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nashville blues

It has been a good week. Regardless of uncertainties that hold me tight and never let go, I find myself in good sorts. 

I had the pleasure of getting ice cream with a long-time friend of my parents. He eagerly sought me out and noticeably enjoyed himself. He asked and listened and repeatedly cursed my father for not telling him more about my life. He spoke of my mother in the way a daughter could only dream of. Saying things like, “she was a mother to everyone. Whether they wanted it or not”. My heart was warmed and full. He told me how my mom loved my dad with a fierceness. And made him overcome his fear of intimacy. I have this image of these two people laughing, enjoying, loving each other so fully. Seriously, they are wearing the most fantastic vintage clothing and laughing. Always laughing. I wouldn’t change that for the world. And after a mere hour of conversation, he saw my incessant need for seriousness and shook his head. “You have the rest of your life!” The words, though, that stung sounded something like, “you are your toughest critic. You will have to overcome that your whole life.” In one hour. And suddenly a rush of surrender and freedom. A deep breath of truth. A reminder that it’s ok to let go. 

You know, people often respond to my studying fashion design with an “oh how fun”. And each time it hurts. It is fun. But, I work my butt off. There’s something really unsettling about the way I assume people are measuring my intelligence with this small confession of my chosen field. I have really identified with one of my favorite authors, Julia Cameron, because she intimately describes her life as an artist. There are, without fail, serious demons that come with the territory. “Can I do it? Is it beautiful? Does it matter? Will it last? Am I crazy?” It takes only a few words to affirm or deny these questions. 

The people that I am attracted to most: Pete Seeger, Frida Kahlo, Bill Cunningham, Georgia O’Keefe, and more recently Mary Lee Bendolph (Gee’s Bend quilter) are the kind of people that pursue their art whole heartedly. They create because they need to, because they love it, and aren’t concerned with the outcome or self recognition. 

Oh, to create because it satisfies something in me that nothing else can. 

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
sea of life

Today is the worst day. My worst day, not Oskar’s. Only a month and three days after my ninth birthday, there I sat. I couldn’t imagine all the people. Every pew full, I was a tiny fish in a big sea. The concept was strange. The excitement of a new dress and riding in a limo, I was confused. A few days earlier we sat at grandma’s house, watching the news. Supposedly two boys shot lots of kids at a high school called Columbine. I was busy drawing a robot for Mr. Flower’s class. Even then, I wondered the point of it all. Forget the robot, things are happening. Life is being taken away.

I begged Aunt Juli to take me to school with her. Since I was on a small vacation from school, I had time to do what I wanted. Helping her teach the small children seemed priority. After all, my mom was always asleep. And I was a squirmy little girl. I remember crawling next to her. I remember her skin and the fragrance of lotion. I convinced Aunt Juli to take me. And of course, it was that day. The worst day. I was wearing headphones, playing a computer game that taught me math. What do you know at 9 years old? You don’t know the importance of tucking away memories. Or saving important things. And as my young mind went into survival mode, I forgot, in order to protect myself from any more pain.

I was drowning in the sea of people. I think they were surprised. She was supposed to make it. We prayed for her. God was there. She was faithful. He doesn’t take the good ones. Uncle Jim held me above her. My tears fell down. Snot smeared across my face. I haven’t cried like that since. Uncontrollable, uninhibited. At a mere nine years old, one month and three days, I looked at my mother for the last time.

Well, physically, at least. She’s everywhere. And I’m thankful. In the way my sister takes care of me, and others. The way she can’t stand injustice. My dads ability to encourage me twice as good as other parents. It takes an awareness to see, but she’s here, loving me, whispering goodness and mercy sweetly in my ear. 

— 2 years ago with 1 note
When my day is done.


A deeper journey into myself, really. What could be more important? My father is a man of deep thought and reflection. I see him sitting in his chair, glasses in place. What used to be an ottoman is now redeemed as a table, covered by books. Within reach, writing instruments are plentiful. A man who appreciates options, color is important. He sits still. Quiet. Only now and again leaning forward to underline truth. Listening carefully, I can hear the pencil meet the page. I cherish the books that are passed to me. The circled letters transform into a dialogue and I find myself covered in wisdom. 

I can’t imagine. A man who didn’t know family as it should be, finds himself as the sole provider for two little girls. The woman he chose, gone. Taken. The dynamics were different, of course, but I never once wondered if he loved me. Never once. He encouraged me to go and see the world. To spread my wings and find what it was that I loved the most. Leaving him was harder than anything else. I look forward to our phone calls, giant cards in the mail with my name carefully written, and the assurance of a constant love. I could bask in that beauty all day long. I find myself incredibly grateful for the goodness and mercy the Lord has given me that is my father. 

— 2 years ago with 2 notes