way to the sky. She stood there all alone until Papa went to tell her it was time to go home.
Patricia MacLachlan breaks my heart. In Sarah, Plain and Tall, she broke my heart with singing. “Did mama sing every day? ” [sigh…] In Skylark, she breaks it with belonging. “You have to love this land to live here.”
I love a book the most when I find my own story swimming through the pages. I approach as a familiar friend and find comfort in knowing someone else is feeling this way, too. Sarah has been through a whole novel and a half and still doesn’t feel at home on the prairie with Jacob. I imagine she still has echoes of hunger pangs for the familiarity of Maine; for the feeling of being known.
A whole novel and a half.
Thank you, Patricia MacLachlan, for writing someone REAL. Real like a person who misses the familiar and kind land of home. Real like a heart that longs for something lost. Real like sadness. Real like me.
I’m on this page with Sarah, prairie dirt crumbling through my fingers. But I know what’s coming for Sarah. She will write her name in the land, the bitterness will melt, and she will call the prairie home. I am careful here as a reader, though. I can’t assume that 1, Patricia MacLachlan has betrayed my heart and good writing for “happily ever after” or 2, that Sarah writing her name in the land means she loves it. Not yet anyway. I think her affection follows her commitment. Not the reverse. Ouch.
Like Sarah, I feel like I’ve lived a novel and a half this year and still feel new in my new “home.” ( It’s typically not a good sign when you quote a word like “home”.. it’s like quoting a word like “truth” or “friend.”)
Enter current struggle: In my life, I commit when I love. If I don’t love, I simply don’t stay. A neighborhood, friendship, relationship. . . it’s all the same.
I miss what Sarah missed. I miss the gentleness of family. I miss the privilege of being known. I miss loving.
So. . . What now? Do I pick up a stick and write my name in the ground in defiant hope? Do I trust that love WILL follow commitment? I guess I have to try. And if I do write my name in this land, maybe my bitterness will melt away, and maybe, just maybe I might even call this new place. . . Home.
That is going to be so hard to do.
I couldn’t go home, but I could write a book that took me there.
I didn’t have a dog. So I made up the best dog I could imagine.
Within the walls of a tiny room with a rocking chair and a purple rug, there was a teacher.
She had 29 students with 58 dimples and lots and lots of books.