Autumn Sunday


Thursday, June 7, 2012

One of the exciting parts of being in the military is the constant change.  It allows one to participate in experiences that require a person to be less tied down than normal.  And since a military family can expect to move every few years, and since deployments are often, most women do not work, and find it hard to be part of social commitments (large church involvement) that tie them down.  So when my husband left for Kuwait in the spring of 2012, I decided to take the chance and use his deployment as an opportunity to do something that I have always dreamed of doing: traveling to England.

In college, I passed up a study abroad to Whales and to Oxford for something I felt more pressing at the time: a mission trip and school transfer.  But the dream of studying Whitman or Lewis in their own stomping ground was as tantalizing a prospect as walking the cobblestone streets of Cambridge, punting boat in background, moon dancing over water as I walked hand in had with an English romance, book in one hand, coffee mug and pastie in the other.  The dream and the romance that had been nurtured in my heart became a reality, when I, mother of a two and four year old boy, embarked on a solo journey while pregnant, to visit my sister-in-law in a small town outside of Cambridge.  Obviously, the contrast of a single mother (spouse deployed in Middle East) traveling with two young children, strongly contrasted the idea I had of waltzing romantically with a book in my head and a coffee in my hand.  Instead, I had bursts of nursing rhymes to sing out on train rides to London, and one hand on my active two year old.
And yet, this journey was as exciting as the one I had always dreamed about... stay tuned to hear about the adventure.

On why Grace is too Magnificent

Grief upon grief,
Life piles upon us.
As if stacked dishes
Forgotten will self-clean.
Here comes the quick wit, biting sarcasm,
Layering pan in thick, congealed grease fat,
That cleans after a scrubbing or two,
Only to reappear the next day, shiny and
Rainbow- like, needing a daily rinse.

Then there are the secret ones--
These scald hot flesh like burn marks on pans,
No amount of scrubbing will rid them;
No amount of tries, raw, red hands, sharp,
metallic bristles, scalding water, or aching sores,
 furiously, the head bows, lament of destruction--
 Consumption takes its toll.
Wretched burn marks made permanent now, new part of pan.

Oh, but the sins that hurt the most
Are the ones that I create,
Yah, these, like cold water on hot metal,
 warp pan, disfiguring it into two asymmetrical halves,
 and leave something bent, twisted, and useless.
A broken tool.  A warped vessel.
What can clean it, what can clean it?
Shall I trust that grace alone cannot only scour,
But rinse, refresh, rebuild, renew, replace
Warped and fragile vessel to make new again?

It is too magnificent a thought.
Yeah, too magnificent.
I shall try myself, instead,
To wash all of the dishes as a sort of penance.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Earth Shaped Heart

Today was one of those days where my body, full of lethargy, forming baby in womb dragging me through what feels like layers of quick sand. A deployed dinner to support spouses seemed to compound my pain, gracious faces eager to help but no one to assuage the pain of absence, the pain of detachment, of void the size of a china ripping through my earth- shaped heart. The interminable amount of days layered on days. How long has he been gone? Only one month. Many more to go, days forming weeks forming years, for some. For me, how do I complain about 6 months of absence in one year, 8 months in two? How does one vote to say yes to war. To place your vote on paper must mean to look in the eyes of a love starved child, crying when he sees a man who resembles the form of father in flight suit… the eyes eager to scoop up what was once here and now is gone. Object impermanence. To live in a constant state of struggle, to attach to the one you love, but not too much that it will hurt when he leaves, tomorrow, for another deployment. How does one hold on to loss? Hold on to the absence of someone, the memory of someone once here, once in bed, heart ticking in rhythm to my own, and then to tick in rhythm to someone on the other side of the world? How does one grieve and not grieve. Live in strength for today, carrying head high to cover up heart feeling low?